The World’s Best Banks 2009

The global banking industry is a diverse landscape of financial services – consumer, corporate, investment – but with so many players in the marketplace, which are the best in each segment?

To answer this question, Global Finance Magazine ranked the world’s best banks, using both objective and subjective criteria. The objective criteria include growth in assets, profitability, geographic reach, strategic relationships, new business development and product innovation. The subjective ones include equity and credit-rating analysts. Global finance has also identified the best bank in each of 123 individual countries.

By Paul Toscano
Posted 16 Sept 2009


Best Private Bank

Credit Suisse – Zurich, Switzerland

Private banks offer financial services such as investments to private individuals investing sizable assets. This is different from retail banking as business is conducted on a personal, rather than a mass-market level. According to Global Finance, the world’s best private bank is Zurich-based Credit Suisse.


Best Corporate Bank

JPMorgan Chase – New York, USA

Also listed by Global Finance as the best bank in the United States, JPMorgan has a market cap of approximately $173 billion. The bank’s commercial arm provides infrastructure for corporations, municipalities, financial institutions and not-for-profit entities.


Best Trade Finance Bank

BNP Paribas – Paris, France

Trade finance services of banks manage the capital necessary for international trade to be transacted, providing financing between importers and exporters through letters of credit, reducing risk in these transactions.

BNP Paribas has a presence in 85 countries, according to the company. The bank’s finances operation ensures the receipt of payments, mitigates politcal risk, managest liquidity and seeks to minimize exchange rate risk.


Best Consumer Bank

HSBC – London, UK

The term "consumer bank" is the traditional definition of a bank, one which accepts deposits, makes loans and offers related services such as personal checking and savings accounts. The London-based bank has around 8,500 offices in 86 countries with a consumer base of 41 million people worldwide, according to the company.


Best Asset Management Bank

State Street Global Advisors – Boston, USA

Also known as investment management, this type of bank manages securities and assets of investors (both private and corporate) to reach specific investment goals, with investments ranging from stocks and bonds to real estate and currencies. State Street has 2,763 institutional clients with $1.6 trillion in assets under management, as of June 30th, 2009.


Best Foreign Exchange Bank

Deutsche Bank – Frankfurt, Germany

Foreign exchange banks deal with international transactions such as importing goods, trading foreign currencies, buying international real-estate and even personal travel. The biggest operation for a foreign exchange bank operation would be in the buying and selling of currencies.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche commands one of the largest FOREX market shares in the world, according the the company.


Best Cash Management Bank

Citi – New York, USA

When a bank provides cash management services, it is generally in the form of bank and checking accounts for large businesses, including services such as automated clearing house facilities (ACH) and zero balance accounting. Citigroup’s cash management and Treasury services unit primarily manages cash flow and streamlines accounting processes.


Best Investment Bank

J.P. Morgan – New York, USA

The investment banking arm of JPMorganChase is tops in this category. The operation has branches on every continent, offering M&A advisory, capital markets, prime brokerage, restructuring, risk and research. According to the bank, it has advised 127 M&A transactions globally, with $321 billion in transactions in the first half of 2009.


Best Custody Bank

The Bank of NY Mellon – New York, USA

Custody banks, also known as custodian banks, are responsible for safeguarding financial assets. Bank of New York, identified earlier this year as the Safest Bank in the US by Global Finance , commands a market cap of $35.6 billion. The bank has $20.7 trillion in assets under custody or administration, according to the company.


Best Sub-Custody Bank

HSBC – London, UK

A sub-custody bank (also known as a sub-custodian bank) operates outside the U.S. but through the use of American Depository Receipts, shares of foreign companies listed on American exchanges.

HSBC’s sub-custody and clearing business operates in 39 markets in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, providing services to global custodians, fund managers and broker dealers, according the the company.


Best Emerging Markets Bank

Standard Chartered Bank – London, UK

Emerging market banks have most of their business and/or profits tied to developing economies around the world. TStandard Chartered has operated for more than 150 years in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, offering consumer, wholesale, Islamic and small business banking services.

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