World’s 50 Safest Banks Include Few From U.S.

The top 50 safest banks in the world include few U.S. banks making the list. According to a study conducted by Global Finance magazine, European banks are significantly safer than their American peers, with German and Dutch claiming a combined 7 out of the top 10 spots. The Wall Street Journal noted that nine banks in the top ten are state-backed entities.

None of the top 10 banks on the Global Finance list are from North America. Only five U.S. banks made the top 50 list, including Bank of New York Mellon (ranked highest on the list at #29), CoBank (#32), US Bank (#37), Northern Trust (#39) and Wells Fargo (#48). Wells Fargo was the only U.S. megabank to make the rankings. Canadian banks are performed better, with seven banks breaking into the top 50, including all five of the nation’s biggest. The first publicly traded bank on the list is Canada’s TD Bank at No. 11.

The rankings assigned by Global Finance were calculated by evaluating the assets and long-term credit ratings of the 500 largest banks worldwide. Data from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch were used in the analysis. The full report evaluates the safest banks in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America, Latin America and Australasia.

Credit ratings and rankings of most European banks have suffered except for those at the very top of the list which have explicit guarantees from AAA rated governments. German banks performed strongly at the top of the list this year, taking three of the top five spots, and four out of the top eight. The Netherlands also performed well, with three banks in the top ten. For the first time ever, a bank from New Zealand made it onto Global Finance’s World’s 50 Safest Banks list.

Banks from Singapore are the strongest in Asia, and from Chile in Latin America.

World’s 50 Safest Banks 2012

 1. KfW (Germany)
 2. Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG) (Netherlands)
 3. Zürcher Kantonalbank (Switzerland)
 4. Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank (Germany)
 5. Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg – Förderbank (L-Bank) (Germany)
 6. Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) (France)
 7. Nederlandse Waterschapsbank (Netherlands)
 8. NRW.BANK (Germany)
 9. Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat (Luxembourg)
10. Rabobank Group (Netherlands)
11. TD Bank Group (Canada)
12. Bank of Nova Scotia (Canada)
13. DBS Bank (Singapore)
14. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) (Singapore)
15. United Overseas Bank (Singapore)
16. Caisse centrale Desjardins (Canada)
17. Royal Bank of Canada (Canada)
18. National Australia Bank (Australia)
19. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
20. Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)
21. Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) (Australia)
22. Kiwibank (New Zealand)
23. HSBC Holdings (United Kingdom)
24. Nordea (Sweden)
25. Bank of Montreal (Canada)
26. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (Canada)
27. Svenska Handelsbanken (Sweden)
28. China Development Bank (China)
29. Bank of New York Mellon Corp (United States)
30. Agricultural Development Bank of China (China)
31. National Bank of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
32. CoBank ACB (United States)
33. Pohjola Bank (Finland)
34. National Bank of Kuwait (Kuwait)
35. DZ Bank (Germany)
36. Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel (BFCM) (France)
37. U.S. Bancorp (United States)
38. National Bank of Canada (Canada)
39. Northern Trust Corp (United States)
40. Qatar National Bank (Qatar)
41. Samba Financial Group (Saudi Arabia)
42. BancoEstado (Chile)
43. La Banque Postale (France)
44. Bank of Taiwan (Taiwan)
45. Shizuoka Bank (Japan)
46. Banco de Chile (Chile)
47. BNP Paribas (France)
48. Wells Fargo (United States)
49. Standard Chartered (United Kingdom)
50. SEB (Sweden)

Safest Banks in North America

 1. TD Bank (Canada)
 2. Bank of Nova Soctia (Canada)
 3. Caisse Centrale Desjardins (Canada)
 4. RBC (Canada)
 5. Bank of Montreal (Germany)
 6. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (Canada)
 7. Bank of New York Mellon (United States)
 8. CoBank (United States)
 9. US Bank (United States)
10. National Bank of Canada (Canada)
11. Northern Trust (United States)
12. Wells Fargo (United States)
13. State Street (United States)

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