These four establishments essentially monopolize the entire banking industry—the 'Big Four' is an idiomatic name for the four central banks in many countries. In Australia, they are the National Bank of Australia, the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Australia, and the New Zealand Banking Group. In the UK: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. And in the US, the "Big Four" are CitiGroup, JPMorgan Chase, the Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
We came across a fantastic infographic that tells us how 37 banks from the 1990s became the 'Big Four' of the US by 2009:
The mega consolidation happened for various reasons. Further, there is a need to make banking services more accessible, secure, available for the increasingly mobile consumer, to include financially backward classes, increase the speed of delivery across the channels and products, and all this at lesser costs. If the banks don't bring most of these or any of these, the power shift will happen, and it will happen for good. Disruptive solutions are marching ahead.
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