Selecting The Best Banks

Global Finance magazine editor Andrea Fiano's message to readers about what to expect in this month's issue.

May 2019 | VOL. 33 NO. 5

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Our selection of the World’s Best Banks is one of the most extensive tasks that this magazine undertakes each year. It involves coordinating writers from across all the world, studying of tons of public information and financial data, and careful review of information submitted by banks. It is a delicate and important project, and as much as we explain our methodology, we always get questions. Understandably, some banks that have been chosen in the past want to understand why they were not chosen this year.

We developed an algorithm—proprietary, of course, as we do for most of our awards—which lets us evaluate every bank according to a consistent set of metrics, weighted according to our own judgment as to what’s most important to performance. This gives us a comprehensive picture of the banking industry worldwide. From there, the editors review a shortlist of the highest-scoring banks in each category or region, in a meeting that can engender lively debate.

Often the winner was selected from among several competitors whose final scores were very close. If two or more banks have the same score, editors bring an additional layer of analysis: What were the specific conditions in each sector or region? How well did each bank handle its own respective challenges? Whenever possible we favor local banks over international or regional ones. If necessary, we seek additional input on specific points from our expert advisors. Not all markets are equal and not all banks offer the same level of disclosure about their results. In truth there is more often an abundance of quality contenders than a shortfall of outstanding financial institutions.

The life of a magazine like this one, and of its editors, is usually full of deadlines and the need to work at the same time on current and future projects. What is always reassuring, whatever the economic climate is in a given part of the world, is that there are always some shining stars. These awards are for them.

Andrea Fiano | Editor