Japan continues to see its banks struggle, with slow or negative rates of growth in the 2020 rankings again – though the number of Japanese banks in the Top 1000 is unchanged. 

Japan continues to see its banks struggle, with slow or negative rates of growth – though the number of Japanese banks in the Top 1000 World Banks ranking is unchanged. The Japanese top 10 list also remains the same as the 2019 ranking.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the largest bank in Japan by Tier 1 capital, maintains its 10th spot in the global ranking, but has seen its Tier 1 capital fall by 2%. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group also saw their Tier 1 capital decline over the course of 2019, which is the review period for the Top 1000 ranking.

While Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group holds on to 14th place in the world ranking for another year, Mizuho Financial Group drops one spot to 18th this year. Norinchukin Bank has had another strong year, increasing Tier 1 capital by 3.36%, though this was not enough to prevent it from slipping one place down the rankings to 19th position.

Hamamatsu Iwata Shinkin Bank also had a successful year, being the highest mover in Japan. The bank has increased its Tier 1 capital by 26.68% to come 592th in the overall ranking, and places 59th in the country ranking, up from 66th last year.

Meanwhile, Fukuoka Financial Group posts a good result this year, placing in 208th place in the world ranking, up from 220th last year. It also places 15th in the country ranking with a 25.42% increase in Tier 1 capital, making it second in the highest movers in Japan table, and top for return on capital, with 14.54%.

Some banks had a significantly worse year, however, with Tier 1 capital declining considerably. Hokkoku Bank saw a double-digit decline (10.34%), taking it from 35th to 41st in the Japan ranking, and dropped in the world rankings to 483rd, from its previous position of 436th.

Out of the largest 10 banks in Japan, Nomura Holdings takes the top spot in the best-performing banks ranking, topping the growth, profitability and return on risk categories. This is despite placing 78th in the world ranking and sixth in the Japan country ranking, and recording just a 0.55% increase in Tier 1 capital.

Fourth largest lender in the country, Norinchukin Bank, comes second in the best-performing banks table, with a strong showing in asset quality, liquidity, soundness and leverage metrics. However, it did not fare well in growth and return on risk. The country’s powerhouse, MUFG, came in ninth position in this table, with particularly poor results in profitability, operational efficiency and soundness.

Even though its banks are showing some difficulties in growing returns, Japan is still one of the dominant countries in the world ranking, with 89 banks making into the Top 1000 for 2020.


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