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Singapore, with 3 institutions in the top 6, and Canada, with 5 lenders in the top 20, are the...

Singapore, with 3 institutions in the top 6, and Canada, with 5 lenders in the top 20, are the most prominent countries with representation on Bloomberg's assessment of the world's strongest banks. Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) at #7 joins JPMorgan (JPM) #14, and Citi (C) #16, as the only U.S. firms to make the top 20.
Comments (4)
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (14290) | Send Message
     
    No comments here?

     

    I find it quite impressive that FITB, a regional bank, ranks #7.
    10 May 2011, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • bob adamson
    , contributor
    Comments (4559) | Send Message
     
    Tack –

     

    The high ranking of Fifth Third Bancorp is not an anomaly. The same can be said (i.e. a regional rather than international scope of business) in the Canadian context for the National Bank of Canada which is the smallest of Canada’s senior Chartered Banks with its business focused primarily on the Québec and Ontario markets. Further, it may well be that several of the Singaporean and Scandinavian Banks ranked highly serve an essentially regional market.

     

    Turning to the larger Canadian Chartered Banks, it is noteworthy that many have expanded significantly through subsidiaries into the US and other markets in the Americas in recent years, especially since the 2008 global meltdown. I am of two minds about this. On the one hand diversifying internationally and into related brokerage endeavors promises the usual advantages of scale and diversification of risks and opportunities. On the other hand there may be reason for concern over time that
    (a) significant portions of their operations are conducted outside the monitoring and regulation of Canadian authorities, and
    (b) the senior executives of these banks may not have the best skill sets and local knowledge to prosper in these non Canadian settings.
    This is not to conclude that multi regional or international involvement is necessarily a negative, only that to do so entails special challenges if it is to succeed.

     

    If Bloomberg's assessment of the world's strongest banks if based on sound criteria, then the sort of concerns discussed in my preceding paragraph may be relevant to banking generally.
    10 May 2011, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (14290) | Send Message
     
    Bob:

     

    Regional in the Singapore sense means an entirely different thing than with FITB, which is hardly a multi-national operation. I was just surprised to find them in amongst all these multi-national banks of various sizes and so far up that list of rock-solid banks.

     

    I'm all the happier to hear it, as they've been one of my investment picks for more than a year, now.

     

    FITB has been expanding aggressively in Florida, which I believe will prove to be a brilliant move. Florida's death, as Mark twain would have said, has been "greatly exaggerated."
    10 May 2011, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • bob adamson
    , contributor
    Comments (4559) | Send Message
     
    Tack –

     

    You’re right – I’m obscured my earlier point by my vague use of ‘regional’. All I was trying to say was that banks that focus their business primarily on a restricted areas of practice and of the world and do this well stand high in Bloomberg's assessment in comparison to those with a finger in many areas of banking throughout the world.
    10 May 2011, 07:35 PM Reply Like
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