BRIGHT STARS


By Thomas Clouse, Jonathan Gregson, Antonio Guerrero & Gordon Platt

Following a year that included some of the biggest scandals in banking history—the London Whale, the Libor rate-fixing scandal, widespread money laundering, insider trading, rogue trading and outright fraud—it is reassuring to focus on the positive side of the financial services industry. In our 20th annual survey, Global Finance has identified the best banks in 136 countries and eight regions of the world. These are the banks that put their customers first and help them to succeed in a still-challenging global economic environment.

150x170-Features 14-Awards_Best-Banks In North America, Canada’s strongly capitalized and well-managed banks have continued to prosper—although a few have seen ratings downgrades. US banks have benefited from improved asset quality and an incipient housing recovery. Loan losses have begun to recede.

In Europe, however, the sovereign debt crisis and lack of economic growth continues to weigh on the banking industry. It is unclear whether the bailout of Cyprus means that large depositors will be forced to bear part of the costs of future bank rescues elsewhere in the eurozone.

In the Middle East, banks are performing quite well, and oil-producing countries’ economies are growing strongly. Islamic finance is in persistent demand. Africa’s banks are leaping ahead with the introduction of mobile-banking systems in previously unbanked rural areas. The continent’s natural resources are attracting growing investment from Asia, where economic growth remains respectable.

More than five years after the start of the global financial crisis, a number of regulatory reforms are under way to make the financial system safer. The fact remains, however, that there is no global regulator and that central banks have kept the system afloat with easy money. It remains to be seen if the system can stand on its own once this support is removed.

Now more than ever, customers must depend on trustworthiness and excellence in execution from their banking partners. In selecting the world’s best banks, we relied on input from industry analysts, corporate executives and banking consultants, as well as research by Global Finance’s reporters and editors. Our criteria included knowledge of local conditions and customer needs, growth in assets, profitability, strategic relationships, staff experience, innovative products, competitive pricing, level of nonperforming loans and effective use of technology. The winners are not always the biggest banks, but rather, the best—those with the qualities that corporations should look for when choosing a banking partner.

GLOBAL WINNERS
North America Royal Bank of Canada
Nordic Region Nordea
Middle East National Bank of Kuwait
Latin America Banco Santander
Western Europe BNP Paribas
CEE Raiffeisen Bank International
Asia HSBC
Africa Ecobank Transnational

COUNTRY WINNERS-DEVELOPED MARKETS

NORTH AMERICA
Bermuda HSBC Bank Bermuda
Canada Royal Bank of Canada
United States Bank of America


EUROPE
Austria Bank Austria
Belgium BNP Paribas Fortis
France BNP Paribas
Germany Deutsche Bank
Greece National Bank of Greece
Ireland Bank of Ireland
Italy Intesa Sanpaolo
Luxembourg Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat
Malta Bank of Valletta
Netherlands ING
Portugal Banco Santander Totta
Spain BBVA
Switzerland Credit Suisse
United Kingdom Barclays


NORDIC REGION
Denmark Danske Bank
Finland Nordea
Norway Nordea Bank Norge
Sweden Nordea Hypotek


ASIA/PACIFIC AND MIDDLE EAST
Australia ANZ Group
Hong Kong HSBC
Israel Bank Hapoalim
Japan Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
New Zealand Kiwibank
Singapore

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

COUNTRY WINNERS-EMERGING MARKETS

LATIN AMERICA
Argentina Banco Macro
Barbados Scotiabank Barbados
Belize Belize Bank
Bolivia Banco de Crédito de Bolivia
Brazil Banco Bradesco
Chile Banco Santander Chile
Colombia Bancolombia
Costa Rica Banco BAC San José
Dominican Republic Banco Popular Dominicano
Ecuador Banco Pichincha
El Salvador Banco Agrícola
Guatemala Banco Industrial
Honduras Banco Atlántida
Jamaica Scotiabank Jamaica
Mexico Banamex
Nicaragua Banco Lafise Bancentro
Panama Banco General
Paraguay Banco Itaú Paraguay
Peru BBVA Continental
Puerto Rico Banco Santander Puerto Rico
Trinidad & Tobago Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Scotiabank Turks & Caicos
Uruguay Banco Santander Uruguay
US Virgin Islands Scotiabank USVI
Venezuela BBVA Banco Provincial

CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
Albania Raiffeisen Bank Albania
Belarus Belarusbank
Bosnia & Herzegovina Raiffeisen Bank dd Bosnia i Hercegovina
Bulgaria UniCredit Bulbank
Croatia Privedna banka Zagreb
Czech Republic Česká spořitelna
Estonia DnB
Hungary OTP Bank
Kosovo Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo
Latvia SEB Latvia
Lithuania Nordea Banka Lietuva
Macedonia Komercijalna Banka AD Skopje
Moldova Moldova Agroindbank
Poland BRE Bank
Romania Raiffeisen Bank Romania
Russia Sberbank
Serbia Raiffeisen Bank Serbia
Slovakia Slovenská sporiteľňa
Slovenia Nova Ljubljanska Banka
Turkey Garanti Bank
Ukraine PrivatBank

ASIA-PACIFIC
Armenia Ameriabank
Azerbaijan AccessBank
Bangladesh Prime Bank
Brunei Darussalam Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam
Cambodia Acleda Bank
China Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
Georgia TBC Bank
India HDFC Bank
Indonesia Bank Central Asia
Kazakhstan Halyk Bank
Kyrgyz Republic Demir Kyrgyz International Bank
Macau ICBC Macau
Malaysia Maybank
Mongolia Golomt Bank
Pakistan United Bank
Philippines Bank of the Philippine Islands
South Korea Shinhan Bank
Sri Lanka Commercial Bank of Ceylon
Taiwan CTBC Bank
Thailand Siam Commercial Bank
Uzbekistan HamkorBank
Vietnam VietinBank

MIDDLE EAST
Bahrain Ahli United Bank
Egypt Commercial International Bank
Iraq Commercial Bank of Iraq
Jordan Arab Bank
Kuwait National Bank of Kuwait
Lebanon Bank Audi
Oman BankMuscat
Palestine Bank of Palestine
Qatar Qatar National Bank
Saudi Arabia Samba Financial Group
United Arab Emirates National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Yemen Arab Bank Yemen

AFRICA
Algeria Arab Banking Corporation Algeria
Angola Banco Espírito Santo Angola
Botswana Standard Chartered Bank Botswana
Burkina Faso Ecobank Burkina Faso
Cameroon United Bank for Africa (Cameroon)
Côte d'Ivoire Ecobank Côte d'Ivoire
DR Congo Standard Bank Congo
Djibouti International Commercial Bank (Djibouti)
Ethiopia Nib International Bank
Gambia Standard Chartered Bank Gambia
Ghana Ecobank Ghana
Guinea Ecobank Guinea Conakry
Kenya Barclays Bank of Kenya
Madagascar Bank of Africa-Madagascar
Mali Bank of Africa-Mali
Mauritius Mauritius Commercial Bank
Morocco Attijariwafa Bank
Mozambique Millennium bim
Namibia Standard Bank Namibia
Nigeria FirstBank of Nigeria
Rwanda Banque Commerciale du Rwanda
Senegal United Bank for Africa (Senegal)
Sierra Leone International Commercial Bank (Sierra Leone)
South Africa Standard Bank
Togo Ecobank Togo
Tunisia Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie
Uganda Stanbic Bank Uganda
Zambia Standard Chartered Bank Zambia
Zimbabwe Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe

alt Awards: World's Best Banks 2013