BNP Paribas is now the world’s biggest bank by assets at a staggering $3.2 trillion, according to Bloomberg.
That makes the bank bigger than the combined U.S. pair of Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.
But shouldn’t this be a massive problem for French regulators trying to tame largesse?
Not at all, because they’re ignoring it.
“The French are pretending not to see this,” said Carmen Reinhart, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics and co-author of a 2009 book examining financial crises throughout history. “What policy makers are doing is delaying the inevitable. But delaying malaise is not unique to the French.”
As the size of BNP Paribas continues to swell and new regulations come into place, such as Basel III and EU rules on the asset management sphere, will BNP have the capital on hand to comply?
This may also be further example of the sort of banking consolidation in Europe we have seen in the U.S. But that consolidation (BNP’s purchase of Fortis, etc.) has also been coupled with emerging markets expansion (particularly in emerging Eastern Europe).