The banking industry is a significant power in the United States, and the largest banks comprise a significant portion of that power. The five largest banks in the U.S. serve hundreds of millions of customers, and have thousands of locations. You can't look at the banking industry without knowing about these five banks.
Bank of America
Bank of America is the largest bank in the United States, as of 2011, with over 286,000 employees in more than 6,000 offices, serving over 57 million individuals and businesses. It has acquired numerous smaller banks and mortgage companies over its lifetime, including NationsBank, LaSalle Bank, Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch. It also acquired MBNA in 2005, and is the nation's largest issuer of credit cards.
Famous for its stagecoach line and protection of gold during the 1800s, Well Fargo has grown into one of the largest mortgage providers and banks in North America. It has over 70 million customers and 9,000 locations, as of 2011, and purchased Wachovia Bank in 2008 to add to its already sizable portfolio.
JPMorgan Chase is a conglomerate of nearly a dozen legacy banks, including J.P. Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Washington Mutual, Chemical, Manufacturers Hanover, Bank One, First Chicago and National Bank of Detroit. It is part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as a representative of the success and health of banks across the nation.
Citibank is made of two businesses: Citigroup and Citi Holdings. Citigroup is a global bank, which offers services to all types of consumers. Citi Private Bank is a specialized bank that deals with 30 percent of the world's billionaires, and Citi offers regional and local banking worldwide. Citi Holdings provides brokerage, asset management and mortgage services in the U.S. and consumer finance services in Western Europe, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Formed from two banks with the initials PNC (Pittsburgh National Corporation and Providence National Corporation), PNC Bank is a large, and ever-expanding, bank with a variety of services. These include consumer banking, asset management, and specialized financial businesses targeting corporations and government entities.