Banking in the United States is largely dominated by major financial institutions, specifically Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, among several others. According to The Huffington Post, the reasoning for this is fairly simple – a significant number of people choose their bank based on its proximity to their residence or place of business.
This trend has persisted for some time, throughout the 1990s, 2000s and into the 2010s. Other reasons have been cited for the financial strength of these major banks, such as their billion-dollar advertising budgets, but a 2008 survey found that over 50 percent of those questioned picked a bank by convenience. Barely 6 percent cited persuasive advertisements.
According to the news source, even the presence of concrete data regarding negative attributes of large banks has done little to affect their position, such as research stating that 2009 overdraft fees for these institutions had an average of $35, while smaller banks averaged a $25 fee.
A report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, cited by The New York Times, noted that JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and similarly sized institutions hold 95 percent of the $231 trillion in derivatives trading assets possessed by all banks, an aspect of finance that played a role in the financial crisis of 2008.