On 19 December 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 74/245, which designated 4 December as the International Day of Banks in recognition of the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development; and also in recognition of the vital role of the banking systems in Member States in contributing to the improvement of the standard of living.
Prior to this designation, the General Assembly, in September 2015 adopted a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centered set of universal and transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets, and reaffirmed its commitment to working tirelessly for the full implementation of those goals by 2030. It recognized that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The goals seek to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner, building on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and addressing their unfinished business.
The global economy is facing heightened risks and financial volatility, with global growth likely to have peaked. Geopolitical factors, trade disputes, financial market volatility and non-economic factors, such as climate change risk further impeding growth, stability and development and worsening poverty, inequality and vulnerabilities. It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the systemic economic and financial risks and architectural gaps that threaten the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Weaknesses in the global financial system could pose heightened risks to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Those risks include the volatility of international capital flows, resulting from the short-term nature of many elements of international capital markets; persistent global imbalances; debt sustainability challenges in the public and private sector; and growing monopoly power and less effective competition policies. High debt levels in public and private entities, including through highly-leveraged financial market derivatives, raise vulnerabilities and feed boom-bust cycles. The compression of the wage share of income has exacerbated inequality. The rapid pace of technological change, while possibly providing new remedies, can also exacerbate global systemic risks.
The resolution emphasizes the relevance of inclusion in the international financial system at all levels and the importance of considering financial inclusion as a policy objective in financial regulation, in accordance with national priorities and legislation.
Recognizing the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development and providing know-how, the UNGA also recognizes at the national level, the vital role of banking systems in contributing to the improvement of the standard of living, according to the resolution.
TOP 20 Largest World Banks in 2020 by Total Assets
- #1. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Assets: $4,322 bln.
- #2. China Construction Bank Corporation.
- #3. Agricultural Bank of China.
- #4. Bank of China ltd.
- #5. JPMorgan Chase.
- #6. HSBC Holdings plc.
- #7. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
- #8. Bank of America (BoA)