Map the Bank

The financial crisis cost society over 10 trillion dollars*. Before we can disrupt the industry, we need to understand what it looks like.

We've hunted down official government records of which companies are licensed to carry out financial activities. In total, there are 267 sources of data in 177 jurisidictions around the world. If you're a coder, we need your help to write scrapers! If you're not, there are other ways you can help.

Use the map below to visualise the data we've collected so far, or if you have some coding skills click here to start helping!

Sign up for a mission now



Why does this matter?

Governments and regulators are releasing huge amounts of data. Collecting, publishing & linking it to company data will give us the global picture of the finance sector.

We believe there is a social contract between citizens (represented by the state) and companies. The state permits companies to carry out activities like banking or debt collection; in return, these companies agree to meet certain standards of behaviour: for example, only lending to people who can afford the debt, or backing their promises with a certain amount of assets.

This social contract is backed up by legislation, and the legislation usually includes reporting obligations. But there's not always funds or political will to follow up on these reports. The result? A mountain of data, collected as a legal duty, which usually languishes forever in the archives.

OpenCorporates' mission is to bring this data into the open. This is a gargantuan task, so we thought we'd start with a single step: gather data about which companies are permitted to carry out what financial activities, where. It will be, to our knowledge, the first time anyone has attempted anything like this.

Collecting and examining this data could answer questions like:

  • Which countries have the highest concentration of debt collection agencies?
  • Which countries have the most financial services outsourced to them?
  • Which banking networks are licenced to operate in the largest number of countries?
  • Which non-banking corporate networks appear to operate the most like banks?


Who's involved?

Civio opennorth ONE

Get involved

How can I help?

  • 1

    Write a bot

    For this campaign, we're looking for developers with skills in Python or Ruby, to help write the hundreds of scrapers necessary to complete this monumental task. If you'd like to have a go, head over to our Missions website and accept a mission!

    Sign up for a mission

  • 2

    Write a story

    Over the next few weeks, as more bots are written, we'll be gathering more and more data. We hope to find some interesting insights, using tools like Kibana. If this is of interest, drop us a line. Once we've amassed enough data, we'll help you explore it.

    Get in touch to express interest

  • 3

    Share this campaign

    Use the hashtag #mapthebanks on twitter to help spread the word! Click here for ideas on what to tweet.

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*$10 trillion claim from Cost of the Crisis, Better Markets, Sep 12 2012