Bankers have a reputation for being shrewd and ruthless.
But according to a new report, the most profitable banks in the United States are not just the biggest financial institutions but also those that have the least public scrutiny and accountability.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2017, the largest banks earned an average of $2.3 billion per year from investing in “commercial banks,” which means the biggest bank earned $1.6 billion per day from that activity.
“That’s the most money that the bank can make,” said Brian Weidner, co-founder of the bank-investment firm BK Asset Management and author of the report.
But that isn’t the case in the U.S., which has a notoriously low public scrutiny, transparency and accountability for banks.
And that makes it hard for these institutions to earn a profit.
In fact, a recent analysis by Bloomberg News found that more than half of the world’s biggest banks are still not publicly audited, and the lack of accountability for these bank investments is creating an “unsustainable financial system” for consumers and investors.
“The problem with bank-related activity is that it’s not really being monitored, so it’s just going to continue and grow,” Weidder said.
“So, you have these big financial institutions, which are not accountable, and they’re taking advantage of people.”
In the U, the industry has become an easy target for regulators, who have pushed banks to get out of the business of servicing the commercial banking industry.
The Department of Justice recently announced a crackdown on bank fraud and civil money laundering that will result in the closure of more than 500 banks, which will hurt the banking industry and put a dent in the financial system.
“This is an industry that’s been targeted by regulators, and it’s an industry whose profits have declined and who have failed to make it any safer,” Weiden said.
Bankers have been lobbying regulators for years to loosen up the rules.
But banks have been reluctant to do so, and regulators have been slow to act, making it harder for consumers to get their money out of banks.
In response, banks have started pushing for reforms, such as requiring banks to hold more capital in their business, increasing transparency and improving their transparency reports.
“We’ve tried to go in the other direction, and I think it’s been effective,” Weido said.
“I think that if you take the best of both worlds, if you look at a bank’s assets and its assets of its shareholders, it’s a pretty good track record, and you can’t say, well, this bank is doing everything wrong.”
And that means that there are plenty of other ways for a bank to earn money.
Weidger said that one way banks make money is by buying up the assets of other banks, especially those that are more heavily regulated.
“You can take a bank that’s heavily regulated and make money,” Weida said.
In addition to BK, which focuses on the financial services industry, the other bank in the top 25 is Morgan Stanley, which is also heavily regulated, but also has a much higher ratio of publicly traded companies than other banks.
The financial services sector accounts for more than $2 trillion in annual revenue, according to the U-S.
That means a bank with a lot of assets that it can buy up can earn a lot more money by taking on more risky loans and investments, Weidber said.
And when that happens, the bank then has more capital to invest and can raise more capital.
“It becomes a bit of a race to the bottom,” Weidan said.
Weidner said that even though the banks are able to get a big return on their money, they can also get ripped off.
“[They] can make a lot, and then when they take on that capital, they take it on for less than what it would have been on their own,” Weider said.