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Five of the biggest 100 banks in the world have midstate ties

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Some of the biggest banks in the world have quite a large footprint in the midstate.

Industry research group SNL Financial recently released its list of the world’s 100 biggest banks, and five of them have branches in Central Pennsylvania.

The banks are ranked by assets as of June 20. These five* have locations here:

12. Bank of America

16. Royal Bank of Scotland (parent company of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania)

18. Banco Santander (Spanish parent company of Santander)

21. Wells Fargo

80. PNC Bank

Three thoughts: Whenever I talk about a list like this, I always have to include Bank of America even though it has only two regional branches in Lancaster County and nowhere else around here.

All of the other banks, it’s tough to drive 15 minutes anywhere in the midstate without finding a branch. That’s why I always think it has an outside shot at possibly acquiring a local bank that may want to start talking acquisition (Metro?).

BoA has its own problems right now, though, and I doubt it has a moment to think of expanding, let alone in a market where it has little to no penetration. But someday, somewhere, a higher-up at BoA is going to look at a map and wonder why the heck there are two lonely branches sitting in Lancaster County and nowhere else in Central Pennsylvania.

At that point, you have to wonder whether BoA would close down the branches or try to acquire a regional bank with a good footprint (Metro?)

PNC is the only bank based in Pennsylvania that made the list.

Banco Santander is one of the five coolest things to say out loud. It sounds like you should be bull fighting or something when you say it. Go ahead, try it!

Then there are the banks that have a big presence in the U.S. but have chosen to avoid the midstate completely for whatever reason:

2. HSBC Holding PLC (European parent company of HSBC Bank)

14. Citigroup (parent company of Citibank)

70. U.S. Bancorp (parent company of U.S. Bank)

85. Capital One

Three thoughts: I find it fascinating that these banks don’t want anything to do with us, and I’d love to pick the brains of the executives to find out why. That being said, you’ll never hear Pete and Arnie down at the ol’ fix-it-shop saying things like, “You know what this area needs? A U.S. Bank.”

Everyone always wants a certain chain restaurant or store to open in their town (no Uno Pizzeria and Grill in the region yet, really?), but no one ever clamors for a big bank to open a branch. There’s a Jerry Seinfeld routine in there somewhere, I know it ...

In the top 10, three banks moved up in the rankings from last year. Those were located in China, China and ... China. That doesn’t include Industrial Commercial Bank of China Ltd., which repeated as the largest bank in the world.

*For this blog post, I’m only tackling traditional banks, not investment banks. So while I know Bank of New York Mellon (No. 72) has a wealth management office in Harrisburg; RBC (Royal Bank of Canada, No. 37) has three in Lemoyne, Lancaster and York; and Morgan Stanley has five local branches, I’m not including them on this list, just to keep it simple. Maybe next week.

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