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World's 20 safest banks

Last updated on: September 28, 2011 19:24 IST

World's 20 safest banks

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Bank stability is a pressing concern for the world's corporations and investors.

The sovereign debt crisis is still raging in Europe and renewed fears of contagion from southern European countries are affecting banking and market outlooks across the globe.

Amid such a tense situation, Global Finance announced its 20th Annual Ranking of the World's 50 safest banks.

Winners were selected through an evaluation of long-term credit ratings -- from Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch -- and total assets of the 500 largest banks worldwide.

This exclusive survey will be published in the October issue of Global Finance.

No Indian bank features in the list.

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Image: A currency dealer displays various currencies at his roadside money changer stall.
Photographs: Athar Hussain/Reuters
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1. KfW (Germany)

KfW banking group is a German government-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt. Its name originally comes from Kreditanstalt fr Wiederaufbau, meaning Reconstruction Credit Institute.

The bank employs about 4,500 people.

In 2010, the bank's net interest income stood at Euro 2,752 million.

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Image: Journalists wait outside the local branch of the KfW bank in Frankfurt.
Photographs: Alex Grimm/Reuters
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2. Caisse des Depots

The Caisse des Depots group consists of Caisse des Depots Public Institution and its subsidiary companies.
Augustin De Romanet is the board chairman and chief executive of the bank.

The employs more than 110,000 in 28 countries.

The company has an annual turnover of 7 billion pounds (about $8.14 billion).

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Image: Caisse des Depots.

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3. Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG)

It is a specialised financial institution for the public sector, whose mission is to help minimise the public sector's financing costs.

The company was founded in 1914 in The Hague as the Gemeentelijke Credietbank (Municipal Credit Bureau).

It changed its name to Bank voor Nederlandse Gemeenten in 1922, before finally adopting Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten in 1990s.

The BNG does not provide financing to private customers, but exclusively to (semi-public organisations, such as municipalities, provinces, public utilities and public housing.

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Image: Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten.

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4. Zuercher Kantonalbank (Switzerland)

Zurcher Kantonalbank provides various banking products and financial services to retail and corporate customers primarily in Zurich, Switzerland.

Till June 30, 2010, the bank's net profit dropped 11.2 per cent to CHF 367 million.

The total assets amount to CHF 117 billion.

The Zurich Cantonal Bank is 100 per cent owned by the canton of Zurich.

With 103 outlets, ZKB maintains the densest network of branches in the canton of Zurich.

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Image: Zuercher Kantonalbank.

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5. Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank (Germany)

Rentenbank, based in Frankfurt is Germany's development agency for agribusiness.

Rentenbank provides refinancing to banks within the European Union involved in financing agriculture and rural areas.

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Image: Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank.

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6. Rabobank Group

Rabobank Group is an international financial services offering retail banking, wholesale banking, asset management, leasing and real estate services.

Internationally, the Rabobank Group is focussed on the food and agriculture sector.

The total assets of the bank stand at Euro 675,847 million.

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Image: Rabobank team personnel stand by team vehicles in the Mercure Hotel car park in Pau.
Photographs: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters
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7. Landeskreditbank Baden-Wurttemberg -- Forderbank

Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg is one of the biggest banks in Germany.

LBBW is the central bank of the savings banks in Baden-Wurttemberg, Rhineland Palatinate and Saxony.

BW-Bank functions as a savings bank for LBBW in the territory of the state capital, Stuttgart.

As of 30 June 2010, LBBW therefore recorded a consolidated loss for the period after taxes of 290 million euros.

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Image: Landeskreditbank Baden-Wurttemberg -- Forderbank.

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7. Nederlandse Waterschapsbank

Nederlandse Waterschapsbank NV provides financial services to the public sector primarily in the Netherlands.

It finances water boards, municipal authorities, and provincial authorities, as well as other public sector bodies, such as housing corporations, hospitals, and educational institutions.

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8. Banque et Caisse d Epargne de l Etat

It was established and owned by the Luxembourgish government.

It was founded in 1856.

By Grand Ducal decree, it transformed into a full service bank on October 25 1944.
At present, it provides all the functions of a commercial bank, including retail banking and private banking.

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Image: Banque et Caisse d Epargne de l Etat.

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9. NRW Bank

NRW Bank operates as a state development bank of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

It offers various lending tools, including funding aids provided under the development programs of the federal state, the federal government, and the European Union to equity and debt financing more than 5.7 million retail customers.

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10. Banco Santander

Grupo Santander is the fourth largest bank in the world and the eighth largest in terms of market capitalisation.

In 2009, ordinary attributable profit reached 8.943 million euros, a 1 per cent increase over the previous year, and distributed 4.919 million euros in dividends. The attributable profit from January-June 2010 stood at 4,445 million euros.

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11. Royal Bank of Canada

The Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC.

It is one of Canada's largest banks in terms of assets and market capitalisation, the bank offers personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis.

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12. National Australia Bank Limited

With more than 1,800 branches and service centres, the bank offers products and services through major Australian franchisees and businesses in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States and Asia.

It has over 10.93 million customers.

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12. Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The Commonwealth Bank is Australia's leading provider of integrated financial services.

The Group is one of the largest listed companies on the Australian Stock Exchange and is included in the Morgan Stanley Capital Global Index.

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13. Toronto Dominion Bank (Canada)

Headquartered in Toronto, the TD Bank Financial Group offers a full range of financial products and services to 18 million customers worldwide.

As of July 31, 2010, TD Bank Financial Group had CDN $603 billion in assets. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

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14. Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)

The Westpac Group has branches and affiliates throughout Australia, New Zealand and the near Pacific region and maintains offices in key financial centres around the world including London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

As of 31 March 2010, The Westpac Group had global assets of $601 billion.

Westpac is ranked among the top 5 listed companies by market capitalisation on the Australian Securities Exchange Limited.

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15. BNP Paribas (France)

BNP Paribas is a global banking and financial services major and one of the six strongest banks in the world (Rated AA by Standard & Poor's, 3rd on a scale of 22).

The group has four domestic retail banking markets in France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg.

It has one of the largest international networks with operations in 84 countries.

The bank's net profit rose by 31 per cent in the second quarter to $2.7 billion.

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16. HSBC Holdings (United Kingdom)

HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world.

With listings on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges, shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by around 220,000 shareholders in 119 countries.

HSBC's international network comprises around 8,000 offices in 87 countries.

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17. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Spain)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, SA (BBVA) is a multinational Spanish banking group.

It was formed in 1999 from the merger of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and Argentaria.

BBVA is the second largest bank in Spain and 7th largest financial institution in the Western world with a market capitalisation of over Euro 61 billion.

The bank now operates in 40 countries.

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18. Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia in Canada)

Scotiabank is the third largest bank in Canada by deposits and market capitalisation.

The bank was founded in 1832 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The company ranks at number 92 on the Forbes Global 2000 listing.

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18. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, commonly called ANZ, is the fourth largest bank in Australia.

In addition to operations throughout Australia and New Zealand, ANZ also extends to 25 other nations.

The bank's total assets stood at $531.739 billion in 2010.

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19. DBS Bank (Singapore)

The bank was set up in 1968.

At inception, it was a development-financing institution led by the Singapore government.

Today, it has more than 100 branches.

DBS Bank is the largest bank in South East Asia by assets and among the larger banks in Asia.

Its activities include consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund-raising in Singapore and Hong Kong.

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20. Caisse centrale Desjardins (Canada)

Caisse centrale Desjardins acts as treasurer for the Desjardins Group and as its financial agent on Canadian and international markets.

Caisse centrale Desjardins is a cooperative owned by the Federation des caisses Desjardins du Quebec.

It offers financing, banking and international services to institutional organizations (governments, municipalities, school districts, etc.), large and medium-sized businesses and various Desjardins Group entities.

The bank's total assets stood at $26,900 million.


Image: Caisse centrale Desjardins logo.

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