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World's 20 safest banks

Last updated on: May 4, 2012 09:52 IST

World's 20 safest banks

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Bank stability is an ever-more pressing concern for the world's corporations and investors says Global Finance, while announcing the half-yearly update of its ranking of the world's 50 safest banks.

The ranking was created through an evaluation of long-term credit ratings - from Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings - and total assets of the 500 largest banks worldwide.

Take a look at the world's 20 safest banks...

1. KfW (Germany)

KfW banking group is a German government-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt.

Its name originally comes from Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, meaning Reconstruction Credit Institute. It was formed in 1948 after World War II as part of the Marshall Plan.

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Image: KfW bank.
Photographs: KfW bank website.

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2. Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (Netherlands)

The Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG) is a Dutch bank and local government funding agency, specialising in providing finance for publicly owned organisations.

It is ranked as the 4th in terms of assets in the Netherlands. The Dutch state owns 50 per cent of the company, while the remainder is owned by the municipalities and provinces.

The company was founded in 1914 in The Hague.

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Image: Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten.
Photographs: BNG website.

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3. Zurcher Kantonalbank (Switzerland)

Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) is the largest cantonal bank and fourth largest bank in Switzerland, with total assets of over CHF 110 billion.

ZKB, as an independent, incorporated public-law institution, is wholly owned by the Canton of Zurich.

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Image: Zurich Cantonal Bank.
Photographs: Zurich Cantonal Bank website.

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4. 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, related sectors thereof and rural areas.

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Image: Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank.
Photographs: Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank website.

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5. Caisse des Depots et Consignations (France)

The Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) is a French financial organization created in 1816, and part of the government institutions under the control of the Parliament.

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Image: Caisse des Depots et Consignations.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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6. Landeskreditbank Baden-Wurttemberg Forderbank (Germany)

Also known as L-Bank, it is committed to ensuring a high-performing economy, a high quality of life and a secure future.

6. Nederlandse Waterschapsbank (Netherlands)

Nederlandse Waterschapsbank N.V. (NWB Bank) is a leading financial services provider for the public sector.

The bank arranges short-term and long-term loans for municipal authorities, provinces, public housing, healthcare, educational institutions and activities in the field of water and the environment.

(Two banks share the 6th rank. A tie is assigned when two banks with the same score have total assets within a $5 billion range.)


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Image: NWB Bank
Photographs: NWB Bank website.

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7. Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat (Luxembourg)

Established by the Luxembourgish government in 1856 as a savings bank, it became a full service bank on 25 October 1944.

It offers all the services of a commercial bank, including retail banking and private banking.

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Image: Banque et Caisse d Epargne de l Etat.

Tags: , OLuxembourg

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8. Rabobank Group (Netherlands)

Rabobank Group is a full-range financial services provider that offers services on cooperative principles.  The Rabobank Group has around 59,700 employees, who serve about 10 million customers in 44 countries.

In terms of Tier I capital, Rabobank Group is among the world's 30 largest financial institutions. Rabobank is consistently awarded a high rating by all rating agencies.

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Image: Rabobank Group.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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9. NRW.Bank (Germany)

NRW.BANK is a major German commercial and investment bank. Its owners (guarantors) are the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Regional Associations of the Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe, and the Savings Banks and Giro Associations of the Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe. The bank was established in 1969.

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Image: NRW.Bank.


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10. Royal Bank of Canada (Canada)

The Royal Bank of Canada is the largest financial institution in Canada, as measured by deposits, revenues, and market capitalisation.

The bank serves 17 million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide. The bank was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Image: Royal Bank of Canada.


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11. Toronto-Dominion Bank (Canada)

The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the second-largest bank in Canada by market capitalization and assets. It is also the sixth largest bank branch network in North America. Commonly known as TD, the bank was created in 1955 through the merger of the Bank of Toronto and the Dominion Bank.

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Image: Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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12. National Australia Bank (Australia)

National Australia Bank is one of the four largest financial institutions in Australia in terms of market capitalisation and customers.

NAB is ranked 17th largest bank in the world measured by market capitalisation. It operates across 10 countries serving 8.3 million consumer and business banking customers.

12. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is a Australian multinational bank with businesses across New Zealand, Fiji, Asia, USA and the United Kingdom.

Commonly referred to as the Commonwealth Bank, it provides a variety of financial services including retail, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and broking services.

Founded in 1911 by the Australian government, the Commonwealth Bank is one of the 'big four' Australian banks.


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Image: National Australia Bank.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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13. Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)

Westpac registered as Westpac Banking Corporation is a multinational financial services, one of the Australian 'big four' banks and the second-largest bank in New Zealand.

As of November 2011, Westpac has 12.2 million customers, Australia's largest branch network with almost 1200 branches and a network with more than 2800 ATMs.

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Image: Westpac Banking Corporation.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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14. Scotiabank (Canada)

The Bank of Nova Scotia is the third largest bank in Canada by deposits and market capitalization.

It serves around 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world and offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.

With assets above $575 billion, Scotiabank trades on the Toronto and New York Exchanges.

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Image: Scotiabank.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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15. DBS Bank (Singapore)

DBS Bank was earlier known as The Development Bank of Singapore.

The bank was set up by Government of Singapore in June 1968 to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board.

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

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Image: DBS Bank.
Photographs: Reuters.

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16. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (Singapore)

The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation is one of Singapore's leading local banks, with group assets of more than 224 billion SGD.

It has one of the highest bank credit ratings in the region. The bank has more than 530 branches with representative offices in 15 countries and territories.

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Image: Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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17. United Overseas Bank (Singapore)

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has charted steady growth the past 76 years to establish itself as a leading bank in Singapore.

Today, the UOB Group has a network of more than 500 offices spanning 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America.

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Image: United Overseas Bank.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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18. Caisse centrale Desjardins (Canada)

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.

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Image: Caisse centrale Desjardins
Photographs: Caisse centrale Desjardins Website.

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19. HSBC Holdings (United Kingdom)

HSBC Holdings is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London.

As of 2011 it was the world's second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company according to Forbes magazine.

It has around 7,200 offices in 85 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America and around 89 million customers.

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Image: HSBC.
Photographs: Courtesy, HSBC website.

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20. Nordea Bank (Sweden)

Nordea Bank is a Stockholm-based financial services group operating in Northern Europe.

The bank is the result of the successive mergers and acquisitions of the Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian banks of Nordbanken, Merita Bank, Unibank and Kreditkassen (Christiania Bank) that took place between 1997 and 2000.

Nordea has more than 1,400 branches and is present in 19 countries around the world, operating through full service branches, subsidiaries and representative offices.



Image: Nordea Bank,
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons.

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