Top 10 Safest Banks
In The World In 2012.

A World's Safest Banks survey has been compiled by Global Finance Magazine each year for the past 21 years.

Based mainly on asset size, and the "long-term currency ratings issued by Fitch, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's", the survey compared the 500 largest banks world-wide before releasing their Global Finance Top 50 Safest Banks for 2012.

What was very interesting about last year's pick is that all the Top 10 spots in 2012 were filled by European Banks.

Surprised? Well may you ask...

  • "So... Why have investors been dumping European banking stocks in the wake of the ongoing European Union Crisis?"

  • "Can the ratings currently being applied by Fitch, S & P, and Moody's be relied upon... after all, didn't they get it totally wrong in the US sub-prime debacle?"

  • "Will the governments backing some of these banks remain solvent?"

  • "Which governments risk having their rating slashed if the European Crisis isn't resolved?"

  • "Might they join other nations that have had credit ratings cut recently?"

    ... like the USA (cut from AAA to AA+ by S & P),
    ... like France (cut from Aaa to Aa1 by Moody's, and AAA to AA- by S & P),
    ... like Italy (cut from A3 to Baa2 by Moody's... 2 levels above "junk"),
    ... like Spain (cut from BBB+ to BBB- by S & P... 1 level above "junk").

Top 10 Safest Banks In 2012:

1. KfW... assets $640 billion.

Country: Germany... owned by Federal Republic of Germany & Federal States.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AAA S & P, Aaa Moody's.

2. Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (BNG)... assets $177 billion.

Country: Nederlands... owned by Dutch Government & Municipalities.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AAA S & P, Aaa Moody's.

3. Zurcher Kantonalbank... assets $143 billion.

Country: Germany... owned by Canton of Zurich.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AAA S & P, Aaa Moody's.

4. Rentenbank... assets $115 billion.

Country: Germany... supervised by German Federal Government & Federal Financial Supervisory Agency.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AAA S & P, Aaa Moody's.

5. L-Bank (LBBW)... assets $88 billion.

Country: Germany... owned by Federal State of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AAA S & P, Aaa Moody's.

6. Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC)... assets $348 billion.

Country: France... under French Parliament supervision and guarantee.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AA+ S & P, Aaa Moody's.

7. Nederlandse Waterschapsbank... assets $88 billion.

Country: Netherlands... owned by Dutch State, local authorities,and public bodies .

Credit Rating: N/R Fitch, AAA S & P, Aaa Moody's.

8. NRW.BANK... assets $195 billion.

Country: Germany... owned by State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Credit Rating: AAA Fitch, AA- S & P, Aa1 Moody's.

9. Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat (BCEE)... assets $52 billion.

Country: Luxembourg... owned by Luxembourgish Government.

Credit Rating: N/R Fitch, AA+ S & P, Aa1 Moody's.

10. Rabobank... assets $947 billion.

Country: Netherlands... a private sector bank.

Credit Rating: AA Fitch, AA S & P, Aa2 Moody's.

* Caveat... more credit rating cuts are likely to come as the stronger European nations cling desperately to their credit ratings while trying to prop up the weaker nations in the EU.

Should the present Global Financial Crisis not be resolved soon the world risks sliding deeper into recession. The spectre would then arise of more insolvencies and downgrades.

Top 30 Safest Banks In 2012:

11. TD Bank Group... assets $736 billion... Canada... AA-, AA-, Aaa.

12. Bank of Nova Scotia... assets $597 billion... Canada... AA-,AA-, Aa1.

13. DBS Bank... assets $262 billion... Singapore... AA-, AA-, Aa1.

14. Oversea-Chinese Bank Corp... assets $213 bn... Singapore... AA-, AA-, Aa1.

15. United Overseas Bank... assets $182 billion... Singapore... AA-, AA-, Aa1.

16. Caisse centrale Desjardins... assets $30 billion... Canada... AA-, AA-, Aa1.

17. Royal Bank Canada... assets $797 billion... Canada... AA, AA-, Aa3.

18. National Australia Bank... assets $738 billion... Australia... AA-, AA-, Aa2.

19. Commonwealth Bank of Australia... $718 bn... Australia... AA-, AA-, Aa2.

20. Westpac Bank Corp... assets $656 billion... Australia... AA-, AA-, Aa2.

21. ANZ Group... assets $582 billion... Australia... AA-, AA-, Aa2.

22. Kiwibank... assets $12 billion... New zealand... AA, AA-, Aa3.

23. HSBC Holdings... $2,556 bn... UK... 2nd largest in the world... AA, A+, Aa3.

24. Nordea... assets $927 billion... Sweden... AA-, AA-, Aa3.

25. Bank of Montreal... assets $503 billion... Canada... AA-, A+, Aa2.

26. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce... $386 bn... Canada... AA-, A+, Aa2.

27. Svenska Handelsbanken... assets $358 billion... Sweden... AA-, AA-, Aa3.

28. China Development Bank... assets $992 billion... China... A+, AA-, Aa3.

29. Bank New York Mellon Corp... assets $326 billion... USA... AA-, A+, Aa3.

30. Agricultural Development Bank China... $310 billion.... A+, AA-, Aa3.

So only one American bank made it into the 2012 Top 30 Safest Banks at No. 29. And the only other American banks to make the 2012 Top 50 Safest Banks were:

32. CoBank, ACB... assets $64 billion.... AA-, AA-, N/R.

37. U.S. Bancorp... $340 billion.... AA-, A, Aa3.

39. Northern Trust Corp... $101 billion.... AA-, A+, A1.

48. Wells Fargo... $1,400 billion.... 4th largest in U.S... AA-, A+, A2.

Too Big To Fail?

Banking deregulation over the past three decades allowed some of the world's biggest banks to increase their asset base by aggressively expanding into sub-prime mortgage securities, credit default swaps and other derivative financial instruments.

The Global Financial Crisis exposed the reality that many of these "assets" were of very questionable quality.

So we see Citigroup (with current "assets" of $1,873 billion), and which ranked 11th in the 2007 Top 50 Safest Banks, miss the cut in 2012. In June 2012 Citigroup was relegated by Moody's to a rating of Baa2... close to "junk".

JPMorgan Chase (current "assets" $2,265 billion) ranked 34th in last year's Top 50 Safest Banks. This year it misses out and scores a credit rating from Moody's of Aa3.

Bank of America (current "assets" $2,129 billion) also misses the Top 50 Safest Banks cut and cops a close-to-junk rating of Baa1 from Moody's.

Meanwhile, Spain's financial woes account for Banco Santander (current "assets" $1,619 billion) falling out of the Top 50 Safest Banks in 2012 (10th last year); Deutsche Bank fails make the cut this year (33rd last year); and two Italian banks Cassa Depsoiti e Prestiti (31st last year) and Intesa Sanpaolo (37th last year) also miss out.

Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher of Global Finance explains:

"Counterparty creditworthiness is a critical issue for companies and investors worldwide. More than ever, companies around the world are evaluating the long-term credit strength of their banks, and partnering only with those banks that have proven strength and stability".

Published on 22 Jun 2012 by IBTimesUK.
Rating's agency Moody's has downgraded 15 of the world's top banks, including three British banks, Barclays, RBS and HSBC. Other banks to see their ratings cut include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Four banks including RBS and HGSBC suffered a ratings cut by one notch on Moody's ranking scale. Barclays was one of ten banks to have their rating reduced by two notches. Credit Suisse was marked down by three notches. The banks' exposure to volatility in the world's financial markets was cited as the reason for the downgrade.

Published on 21 Jun 2012 by PressTV.
The world's biggest banks... Too Big To Fail?

World's Safest Banks.

In turbulent times investors seek out the world's safest banks because they are worried primarily about the return of their investment, and secondly the return on their investment.

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