Magazine article Global Finance

The World's Safest Banks 2004

Magazine article Global Finance

The World's Safest Banks 2004

Article excerpt

Global Finance selects the World's Safest Banks, the 50 institutions with the highest ratings from the leading international credit ratings agencies.

It is perhaps a sign of things to come that a giant French bank has snatched the top spot in Global Finance's Safest Banks ranking, from Germany's venerable Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg. As the German landesbanks contemplate losing their government guarantees next year, they will be facing increasing challenges to their dominance of the safest banks listing. In fact, next year could see a significant shake-up at the top. The Netherlands' Rabobank is only one upgrade away from re-establishing itself as the world s safest bank-a distinction it held until last year, when Fitch nudged it down to a AA+ from its long-held triple-A rating.

In a world where business is becoming increasingly global, banking clients will be looking for reassurance that their banks can provide the security they are looking for. And while the total number of triple-A ratings among the top 50 has barely changed over the past year, the total assets they manage has grown markedly. With such enormous asset bases, there is little doubt that these banks can handle any shocks they might encounter.

As always, we have constructed our ranking based on size and credit quality. This year we began with a pool of 500 of the -world's largest banks by asset size, collated from Bureau van Dijk's BankScope, a database of financial information covering 11,000 global banks. …

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