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The world's 16 strongest banks

Last updated on: June 3, 2011 10:06 IST

The world's 16 strongest banks

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'A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain,' wrote American poet Robert Frost years ago.

But seriously speaking, there is no denying the fact that banks are to economies what souls are to human beings.

Articles and features on functioning of banks across the world are widely read, almost always.

Any ranking of the global banks on the basis of their capital or financial services' strength too draws a lot of attention.

Bloomberg recently came up with a list of 16 strongest banks of the world. The news agency arrived at the rankings on the basis of composite score derived from the ratios of Tier-1 capital to risk-weighted assets, non-performing assets to total assets, loan loss reserves to non-performing assets, deposits to funding, and costs to revenue.

It emerged from the list that Singapore holds three of the top 10 spots, while only one American bank makes the top 10.

Source: Bloomberg, Agencies

To know more about the world's 16 strongest banks, read on. . .


Image: A currency dealer displays various currencies at his roadside money changer stall.
Photographs: Athar Hussain/Reuters
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Rank 1: Oversea-Chinese Banking

Headquarters: Singapore

CEO: David Philbrick Conner

OCBC Bank was formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912.

OCBC Bank and its subsidiary offer a broad array of specialist financial services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.

OCBC Bank's key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Greater China.

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Image: Oversea-Chinese Banking.

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Rank 2: Svenska Handelsbanken

Headquarters: Stockholm

CEO: Par Boman.

The bank began operations on 1 July 1871 in rented offices located in the Old Town district of Stockholm, which at that time was still the commercial and financial centre of the city.

Handelsbanken conducts complete universal banking operations in the Nordic region and Great Britain.

The Bank has 53 branches in Denmark, 45 in Finland, 49 in Norway, 90 in Great Britain and 461 in Sweden.

It employs over 10,850 people.

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Image: Svenska Handelsbanken.

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Rank 3: National Bank of Canada

Headquarters: Montreal

CEO: Louis Vachon.

The bank was founded in Quebec City in 1859.

The bank at present employs 18,000 people.

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Image: National Bank of Canada.

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Rank 4: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Headquarters: Toronto

CEO: Gerald T McCaughey

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce came into being in 1961.

The bank employs more than 42,354 people.

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Rank 5: DBS Group Holdings

Headquarters: Singapore

CEO: Piyush Gupta

The bank was set up in 1968 as a development-financing institution led by the Singapore government.

Today, more than its 100 branches can be found across the island.

It employs over 14,000 people.

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Image: DBS Group Holdings.

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Rank 6: United Overseas Bank

Headquarters: Singapore

CEO: Wee Ee Cheong

The bank was founded on August 6 1935 by Kuching-born Datuk Wee Kheng Chiang and a group of seven Chinese businessmen.

UOB is currently the third largest bank based in Singapore.

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Rank 7: Fifth Third Bancorp

Headquarters: Cincinnati

CEO: Kevin Kabat

Fifth Third Bank's history can be traced back to June 17, 1858, when the Bank of the Ohio Valley opened in Cincinnati.

The Third National Bank organised five years later, on June 23, 1863.

Fifth Third Bancorp operates 18 affiliates with 1,232 full-service Banking Centres, including 106 Bank Mart locations.
The bank has 2,213 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Missouri.

It employs more than 21,613 people.

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Image: Fifth Third Bancorp.

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Rank 8: Banco Bradesco

Headquarters: Osasco, Brazil

CEO: Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi

The bank's history can be traced back to March 10, 1943 when Banco Brasileiro de Descontos was founded by Amador Aguiar in the city of Mar lia, Sao Paulo.

The bank targeted small landowners, retailers, and government employees.

The bank at present employs 95.248 people.

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Rank 9: UBS

Headquarters: Zurich and Basel

CEO: Oswald Grubel

The bank operates in more than 40 countries and is considered as the world's second largest manager of private wealth assets.

The bank came into being through the merger of Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation on December 8, 1997.

It employs more than 64,000 people.

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Image: UBS.

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Rank 10: BOC Hong Kong (Holdings)

Headquarters: Hong Kong

Chairman: Xiao Gang

BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited is the parent company and listed company of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited.

It was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2002.

It is currently one of the Hang Seng Index Constituent Stock (blue chip stock).

BOC Hong Kong was founded in 2001.

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Rank 11: Banco Santander Brasil

Headquarters: Sao Paulo

CEO: Marcial Portela

The bank was founded in 1982 in Sao Paulo.

Banco Santander is the fifth largest bank in Brazil by assets with more than 9 million customers.

The bank has a network of 3,696 branches and service centres and 18,312 ATMs.

It employs more than 54.406 people.

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Rank 12: Toronto-Dominion Bank

Headquarters: Toronto

CEO: W Edmund Clark

The bank was created in 1955 through the merger of The Bank of Toronto and The Dominion Bank.
It serves more than 11 million customers at over 1,100 branches.

The bank employs more than 79,000 people.

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Rank 13: Credit Suisse

Headquarters: Zurich

CEO: Brady Dougan

The group has more than 250 retail branches in Switzerland and operates in more than 50 countries.

Credit Suisse was founded by Alfred Escher in 1856 under the name Schweizerische Kreditanstalt.

The bank employs about 50,100 people.

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Rank 14: JP Morgan Chase

Headquarters: New York

CEO: Jamie Dimon

It was formed in 2000, when Chase Manhattan Corporation merged with JP Morgan & Co.

JPMorgan Chase is one of the Big Four banks of the United States with Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

It employs about 240,000 people.

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Image: The JPMorgan Chase flag flutters outside its building (R) in front of the Bear Stearns building, NY.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
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Rank 15: Standard Chartered

Headquarters: London

CEO: Peter A Sands

Standard Chartered PLC operates through a network of over 1,700 branches and outlets (including subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures).

The name Standard Chartered comes from the two original banks from which it was founded and which merged in 1969 -- The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, and The Standard Bank of British South Africa.

It employs about 80,000 people.

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Rank 16: Citigroup

Headquarters: New York

CEO: Vikram Pandit

Citigroup Inc. was formed by combining Citicorp and financial conglomerate Travelers Group on April 7, 1998.

It holds over 200 million customer accounts in more than 140 countries.

Citigroup Inc. has over 16,000 offices worldwide.

The company employs approximately 260,000 people.


Image: Citibank.

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