The full results of this exclusive survey will be published in the November issue of Global Finance magazine. 


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Global Finance has announced the 26th annual Safest Bank Awards 2017. The rankings include the world’s 50 safest banks for 2017. The winning banks were selected from among the 500 largest banks worldwide by their asset size. The rankings were based on a through evaluation of long-term foreign currency ratings from global rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

In addition to the safest banks in the world, the full survey also released rankings like that for world's safest banks by country, world’s 50 safest commercial banks, 50 safest banks in emerging markets, safest Islamic financial institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and safest banks by region (Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central & Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Middle East, Latin America and North America ). A full list of the press releases for the awards with limited information can be found in the table below. 


Andrew Cunnigham, founder and director of UK based Darien Analytics and consultant to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has been preparing the ranking for the magazine since 2011.  He informed that the banks this year had to have assets of $14 bn or more to be considered eligible for being ranked among the world's top safest 50 banks. They also needed to get three A1 ratings from the rating agencies mentioned above. Cunnigham mentioned that some of the highlights for this year's list included downgrades for "some of the Canadian, Australian and big Chinese banks where as upgrates were more of a bank by bank story." The full rankings and their details will be released in the November issue of the Global Finance magazine. The safest banks will be presented awards at a special ceremony to be held during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, DC on October 14 at the National Press Club. 

Key Highlights

Some of the key highlights from this year's ranking for world's 50 safest banks  included the domination of the list by European banks. They took all top 10 positions.  German banks were especially strong taking five spots on the top 10 list. Also, Germany’s KfW came in at the top spot for the sixth year in a row. 

Asian banks too put in a strong showing in the top 20 led by Singapore’s DBS Bank at #11. Singapore's OCBC and United Overseas Bank came in at number 13 and 14 respectively.  Korea's Korea Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of Korea took positions 15 and 16 repsectively. In the Middle East, First Abu Dhabi Bank became the top ranking bank in the UAE after National Bank of Abu Dhabi’ merged with First Gulf Bank. First Abu Dhabi had assets of  $186 billion at the end of March 2017.

Among the new entries to the safest banks list this year include AgFirst and Farm Credit Bank of Texas at #43 and #45, LGT Bank from Liechtenstein at #44 and Bank für Sozialwirtschaft from Germany at #4. 

The video below presents a quick look at the methodology used and some other key highlights from this year's rankings.