Best Banks In The World 2019: Banking Transformed

Global Finance presents its 26th annual awards for the World’s Best Banks, honoring winners in 149 countries and seven global regions, as well as eight regions of the US.

With its annual World’s Best Bank awards, Global Finance honors financial institutions that stand out in the qualities that corporations look for when choosing a bank. The winners are not necessarily the biggest banks, but rather, the best.

One common theme among many of this year’s winners is that they have taken the lead in adopting the latest banking technology to transform their institutions into banks of the future. They have expanded their digital and mobile channels and closed some of their brick-and-mortar branches.

“There’s a new kind of promise in the banking industry—and possibly no better time than now for transformation,” Deloitte says in its 2019 banking industry outlook. “Economic fundamentals are strong, the regulatory climate is favorable, and transformation technologies are more readily accessible, powerful and economical than ever before.”

Global corporate lending is growing in the US and Asia, although Europe remains in the doldrums. Competition for corporate loans is expected to intensify in 2019, along with further easing of credit underwriting standards in the first half of this year, Deloitte’s report says. “But given the higher likelihood of a downturn in the next several years, banks should adjust their risk appetite accordingly,” it adds. “To alleviate this risk, banks should strengthen their specialized lending expertise, which if executed well can result in a superior ability to screen, value collateral, structure loans to minimize potential losses and manage the workout of problem loans.”

The banking industry is on more solid ground today than when the global financial crisis hit more than a decade ago. There are, however, some signs of excess. Terms for leveraged loans have become more borrower-friendly, causing the leveraged loan market to surpass $1 trillion, rivaling the size of the high-yield market. No one knows what will happen if the economy tanks and these risky loans cannot be repaid.

Prudent lending standards were one factor Global Finance took into account when selecting the World’s Best Banks. All selections were made by the editors of Global Finance after extensive consultations with corporate financial executives, bankers and banking consultants, and analysts throughout the world. Banks were invited to submit entries supporting their selection. Our criteria included growth in assets, profitability, strategic relationships, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative products/solutions. In addition, a poll of Global Finance’s corporate readership was conducted in order to increase the accuracy and reliability of the results.



North America Citi
Latin America BBVA
Western Europe CaixaBank
Central & Eastern Europe UniCredit Group
Asia-Pacific OCBC
Middle East Arab Bank
Africa Standard Bank Group


Bermuda Butterfield Bank
Canada Royal Bank of Canada
United States Bank of America


Argentina Banco Santander Rio
Bahamas CIBC FirstCaribbean
Barbados RBC Royal Bank
Belize Belize Bank
Bolivia Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz
Brazil Bradesco
Chile Banco de Chile
Colombia Banco de Bogotá
Costa Rica BAC Credomatic
Dominican Republic Banreservas
Ecuador Produbanco
El Salvador Banco Cuscatlán
Guatemala Banco Agromercantil
Honduras Banco Ficohsa
Jamaica National Commercial Bank
Mexico Banorte
Nicaragua Banco LAFISE Bancentro
Panama Banco General
Paraguay Banco Itaú Paraguay
Peru BBVA Continental
Puerto Rico Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
Trinidad & Tobago Republic Bank
Turks & Caicos Scotiabank Turks & Caicos
Uruguay Santander Uruguay
US Virgin Islands FirstBank Virgin Islands


Andorra Credit Andorra
Austria BAWAG Group
Belgium BNP Paribas
Cyprus Hellenic Bank
Denmark Nordea Bank
Finland OP Financial Group
France Credit Mutuel
Germany Commerzbank
Greece Eurobank Ergasias
Iceland Landsbankinn
Ireland Bank of Ireland
Italy Intesa Sanpaolo
Liechtenstein LGT
Luxembourg Banque Internationale a Luxembourg
Malta Bank of Valletta
Monaco CFM Indosuez Wealth
Netherlands ABN Amro Bank
Norway DNB
Portugal Banco Santander Totta
Spain CaixaBank
Sweden Swedbank
Switzerland Credit Suisse
UK Lloyds Bank


Albania Banka Kombetare Tregtare
Belarus Priorbank
Bosnia & Hercegovina Raiffeisen Bank dd Bosnia i Hercegovina
Bulgaria UniCredit Bulbank
Croatia Zagrebacka banka
Czech Republic Ceska Sporitelna
Estonia SEB Pank
Hungary OTP Bank
Kosovo TEB Bank
Latvia SEB banka Latvia
Lithuania SEB Lithuania
Moldova Moldova Agroindbank
Montenegro Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka
North Macedonia Ohridska Banka Societe Generale
Poland Bank Millennium
Romania Banca Transilvania
Russia Credit Bank of Moscow
Serbia Banca Intesa Beograd
Slovakia Tatra banka
Slovenia SKB Group
Turkey Akbank
Ukraine Raiffeisen Bank Aval


Afghanistan AIB
Armenia Ardshin Bank
Australia Westpac
Azerbaijan PASHA Bank
Bangladesh The City Bank
Brunei Darussalam Baiduri Bank
Cambodia ABA Bank
China ICBC
Georgia TBC Bank
Hong Kong The Bank of East Asia
India State Bank of India
Indonesia Bank Mandiri
Japan SMBC
Kazakhstan Forte Bank
Kyrgyzstan Optima Bank
Macau ICBC Macau
Malaysia Public Bank
Mongolia Khan Bank
Myanmar CB Bank
Nepal Rastrija Banija
New Zealand ASB Bank
Pakistan Meezan Bank
Philippines BDO Unibank
Singapore DBS Bank
South Korea KEB Hana Bank
Sri Lanka Commercial Bank of Ceylon
Taiwan Cathay United
Thailand Bangkok Bank
Uzbekistan Asia Alliance Bank
Vietnam Maritime Bank


Bahrain Ahli United Bank
Egypt Commercial International Bank
Iraq Trade Bank of Iraq
Israel Bank Hapoalim
Jordan Arab Bank
Kuwait National Bank of Kuwait
Lebanon BLOM Bank
Oman Bank Muscat
Palestine Bank of Palestine
Qatar Qatar National Bank
Saudi Arabia Samba Financial Group
United Arab Emirates Mashreq
Yemen Arab Bank Yemen


Algeria Al Baraka Bank of Algeria
Angola Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA)
Benin Societe Generale Benin
Botswana Standard Chartered Bank Botswana
Burkina Faso United Bank for Africa
Cameroon Société Générale Cameroun
Côte d’Ivoire Societe Generale Côte d’Ivoire
DR Congo Rawbank
Djibouti CAC International Bank
Ethiopia Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Gambia Ecobank Gambia
Ghana Zenith Bank
Guinea Société Générale de Banques en Guinée
Kenya KCB Bank Kenya
Madagascar BNI Madagascar
Malawi National Bank of Malawi
Mali Bank of Africa
Mauritius Mauritius Commercial Bank
Morocco Attijariwafa Bank
Mozambique Millennium bim
Namibia First National Bank of Namibia
Nigeria Guaranty Trust Bank
Rwanda I&M Bank Rwanda
Senegal Société Générale de banques au Sénégal
Sierra Leone Union Trust
South Africa Standard Bank
Tanzania CRDB Bank
Togo Ecobank Togo
Tunisia Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie
Uganda Stanbic Bank Uganda
Zambia Barclays Bank Zambia
Zimbabwe CBZ Bank


Far West Union Bank
Great Lakes US Bancorp
Mid-Atlantic PNC Bank
New England Rockland Trust
Plains US Bancorp
Rocky Mountain Zions Bancorp
Southeast United Bankshares
Southwest Comerica


Global Finance editors, with input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts, selected the winners for the Best Bank Awards using entries provided by banks and other providers, as well as independent research, based on a series of objective and subjective factors. It is not necessary to enter in order to win, but experience shows that the additional information supplied in an entry can increase the chance of success. In many cases, entrants are able to present details and insights that may not be readily available to the editors of Global Finance.

Judgements were based on performance over the period from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. We applied an algorithm to shorten the list of contenders and arrived at a numerical score, with 100 equivalent to perfection. The proprietary algorithm includes criteria—such as knowledge of local conditions and customer needs, financial strength and safety, strategic relationships and governance, competitive pricing, capital investment and innovation in products and services—weighted for relative importance.

Once we have narrowed the field, our final criteria include scope of global coverage, size of staff, customer service, risk management, range of products and services, execution skills and smart use of technology. In the case of a tie, our bias leans toward a local provider rather than a global institution. We also tend to favor privately owned banks over government-owned institutions. The winners are those banks and providers that best serve the specialized needs of corporations as they engage in global business. The winners are not always the biggest institutions, but rather the best—those with qualities that companies should look for when choosing a provider.