Q2 2015 U.S. Banking Review: Total Deposits

7 September, 2015 (16:10) | Blog | By: admin

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.


Data compiled by the Federal Reserve shows that the total deposit base of all U.S. commercial banks is currently at a record high figure of $10.9 trillion. While this is more than double the $5 trillion in total deposits reported in late 2004, a bulk of the growth has come since 2010 – something that can be attributed to the prevalent low interest rate environment. This is because the record-low interest level has led individual as well as institutional investors to shift a bulk of their liquid assets into interest-bearing deposits due to the lack of many lucrative investment options – a phenomenon that in turn has hurt net interest margins for U.S. banks considerably.

In this article we detail the changes in deposits at the country’s four largest banks – JPMorgan ChaseBank of AmericaCitigroup and Wells Fargo – over the years.

The following table shows the average quarterly value of all deposits held by these four banks over the last ten quarters. The data has been compiled using figures reported by individual banks as part of their quarterly announcements and includes both interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing deposits.

(in $ billions)

Q1’13 Q2’13 Q3’13 Q4’13 Q1’14 Q2’14 Q3’14 Q4’14 Q1’15 Q2’15
JPMorgan 1,143.8 1,173.6 1,196.7 1,241.3 1,244.3 1,244.0 1,269.7 1,298.6 1,336.5 1,299.1
Wells Fargo 986.2 1,009.8 1,025.6 1,060.4 1,077.3 1,101.5 1,127.0 1,149.8 1,174.8 1,185.3
Bank of America 1,075.3 1,080.0 1,090.6 1,112.7 1,118.2 1,128.6 1,127.5 1,122.5 1,130.7 1,146.8
Citigroup 920.4 924.5 922.1 956.4 957.4 959.5 954.2 938.7 899.5


One thing that stands out from the table above is the sheer size of the deposit base for these four banks. At the end of Q2 2015, these banks had more than $4.5 trillion in deposits among them – which is more than 40% of the total deposits for all U.S. commercial banks. The fact that the total size of deposits for the fifth largest commercial bank – U.S.Bancorp – is just $286 billion should give a clear idea of how large these financial institutions are compared to other banks in the country.

That said, it should be noted that these banks do not operate exclusively in the U.S., and have a considerable retail banking presence outside the country. The table below classifies the total deposits for each of these banks at the end of Q2 2015 on the basis of geography.

(in $ billion)

U.S. Deposits Non-U.S. Deposits Total Deposits U.S.: Non-U.S. Ratio


1,043.5 243.8 1,287.3 81:19

Wells Fargo

1,084.0 101.8 1,185.8


Bank of America

1,080.3 69.3 1,149.6


Citigroup 404.0 504.1 908.0


Total 3,611.8 919.0 4,530.8


Citigroup stands out here, as the globally diversified banking group held just 44% of its total deposits in the U.S. In comparison, deposits in the U.S. account for 94% and 91% of the deposit base for Bank of America and Wells Fargo, respectively. Non-U.S. deposits account for 19% of JPMorgan’s total deposits. Notably, deposits from U.S. operations for these banks add up to more than $3.6 trillion – nearly one-third of the total deposits held by all U.S. commercial banks.

While deposits across U.S. commercial banks have seen a sharp increase over recent years, we don’t expect that growth rate to sustain over the long run. As we pointed out, one of the primary reasons for the high growth rate since 2010 has been the Fed’s decision to maintain interest rates at record low levels. With the Fed likely to hike interest rates early next year, the interest rate environment can be expected to improve over subsequent quarters. This will open up better investment options for individuals as well as institutions – which will drastically reduce the deposit growth rate.

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