World’s Best Sub-Custodian Banks 2020

Subcustodians make cross-border securities investing possible. Global Finance recognizes the best of them around the world.

The only way a global custodian can be truly global is by relying on subcustodian banks in markets where it is not represented or where it’s barred by regulatory constraints. These agent banks have deep knowledge of local business and market conditions, including regulatory developments. They make cross-border securities investing possible by offering a wide range of administrative services including payments, corporate actions processing, proxy voting, transfer agency services, accounting and market insights and advice.

This is the 18th year that Global Finance has selected the World’s Best Subcustodian Banks, recognizing institutions that provide top-notch securities services to global clients. In this year’s survey, the Best Subcustodian Banks are identified in seven global regions and 82 countries.


In selecting the institutions that reliably provide the best services in 82 countries and seven regions of the world, Global Finance’s editorial board considered market research, input from expert sources and entry information from the banks themselves. Criteria included customer service, competitive pricing, smooth handling of exception items, technology platforms, post-settlement operations, business continuity plans and knowledge of local markets, regulations and practices. Performance was judged over the calendar year 2019.



CIBC Mellon

This 50-50 joint venture between BNY Mellon, one of the world’s largest custodians, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce serves Canadian investors and global investors whose clients invest in Canada. Its operations and technology platform, provided by BNY Mellon, provides economies of scale and service not available to CIBC Mellon’s domestic competitors. The provider distinguishes itself with strong risk management, deep understanding of local conditions and outstanding client service.

“We are proud and honored to be recognized as the leading subcustodian in Canada and as the best subcustodian in North America,” says Steven Wolff, CEO of CIBC Mellon. “This accomplishment is a powerful testament to the dedication, talent and care our team of 1,600-plus professionals devotes to delivering outstanding service to our clients on a daily basis.”



Citi provides asset servicing and transaction functions in seven Latin American markets, where it is market-share leader in custody for foreign investors. It introduced several service enhancements in 2019, including a change in Swift messaging in Chile and Peru to facilitate  cash and reconciliation processes for clients while Citibanamex automated processing of tax credits for corporate bonds in Mexico. Supporting its Latin America regional award, at the country level Citi earned top honors in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

“It is an honor for Citi to be recognized once again with the overall Latin American subcustody award as well as several individual country awards,” says Ricardo Hesse, head of Securities Services Latin America. “Given the breadth of Citi’s proprietary network, the largest in the industry, we continue our commitment to provide clients consistent, accurate, reliable and prompt market information, setting us apart from the competition.”

Outside Latin America, Citi was named Best Subcustodian in the US and Kazakhstan.


Société Générale Securities Services

Société Générale Securities Services (SGSS) provides solutions and value-added services aimed at enabling clients to manage their operations efficiently and meet changing regulatory requirements. A leading participant in the securities services markets across Europe, SGSS offers a high level of market expertise, with a focus on asset safety, and is a voice for clients in the markets where it operates. In addition to its regional accomplishment, SGSS won honors at the country level for France, Russia and Romania, as well as Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded by Global Finance six times across our subcustody network in Europe and Africa,” says David Abitbol, head of SGSS. “These awards are recognition of SGSS’s long-standing commitment to provide top-notch securities services to global clients and acknowledgement of our continuous investment in technology and local market expertise to deliver operational excellence for our clients.”



UniCredit is the market leader for securities services in Austria and the CEE region, with on-the-ground local experts in all 11 CEE countries where it has majority-owned subsidiaries. UniCredit continues to invest in its hub product, with a single point of entry in Vienna, where UniCredit Bank Austria has the largest, most experienced custody team in the market. The bank also took country awards for  Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia.

“We take great pride in our subcustodian services at UniCredit,” says Julia Romhanyi, global head of Securities Services at UniCredit, “and are delighted to have confirmed our position as the best subcustodian bank in the CEE and in many individual countries. Our continued focus on providing high-quality, tailor-made and digital solutions has been central to our work over the past years.”

The award “also underlines our dedication, throughout the pandemic, as we ensured continued high-quality service,” Romhanyi says. “I am very proud of the dedicated teams across all of our countries who make it possible to keep our leading role and deliver excellence in securities servicing.”



Singapore-based DBS has introduced innovations in both digital and traditional banking. DBS Ideal is a new online banking platform for approving and executing trades, monitoring post-trade settlement activities and generating reports. DBS also lobbied the Financial Services Authority in Indonesia successfully for market infrastructure enhancements, such as e-proxy voting and e-annual general meetings. This will enable clients to access meetings electronically and exercise their votes more efficiently. The bank has a dominant market share in Singapore and has significantly grown its presence in India, Hong Kong and Indonesia. The bank took country awards for Indonesia and Singapore as well as the regional honor.

“We are proud to be recognized as the Best Subcustodian Bank in Asia-Pacific, and we are grateful for the strong partnership from our clients,” says Ee Fong Soh, group head of Securities and Fduciary Services and group head of Client Management and Implementation. “We are committed to innovating and bringing new digital solutions to the market to help our clients capture opportunities in a more timely, efficient and contact-free manner, particularly through unprecedented times.”


Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered has been expanding its securities services’ presence in the Middle East. Last year, it won cabinet approval to open a branch in Saudi Arabia, where it has operated a capital markets subsidiary since 2009. It also launched an Islamic custody service out of the Dubai International Financial Centre in, and in January 2020 entered the Abu Dhabi Global Market for the first time with a new representative office. It also offers securities services through branches in Bahrain, Jordan, Oman and Qatar. We gave the bank top honors in three of those countries—Bahrain, Jordan, Oman—as well as in Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

“We are committed to maintaining our effort in strengthening our unrivaled footprint,” says Margaret Harwood-Jones, global head of Securities Services at Standard Chartered, “especially in the current global operating environment, to remain best placed as the connector bank for our clients. These prestigious awards are clear evidence of our clients’ continued trust in us and reaffirm we are on the right path.”


Standard Bank

Active in South Africa since 1863, long before the 1887 formation of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Standard Bank is the largest banking group in Africa. It also operates under the Stanbic brand and has built a well-diversified client business thanks to a broad product range and professional expertise. Standard Bank works actively with regulators to improve market processes. Last year, it saw the launch of derivatives clearing in Kenya and is still working with regulators in the country to allow securities lending. In Zimbabwe, it worked closely with regulators to enable its clients to repatriate funds for the first time in several years. The bank belongs to 64 market forums, including regional forums such as the West African Capital Market Integration Committee and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Bankers Association.

“At Standard Bank, we are committed to supporting growth and development on the continent,” says Charl Bruyns, head of Investor Services. “We are delighted by this award that further acknowledges our continued commitment to building Africa’s capital-market infrastructure capability.”

The bank’s footprint across 20 markets in sub-Saharan Africa allows it to deliver targeted solutions to domestic and global institutional investors. “These targeted solutions add value to their businesses and clients and serve to highlight both our experience across the markets in which we operate and our leadership in investor services,” says Bruyns. “This accolade is testament to our strategy to be the preferred provider for investors across Africa.”



North America CIBC Mellon
Latin America Citi
Western Europe Société Générale
Central & Eastern Europe UniCredit
Asia-Pacific DBS
Middle East Standard Chartered
Africa Standard Bank


Argentina Citi
Armenia Araratbank
Australia National Australia Bank
Austria UniCredit Bank Austria
Bahrain Standard Chartered
Belgium BNP Paribas
Brazil Itaú Unibanco
Bulgaria UniCredit Bulbank
Canada CIBC Mellon
Chile Banco de Chile
China Agricultural Bank of China
Colombia Citi
Côte d’Ivoire Société Générale Côte d’Ivoire
Croatia OTP Croatia
Cyprus Bank of Cyprus
Czech Republic CSOB
Denmark Nordea
Egypt Banque du Caire
Estonia SEB
Finland Nordea
France Société Générale
Georgia Bank of Georgia
Germany Commerzbank
Ghana Stanbic Bank Ghana
Greece Eurobank Ergasias
Hong Kong Standard Chartered
Hungary UniCredit Bank Hungary
Iceland Islandsbanki
Indonesia DBS
Ireland BNP Paribas
Israel Bank Leumi
Italy Intesa Sanpaolo
Japan MUFG
Jordan Standard Chartered
Kazakhstan Citi
Kenya Standard Chartered
Kuwait HSBC
Latvia SEB Latvia
Lithuania SEB Lithuania
Luxembourg BNP Paribas
Malaysia Standard Chartered
Mauritius HSBC
Mexico Citibanamex
Mongolia Khan Bank
Morocco Société Générale Morocco
Mozambique Standard Bank Mozambique
Namibia Standard Bank Namibia
Netherlands BNP Paribas
New Zealand HSBC
Nigeria Stanbic IBTC Bank
Norway Handelsbanken
Oman Standard Chartered
Pakistan Standard Chartered
Paraguay Banco Itaú Paraguay
Peru Citi
Philippines Standard Chartered
Poland Bank Pekao
Portugal Novo Banco
Qatar HSBC
Romania BRD Groupe Société Générale
Russia SGSS Russia (Rosbank)
Saudi Arabia HSBC Saudi Arabia
Serbia UniCredit Bank Serbia
Sinagpore DBS
Slovakia CSOB
Slovenia UniCredit Bank Slovenija
South Africa Nedbank
South Korea Hana
Spain BBVA
Sri Lanka Hatton National Bank
Sweden SEB
Switzerland Credit Suisse
Taiwan CTBC
Thailand Bangkok Bank
Tunisia BIAT
Turkey TEB
UAE First Abu Dhabi Bank
United Kingdom HSBC
United States Citi
Uruguay Banco Itaú Uruguay
Vietnam Standard Chartered Bank