The World's Safest Banks 2009

By Keeler, Dan | Global Finance, October 2009 | Go to article overview

The World's Safest Banks 2009


Keeler, Dan, Global Finance


World's Safest Banks

Global Finance selects the world's safest banks, the 50 institutions with the highest ratings from the leading international credit ratings agencies.

After two tumultuous years that saw many of the world's most respected banks drop out of the top-50 safest banks list, the dust appears to be settling. Those banks that kept an iron grip on their risk exposure before the financial crisis have consistendy topped the table and maintain their standing among the top echelon in this year's ranking. At the same time, the big-name banks that lost their safest bank ranking during the credit crunch are still absent from the list as they struggle to rebuild their credit standing.

Reassuringly, the very top-ranking banks are mostly unchanged from previous years, but the composition of the rest of the list clearly illustrates the level of upheaval that the global banking and financial world has undergone. The number of banks from tighdy regulated countries such as Canada and Australia is growing as those banks displace their peers from the UK and the US. Gone from this year's ranking are all but two financial institutions from Britain, reflecting the carnage in the UK banking industry over the past year. While the US banks post a much better showing than the UK's, their collective standing has fallen sharply, and they now feature only toward the bottom of the safest banks list.

Rabobank CFO Bert Bruggink sums up the characteristics that ensure banks appear year after year on the list of the worlds safest: "A robust balance sheet, stable profit growth and a high Tier 1 ratio are prerequisites for Rabobank to be able to sustain our position as one of the worlds safest banks," he says. …

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