Safest Banks In The World 2018 | Country Winners

Almost one in four countries experienced a change of their Safest Bank in 2018, as winners were rewarded for improved financial profiles, higher ratings and asset growth.

Which banks are their country’s safest? Ratings fluctuations—sparked variously by macroeconomic turmoil, political upheavals and market shifts—reshuffled the deck this year such that 25 banks, almost one in four, fell out of our 2018 Country Winners group. That compares with turnover of just 13 institutions last year. Our universe covers 106 countries, unchanged year-over-year, but including a new entrant, Stanbic Bank of Uganda. 

For the World’s Safest Banks by Country rankings, we consider the largest 1,000 banks globally by assets, rather than the top 500 as in most of our other rankings. Furthermore, only one agency rating is required for eligibility. Consequently, any rating fluctuation and any decision by an agency to initiate coverage can result in significant changes compared with the prior year. 

Among notable shifts in fortune, Austria’s Erste Group improved its financial profile, prompting a Moody’s upgrade and returning it to the top spot, which it held in 2016, replacing BAWAG Bank. In Latin America, HSBC Mexico exhibited better operating performance, earning a Moody’s upgrade and replacing Banobras. In Panama, Banco General added a Moody’s rating, which tied it with 2017 incumbent Bladex—but it won the country ranking due to its larger asset size, an important element of our methodology. Size was the decisive factor in Bulgaria as well, where United Bulgarian Bank edged out Societe Generale Expressbank; in Ukraine, where CB Privatbank replaced Alfa-Bank; and in Australia, where Commonwealth Bank of Australia was ranked ahead of ANZ Group by virtue of a larger balance sheet. 

Thanks to an initial rating by Moody’s, BRAC Bank improved, and replaced City Bank in Bangladesh. The Indonesian banking sector has stabilized, and Moody’s upgraded a number of banks, pushing Bank Central Asia to the top spot ahead of last year’s winner, Maybank Indonesia, which doesn’t carry a Moody’s rating. 

Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe displayed greater fluctuations in rankings than any other region, based on our country-winner segmentation. These developing- and emerging-market economies and their banking systems are vulnerable to geopolitical turmoil and currency instability and frequently display a lack of resilience in times of global financial stress and volatility in global markets. The significant economic and financial stress and associated currency crisis in Turkey in 2018 is an example of this heightened financial sensitivity and how these factors can destabilize year-over-year rankings. This year’s winner, Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi, has a significantly lower score (-8) than the winner last year, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi (-3).

WORLD’S SAFEST BANKS 2018 — North America
Country Company Name Fitch Moody’s S&P Total Score Assets ($ Mil.) Statement Date
Canada TD Bank Group AA— Aa1 AA— 23 1,012,760 30-Apr-2018
United States AgriBank AA— Aa3 AA— 21 104,500 31-Dec-2017

Latin America & The Caribbean
Argentina Banco Santander Rio B+ Ba3 NR —11.5 17,685 31-Dec-2017
Bermuda Butterfield Bank BBB A3 BBB+ 9 10,779 31-Dec-2017
Bolivia Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz NR B1 BB— —11.5 4,975 31-Dec-2017
Brazil Itau Unibanco Holding BB Ba3 BB— —8 454,588 31-Dec-2017
Chile Banco del Estado de Chile A A1 A+ 17 61,588 31-Dec-2017
Colombia BBVA Colombia BBB+ Baa2 NR 6.5 19,541 31-Dec-2017
Costa Rica Credomatic International  BBB NR BB+ 0.5 15,864 31-Mar-2017
Dominican Republic Banco de Reserbas de la Republica Dominicana BB— B1 NR —7 9,615 31-Dec-2017
Ecuador Banco Pichincha B NR NR —18 12,524 31-Dec-2017
El Salvador Banco Agricola B B1 B— —15 4,343 31-Dec-2017
Guatemala Banco Industrial BB Ba2 BB— —7 13,693 31-Dec-2017
Honduras Inversiones Atlantida B NR B+ —14.5 3,498 30-Jun-2017
Jamaica National Commercial Bank Jamaca B NR B —16 5,616 30-Sept-2017
Mexico HSBC Mexico A Baa1 BBB+ 11 36,028 31-Dec-2017
Panama Banco General BBB+ Baa2 BBB 7 17,572 31-Dec-2017
Paraguay Banco Regional NR Ba2 BB —7 2,621 31-Dec-2017
Peru Scotiabank Peru A— A3 BBB+ 11 18,762 31-Dec-2017
Trinidad and Tobago Republic Bank NR NR BBB 3 10,236 31-Dec-2017
Uruguay Banco de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay NR Baa2 NR 3 16,803 31-Dec-2017
Venezuela Banesco Banco Universal CC NR NR —36 215,543 31-Dec-2016

Western Europe
Andorra Crèdit Andorrà BBB NR NR 2 6,548 31-Dec-2017
Austria Erste Group Bank A— A2 A 14 264,637 31-Dec-2017
Belgium BNP Paribas Fortis A+ A1 A 14 331,311 31-Dec-2017
Cyprus RCB Bank NR B1 BB— —11.5 9,16 31-Dec-2016
Denmark Danske Bank A A1 A 16 570,183 31-Dec-2017
Finland OP Corporate Bank NR Aa3 AA— 20 73,635 31-Dec-2017
France Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations AA Aa2 AA 24 207,623 12/31/14
Germany KfW AAA Aaa AAA 30 566,486 31-Dec-2017
Greece Piraeus Bank NR Caa2 B— —22 80,853 31-Dec-2017
Iceland Íslandsbanki BBB NR BBB+ 6.5 9,920 31-Dec-2017
Ireland Ulster Bank Ireland BBB Baa1 BBB+ 8 36,276 31-Dec-2017
Italy Credit Agricole Cariparma NR A3 NR 9 79,365 31-Dec-2017
Liechtenstein Liechtensteinische Landesbank NR Aa2 NR 21 20,538 31-Dec-2017
Luxembourg Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat NR Aa2 AA+ 24.5 54,305 31-Dec-2017
Malta Bank of Valletta BBB NR BBB 5 14,176 31-Dec-2017
Netherlands Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten AA+ Aaa AAA 29 167,932 31-Dec-2017
Norway Kommunalbanken NR Aaa AAA 29 47,738 31-Dec-2017
Portugal Banco Santander Totta BBB+ Baa3 BBB— 5 60,735 31-Dec-2017
Spain Banco Santander A— A2 A 14 1,732,154 31-Dec-2017
Sweden Svenska Handelsbanken AA Aa2 AA— 23 336,116 31-Dec-2017
Switzerland Zürcher Kantonalbank AAA Aaa AAA 30 167,945 31-Dec-2017
United Kingdom HSBC Holdings AA— A2 A 17 2,521,771 31-Dec-2017

Central, Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union
Armenia Ardshinbank B+ B2 NR —14.5 1,174 31-Dec-2017
Azerbaijan Kapital Bank NR Ba3 BB— —10 1,623 31-Dec-2016
Balarus Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus B NR B —16 3,115 31-Dec-2017
Bulgaria United Bulgarian Bank A— NR NR 9 4,546 31-Dec-2017
Croatia Zagrebacka Banka BBB— NR BB+ —1 20,239 31-Dec-2017
Czech Republic Ceska Sporitelna A— A2 A 14 62,431 31-Dec-2017
Georgia TBC Bank BB— Ba3 NR —10 4,991 31-Dec-2017
Hungary Erste Bank Hungary BBB Baa3 NR 3.5 8,574 31-Dec-2017
Kazakhstan Development Bank of Kazakhstan BBB— Baa3 BB+ 1 7,714 31-Dec-2017
Latvia SC Citadele Banka NR Ba2 NR —9 3,977 31-Dec-2017
Lithuania Siauliu Bankas NR Baa3 NR 0 2,439 31-Dec-2017
Poland ING Bank Salski A A2 NR 14 36,197 31-Dec-2017
Romania Banca Comerciala Romana BBB+ Baa3 NR 5 18,169 31-Dec-2017
Russia Vnesheconombank BBB— NR BBB— 2 58,611 31-Dec-2017
Slovak Republic Slovenska Sporitelna A— A2 NR 12.5 19,600 31-Dec-2017
Slovenia Banka Intesa Sanpaolo  BBB— NR NR 0 2,876 31-Dec-2017
Turkey Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi BB Ba3 BB— —8 84,779 31-Dec-2017
Ukraine CB Privatbank B— NR NR —21 9,081 31-Dec-2017
Uzbekistan Asaka Bank B+ B2 NR —14.5 2,905 31-Dec-2017

Bangladesh BRAC Bank NR B1 B+ —13 3,722 31-Dec-2017
Brunei Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam NR NR A— 9 6,528 31-Dec-2016
Cambodia ACLEDA Bank NR NR B —18 4,665 31-Dec-2016
China China Development Bank A+ A1 A+ 18 2,450,812 31-Dec-2017
Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank A+ Aa3 AA— 20 189,201 31-Dec-2017
India State Bank of India BBB— Baa2 BBB— 4 555,998 31-Mar-2018
Indonesia Bank Central Asia BBB Baa2 NR 5 55,382 31-Dec-2017
Japan The Shizuoka Bank A A1 A 16 108,452 31-Mar-2018
Malaysia Maybank A— A3 A— 12 188,405 31-Dec-2017
Mongolia Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia NR Caa1 B— —20.5 2,830 31-Dec-2017
Pakistan Habib Bank NR Caa1 NR —24 24,324 31-Dec-2017
Papua and New Guinea Bank of South Pacific NR NR B —18 6,798 31-Dec-2017
Philippines BDO Unibank BBB— Baa2 NR 3.5 53,444 31-Dec-2017
Singapore DBS Bank AA— Aa1 AA— 23 387,337 31-Dec-2017
South Korea Korea Development Bank AA— Aa2 AA 23 246,231 31-Dec-2017
Sri Lanka National Savings Bank B+ NR B+ —13 6,665 31-Dec-2017
Taiwan  Bank of Taiwan NR Aa3 A+ 18.5 165,621 31-Dec-2017
Thailand Bank of Ayudhya A— Baa1 BBB+ 10 63,957 31-Dec-2017
Vietnam Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade BB— B1 BB— —10 48,832 31-Dec-2017

Middle East
Bahrain Gulf International Bank BBB+ Baa1 NR 8 25,471 31-Dec-2017
Egypt Commercial International Bank (Egypt) B Caa1 B —17 16,579 31-Dec-2017
Israel Bank Hapoalim A A2 A 14 131,071 31-Dec-2017
Jordan Arab Bank BB B2 B+ —11 34,312 31-Dec-2017
Kuwait National Bank of Kuwait AA— Aa3 A+ 20 86,279 31-Dec-2017
Lebanon Bank Audi B— B3 B— —18 43,752 31-Dec-2017
Morocco BMCE Bank BB+ Ba1 NR —4 33,509 31-Dec-2017
Oman HSBC Bank Oman BBB Baa3 NR 3.5 6,070 31-Dec-2017
Qatar Qatar National Bank A+ Aa3 A 18 222,824 31-Dec-2017
Saudi Arabia The National Commercial Bank A— A1 BBB+ 13 118,364 31-Dec-2017
Tunisia Arab Tunisian Bank BB— B3 B —14 2,577 31-Dec-2017
UAE First Abu Dhabi Bank AA— Aa3 AA— 21 182,156 31-Dec-2017

Angola Banco Angolano de Investimentos NR Caa1 NR —24 8,176 30-Jun-2017
Democratic Republic of Congo Rawbank NR Caa1 NR —24 1,123 31-Dec-2016
Ghana United Bank for Africa (Ghana) B— NR NR —21 605 30-Sept-2017
Kenya Stanbic Bank Kenya BB— NR NR —12 2,356 31-Dec-2017
Mauritius The Mauritius Commercial Bank BBB— Baa3 NR 1 9,116 30-Jun-2017
Nigeria Zenith Bank B+ B2 B —14 15,434 31-Dec-2017
South Africa Standard Bank of South Africa BB+ Baa3 NR —1 144,463 30-Jun-2018
Tanzania CRDB Bank NR B2 NR —18 2,415 30-Sept-2017
Togo Ecobank Togo B B2 B— —16 22,432 31-Dec-2017
Uganda Stanbic Bank Uganda B+ NR NR —21 1,487 31-Dec-2017

Australia Commonwealth Bank of Australia AA— Aa3 AA— 21 734,723 31-Dec-2017
New Zealand Kiwibank AA— A1 A 18 15,103 30-Jun-2017