Let's put an end to the lie that big is beautiful in banking. Here is a list of the 50 largest banks in the world. I added in the BIS to make up the numbers. If you live in the UK you can easily make a deposit in any of the banks in bold text by walking down the High Street of your nearest town.
Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Barclays Bank, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, Citigroup, Lloyds, UBS, Mitsubishi UFJ, Bank of America, Société Générale, JP Morgan Chase, UniCredit, Mizuho Financial, ING, Banca Româneasca, Santander, Credit Suisse, ICBC, Fortis, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Commerzbank, China Construction Bank Corporation, Dexia, Intesa San Paolo, Rabobank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Nordea, Crédit Mutuel, Wachovia Corporation, BBVA, Dresdner, Danske, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Groupe Caisse d'Epargne, DZB, Bayerische Landesbank, Hypo Real Estate, NAB, Wells Fargo, Nordea, Norinchukin Bank, KBC, Groupe Banques Populaires, Commonwealth Bank Group, WestLB, ANZ, BIS
If on the other hand you want to put your money in any of the 50 safest banks in the world determined by bank ratings, you have the following choices:
KfW, CDC, Bank Nederlands Gemeenten, Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, Zuercher Kantonalbank, Rabobank, Landeskreditbank Baden-Wuerttemberg-Foerderbank, NRW. Bank, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Canada, NAB, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Santander, Toronto-Dominion Bank, ANZ, Westpac Banking Corporation, ASB Bank Limited, HSBC, Credit Agricole S.A., Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Nordea, Scotiabank, Svenska Handelsbanken, DBS Bank, Banco Espanol de Credito S.A. (Banesto), Caisse centrale Desjardins, Pohjola Bank, Deutsche Bank AG, Intesa Sanpaolo, Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona (la Caixa), Bank of Montreal, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, DnB NOR Bank, Caixa Geral de Depositos, United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., CIBC, National Bank Of Kuwait, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., UBS AG, Societe Generale (SG), Wells Fargo & Co., Credit Suisse Group, Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel (BFCM), Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC), Nationwide Building Society, U.S. Bancorp, Shizuoka Bank, Northern Trust Corporation, National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Spot the difference? Personally, if there was one to hand, I would put my money in the Clydesdale Bank or the Yorkshire Bank, both owned by National Australia Bank (NAB). Size isn't everything.