[SINGAPORE] Europe's pain has become China's gain, as the latest bank rankings from a London-based magazine show.
According to data compiled this year by The Banker (which is part of the Financial Times group), Chinese banks generated 29.3 per cent of global banking profits, pushing past European banks which accounted for only 6 per cent.
Fortunes have reversed in just five years. In the 2007 study, Chinese banks contributed to 4 per cent of global banking profits while European banks generated 46 per cent.
Chinese banks are "making the type of profits that European banks can only dream about", said editor of The Banker, Brian Caplen. "This year's results show Europe's loss is China's gain."
European banks have been struggling to keep profits up as the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis rages on. Funding strains and higher capital requirements forced many to deleverage last year, either by scaling back lending or selling portfolios.
Some banks in peripheral eurozone countries also experienced an outflow of deposits as savers looked for safer harbours.
In a ranking of 25 banks which made the biggest losses, 24 were European. The National Bank of Greece topped the list with a pre-tax loss of US$17.4 billion, followed by Belgium's Dexia - which has received state bailout - and Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo.
Looking at banks which made the greatest profits, Chinese banks occupied the top three spots. The Industrial Commercial Bank of China took first place with a pre-tax profit of US$43.2 billion, followed by China Construction Bank and Bank of China.
JP Morgan Chase and the Agricultural Bank of China were in fourth and fifth place respectively. HSBC from the United Kingdom, in seventh place, is the highest ranking European bank. France's BNP Paribas is number 10.
Ranking banks by capital strength, two American institutions topped the chart. Bank of America came in first with a Tier 1 capital of US$159.2 billion, followed by JP Morgan Chase. In third place was the Industrial Commercial Bank of China, which jumped up from sixth place previously.