The Banker: Bank of the Year Awards 2009

The Banker Magazine published the Bank of the Year Awards  for 2009 last month. The awards “celebrate the achievements of the most innovative, dedicated, creative, resilient and ambitious banks in each region of the world, and across 144 countries.”

The Global and Regional Awards winners:

Global Bank of the Year – Banco Santander of Spain (STD)

Western Europe – Banco Santander of Spain (STD)

Central & Eastern Europe – UniCredit of Italy

Asia – Standard Chartered Bank of UK

Americas РIta̼ Unibanco of Brazil (ITUB)

Middle East – Blom Bank of Lebanon

Africa – Standard Bank Group of South Africa

Some key takeways from the winners report:

Banco Santander owns Alliance & Leicester,Bradford & Bingley and Abbey in the UK, Sovereign Bancorp in the US and Banespa and Banco Real in Brazil. Spain accounts for just 27% of group’s profits.

Unicredit’s member banks in Central and East European countries  such as Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland stayed profitable despite economic downturns in soem countries.

Standard Chartered continues its growth trajectory in Asia with expansion in Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, etc. StanChart has a strong presence in Asia for over 150 years.

As a result of the merger between Itau and Unibanco, Itau Unibanco now has a presence in 1100 Brazilian municipalities, a total of 57 million customers, and branches in 12 foreign markets.

Blom Bank had an impessive financial performance last year and into 2009. This is the first time a bank in Lebanon won the Middle East award. Blom also expanded operations in the Gulf, the Levant and Egypt.

In 2007, Chinese bank ICBC bought a stake in Standard Bank Group. Lasy year net profits were up by a healthy 8% in 2008 and the bank boosted assets by 20% and Tier 1 capital by 40%. The bank conitnues to expand in other developing countries outside of Africa as well.

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