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National Bank is North America’s Strongest Bank: Bloomberg

National Bank photo by Jorge CastroThat’s according to Bloomberg’s first-ever international bank ratings, entitled The World’s Strongest Banks.

Canada has five banks in the top 20, with CIBC ranking 4th internationally behind National Bank.

Canadian banks have “higher capital ratios than anyone else in the world,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Mario Mendonca told Bloomberg, calling this distinction a “source of pride” for Canadians.

Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. took the top spot worldwide.

Bloomberg reporter, John Curran, says the rankings were “created by Bloomberg statisticians in consultation with Bloomberg’s banking team.” They include banks with over $100 billion in assets.

National Bank Pres. & CEO Louis Vachon told Bloomberg: “…size is not everything in financial services,” and indeed it’s not. National Bank’s #1 North American ranking shows that prudent risk management and liquidity are meaningful and a source of confidence for investors and customers alike.

In a separate statement yesterday, Vachon added, “The Financial Group prides itself on having a strict capital and risk management policy, which has enabled us to stay the course despite the economic turmoil of recent years.”

Sidebar: Banks’ Tier 1 capital ratio carries the greatest weight (40%) in Bloomberg’s rankings. Tier 1 capital is “the most important measure of financial strength,” says Bloomberg, and is “a shock absorber against losses when the economy hits a rough patch.”

Other ranking criteria included non-performing assets, loan-loss reserves, deposits-to-funding, and cost efficiency.

Rob McLister, CMT