Magazine article Global Finance

Private-Sector Superstars

Magazine article Global Finance

Private-Sector Superstars

Article excerpt

Banks from Australia, Canada and Singapore dominate the list of the Top 10 Safest Commercial Banks.

State-owned banks and those that enjoy some form of sponsorship from government or regional organizations have always occupied the highest positions in Global Finance's rankings of the world's 50 safest banks. Yet commercially owned banks take the majority of places in the top 50, with many claiming positions near the top of the rankings. All of the banks from positions 9 to 25 are commercial banks controlled by private-sector owners.

Rabobank continues to head the list of private banks, although it no longer stands head and shoulders above its rivals, as it did two years ago. In 2011, Rabobank held AAA ratings from Moody's and S&P, and an AA+ from Fitch. This year four other banks hold the same average rating as Rabobank (now rated AA by Fitch, Aa2 by Moody's and AA- by S&P): Canada's TD Bank and the three leading Singaporean banks- DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank. Rabobank takes top position by virtue of its larger asset size. (Under Global Finance's methodology, banks that hold the same average ratings are ranked by asset size, reflecting the strong empirical correlation between asset size and rating level.)

No private-sector banks hold an AAA rating from any of the three leading agencies, butTD Bank and the three Singaporean banks hold Aal ratings from Moody's. Neither Fitch nor S&P confer such a high rating on a private-sector bank. …

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