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Four UK-based banks among world's largest lenders

RBS stays as fourth biggest bank in capital terms despite posting losses of $4.37bn last year.

Four UK-based banks have featured among the top 15 in the Banker magazine's annual survey of the world's 1,000 biggest lenders.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has retained its position as the fourth biggest in terms of capital despite posting the eighth largest loss in the world last year, to the tune of $4.37bn. It is expected to return to profit in 2012, after being bailed out of the financial crisis by a taxpayer investment.

HSBC came fifth in size and was declared the 16th most profitable in the world, while Barclays Bank - the fourth most profitable - ranked tenth in capital size. Lloyd's, which is 40.8 per cent taxpayer owned, emerged as the 12th biggest.

The UK is the second most powerful centre for banking in the world after the US, which is home to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the world's biggest lender according to the survey.

The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank and Goldman Sachs were reported to be the three most profitable in the world.