The Strategist

The Best Banks in the World

03/18/2016 - 14:40

Global Finance has published a list of winners of the 2016 World's Banks ranking. This is a list of the best banks providing services in different regions of the world.

Ildar Sagdejev
Ildar Sagdejev
Recently, due to the high volatility in the markets, many banks found themselves in a difficult situation, with which they cope with varying degrees of success and creativity.

According to recent studies of banking assets in dollars, many of them have experienced a real shock, including even the largest and seemingly invulnerable banks of the world.

The study identified the best banks in different regions of the world: North America, Western Europe, Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Among the criteria to determine the best banks were growth in assets, profitability, strategic relationships, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative products.

In addition, they used subjective criteria, such as opinions of analysts, banking consultants and others who have experience in this area.

North America - Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is one of the largest US banks. It provides financial services and life insurance in America, as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico.

Nowadays, Wells Fargo has more than 6 thousand offices. The number of its depositors is more than 23 million.

The bank was established relatively recently - in 1998 – through the merger of the Californian company Wells Fargo & Co. and a company from Minneapolis called Norwest. The bank inherited its name and symbol from the most famous of the parent companies.

Today the bank provides financial and insurance services of almost any nature. Due to the constant expansion of range, it manages to fully meet needs of its customers.

It is noteworthy that Wells Fargo was one of the first banks in the world to allow its investors to manage their accounts via internet (1995).

Despite the fact that the bank became the leader of the whole region, the second largest market in the region - Canada – has got its own winner (Royal Bank of Canada).

Western Europe - ING

ING Groep N.V. is the Dutch financial conglomerate providing services in the field of banking, insurance and property management.

ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep (International Netherlands Group).

As for leading banks in different countries, there are the following: Credit Andorra (Andorra), Erste Bank (Austria), Hellenic Bank (Cyprus), Credit Mutuel (France), Commerzbank (Germany), Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy), Banco Santander Totta (Portugal), Caixa Bank (Spain), Santander (UK).

ING Bank itself has become a leader in the Netherlands.

Northern Europe - Nordea

Nordea Bank AB is the Swedish commercial bank, an international financial group, one of the largest in Northern Europe. The headquarters is based in Stockholm.

The organization was formed in the period from 1997 to 2000 as a result of mergers and purchases of banks of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway (Nordbanken, Merita Bank, Unibank and Christiania Bank). Since the mid-2000s, the bank has created subsidiaries in the Baltic countries, Poland and Russia.

Nordea Bank’s network includes more than 1,400 branches and offices in 19 countries around the world. The Group serves 11 million private and 700 thousand corporate clients.

The bank’s corporate divisions work in Germany (Frankfurt), the UK (London), Singapore, China (Shanghai) and the USA (New York).

International Private Banking division headquarters in Luxembourg, with offices in Belgium (Brussels), France (Cannes), Luxembourg, Spain (Fuengirola and Malaga), Switzerland (Zurich).

There are 5.9 million internet-banking customers, who annually make more than 560 million payments.

The Bank is also a leader in Norway.

If we talk about other countries in the region, there are the following: Danske Bank (Denmark), Pohjola Bank (Finland), Landsbankinn (Iceland), SEB (Sweden).

Central and Eastern Europe - Erste Group

Erste Bank is the Austrian retail bank with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. This is the oldest bank of Erste Group Bank AG Financial Group.

In addition, Erste Bank is often understood as the entire banking business of Erste Group Bank AG financial group with a lot of subsidiary banks in Central and Eastern Europe.

Erste Group Bank AG Holding is one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe.

The bank AG focuses on retail banking and the financial support of small and medium-sized businesses. It has more than 50 thousand employees and more than 3,200 offices in 8 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and Ukraine) .

Leaders of different countries are "Alfa-Bank" (Ukraine), Nordea (Latvia and Estonia), "Credit Bank of Moscow" (Russia), Reiffeisen (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina), and others.

Latin America - BBVA

BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) - the second largest banking group in Spain after Santander. It provides a full range of banking services to all categories of customers, including retail and corporate banking services, asset management and insurance.

Like other Spanish companies, the bank holds a dominant position in the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, also having a strong presence in the southern European countries, particularly in Italy and Portugal.

The bank was the best in Latin America, according to Global Finance.

Currently, BBVA is aimed at overseas expansion and has more than 7.5 thousand of offices in more than 30 countries.

The bank employs more than 104 thousand people who serve more than 47 million customers and 900 thousand shareholders.

BBVA traces its history to 1857, when the Board of Trade of Spain financed the establishment of Banco de Bilbao, the monetary emission and discount bank.

The banking group known as of BBVA was established in 1999 by merger of Argentaria bank and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya.

Scotiabank became the leader of in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands.

In addition, we can single out Santander - the leader in Uruguay, Mexico. BBVA has become a leader in Venezuela and Peru.

Asia-Pacific - Bank of China

The second largest Chinese bank Bank of China (BoC) held its IPO in June 2006 on the Hong Kong stock market, having earned on this more than 8 billion euros.

The country’s government owns controlling stake in the bank. Among the major shareholders of Bank of China are the state investment fund Temasek of Singapore, Asian Development Bank, the Swiss UBS and Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland.

Currently, Bank of China is a commercial bank, one of the Chinese five largest state-owned banks. In terms of assets, it is ranked second after Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.

The bank is also one of the twenty largest banks in the world. It has more than 13 thousand offices in China and 550 representative offices in 25 other countries.

The main business is corporate and retail lending; the bank is also engaged in investment banking, insurance and cards service. The region’s leaders are ICBC (the leader in China, Macau), City (Bangladesh).

Middle East - Arab Bank

Arab Bank was established in 1930 in Jerusalem, Palestine.

Over time, the bank's branch network has covered most of the Arab countries. The bank's head office was transferred to Amman, Jordan, in 1948

Creation of Arab Bank (Swizerland) in 1962 marked beginning of Arab Bank’s expansion in the international financial markets.

Currently, the bank has a network of offices, subsidiaries and branches of banks operating in the major financial centers of the world.

The Bank has become a leader in Jordan and Yemen.

Africa - Standard Bank

Standard Bank was founded in 1862 in South Africa and is one of the largest companies in the sphere of financial and banking services in emerging markets.

The bank's assets exceed $ 175 billion. Market cap is about $ 20 billion; its 46 thousand employees serve customers in 37 countries, with 11 thousand employees are working in countries outside of Africa.

International operations centers are located in London, Hong Kong, Brazil, Argentina, New York, Moscow and Shanghai.

Bank is headquartered in Johannesburg (South Africa). The organization has become a leader in Mauritius, Namibia, Angola, Uganda.

Among regional leaders can also be noted banks such as Societe Generale (Algeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal), Ecobank (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Togo), Standard Chartered Bank (Gambia, Zambia), Bank of Africa (Madagascar, Mali).