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The Global Finance magazine released the world’s safest banks list for 2009 on February 25th. For the first time they published this mid-year update due to the turmoil in the world’s banking industry.

The list was compiled based on the comparison of long-term credit ratings and total assets of the 500 largest banks in the world. The ratings were issued by Standard & Poor's, Moody’s and Fitch.

According to Global Finance publisher Joseph D. Giarraputo “The rating agencies have determined these banks have demonstrated a more prudent and sustainable approach to risk than their peers.”

The World’s 50 Safest Banks 2009

Country Bank Ticker
Germany KfW
France Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC
The Netherlands Bank Nederlands Gemeenten (BNG)
Germany Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank
The Netherlands Rabobank
Germany Landeskreditbank Baden-Wuerttemberg-Foerderbank
Germany NRW. Bank
France BNP Paribas OTCQX:BNPQY
Spain Banco Santander STD
Canada Royal Bank of Canada RY
Australia National Australia Bank OTCPK:NABZY
Australia Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Spain Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (NYSE:BBVA) BBV
Canada Toronto-Dominion Bank TD
Australia Australia & New Zealand Banking Group OTCPK:ANZBY
Australia Westpac Banking Corporation WBK
Spain Banco Espanol de Credito S.A. (Banesto)
New Zealand ASB Bank Limited
France Credit Agricole
USA Wells Fargo WFC
Sweden Nordea Bank
Canada Scotiabank BNS
Spain La Caixa
Sweden Svenska Handelsbanken
USA US Bancorp USB
Spain Banco Popular Espanol
Singapore DBS Bank OTCPK:DBSDY
Finland Pohjola Bank
Germany Deutsche Bank DB
France Societe Generale OTCPK:SCGLY
Italy Intesa Sanpaolo OTCPK:ISNPY
Canada Bank of Montreal BMO
Norway DnB NOR Bank
USA The Bank of New York Mellon BNY
Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos
Singapore United Overseas Bank OTCPK:UOVEY
Singapore OCBC
Belgium Axa Bank Europe
Switzerland Credit Suisse Group CS
Germany Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg
UK Nationwide Building Society
Canada CIBC CM
Kuwait National Bank Of Kuwait
UK Barclays BCS
Switzerland UBS UBS
USA JPMorgan Chase JPM
Japan Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
France Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel (BFCM)
France Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC)

Source: Global Finance magazine

If a bank trades in the US markets the ticker is listed.

Some Observations:

All the five large Canadian banks are on this list. This is interesting since recently there have been many reports praising the banking system in Canada which is holding up pretty well when compared to banking systems in other countries. US-based banks Citibank (NYSE:C) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) did not make it to the list. Three of the large banks in Singapore were selected. It is not clear why most of the countries outside of the developed world are not included in the rankings.

For the World’s Top Ten Safest Banks in 2008, go here.