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A UK bank has held on to the title of Europe’s largest

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HSBC has held on to the title of Europe's largest bank once again, according to new data, as the top four remained unchanged.

Ranked by total assets, HSBC tops the chart with €2.1 trillion (£1.8 trillion), research from S&P Global Market Intelligence showed. Unchanged from last year, the UK institution was followed by France's BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole while Germany's Deutsche Bank pulled into fourth place.

Though HSBC retained its crown, other UK institutions such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) slipped. Barclays lost one place to rank sixth largest in Europe with €1.3 trillion in assets, while RBS fell two slots to 12th place with just £831bn.

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"HSBC's assets grew by 6.2 per cent in 2017 to $2.522 trillion (£1.872 trillion), but the weakening of the US dollar – HSBC's reporting currency – pushed the company's total assets down €152bn year over year," S&P's researchers said in the report.

"Among the top 10 European banks by assets, six posted a year-over-year decline in assets in euro terms."

Other hefty UK banks fared slightly better. Lloyds Banking Group remained in ninth position and Standard Chartered stuck in 20th, while Nationwide Building Society actually climbed a place to 31st.

The UK is home to six of Europe's top 50 banks, according to S&P – level-pegging with France and beaten only by Germany, which claimed seven.

Despite HSBC's dominance in Europe, it ranks just seventh in the list of the world's largest banks.

Four Chinese banks top the list, with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China nabbing the overall title with a massive $4 trillion of assets, and they are followed closely by Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the US's JP Morgan Chase.

Eighteen of the world's top 100 banks are in China, while 11 call the US home and eight are located in Japan.

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