Banks and financial institutions have been around for centuries. Every bank offers the same essential services, however, not every bank is exactly the same. Some offer their clients unique features while others are rich in history. Here are some of the coolest banking facts from across the world.
Coolest banking facts:
- The banking institution with the most branches is Agriculture Bank of China. This bank is the largest financial institution in the world with a total of 441,144 employees and over 24,000 branches. Agriculture Bank of Chines is headquartered in Beijing and was founded in 1951.
- This is astronomically larger than the biggest U.S. bank, which is Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has over 9,000 branches with nearly 270,000 employees.
- The largest fine/settlement by a bank in the U.S. was a whopping $16.65 billion from Bank of America. This was the largest settlement in U.S. history between the U.S. government and a corporation. The settlement is derived from the housing crisis where mortgage-backed securities were not as financially sound as investors led to believe. This dwarfs the few fines Wells Fargo has received in recent years.
- The oldest bank in the world is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) in Italy. BMPS was founded in 1472. That’s 546 years old! BMPS is actually Italy’s second fourth largest commercial and retail bank with over 2,000 branches.
- The oldest bank in the United States is Bank of New York-Mellon (BNY). BNY was founded on June 9, 1774, by our former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. This makes the bank 244 years old! The BNY actually provided the U.S. government with its first loan in 1789 and was the first company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
- The most thrill-seeking banking branch is the ‘Skyslide’ attached to the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles. The tower is the tallest skyscraper west of Chicago and is a staggering 1,018 feet tall. The building has a 45-foot long glass slide from the 70th to the 69th floor that is on the OUTSIDE of the building. Can you image sliding down a glass slide over 1,000 feet above downtown LA?
- In 2008, Washington Mutual (WAMU) became the largest bank to go under, as it succumbed to a severe financial crisis. after the FDIC seized WAMU assets, it settled a deal with JPMorgan to acquire the bank for a measly $1.9 billion. When it went under, WAMU had assets totaling $307 billion and deposits of $188 billion.
- The only state-owned bank in the U.S. is the Bank of North Dakota (BND). BND is based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The bank was founded in 1919 and has assets totaling $7.3 billion.
- The only bank with a direct phone line to the CEO at every branch is Umpqua Bank. Umpqua touts itself as “the world’s greatest bank” and believes it’s essential that each branch has a direct line to the CEO to build trust.
Banks are one of the true mainstays of our society. What are some of the cool features you’ve seen banks do to stand out from the crowd?