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Top 10 Safest Banks In Asia

Global Finance has published the Safest Banks in Asia, and 2022’s top 10 has remained the same for the fourth year in a row. DBS, OCBC, and UOB continue to hold the top three spots in the rankings.

The banks are chosen based on an analysis of the long-term foreign currency ratings of the 500 biggest banks in the world, as provided by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch.

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Top 10 Safest Banks In Asia

1. DBS Bank

Top 10 Safest Banks In Asia
DBS logo from the company website.

DBS is a premier provider of financial services in Asia and operates in 19 different countries. DBS is first on the list of top 10 safest banks in Asia.

Greater China, Southeast Asia, and South Asia are the three primary development axes for DBS, which has its headquarters and stock exchange in Singapore and is listed there.

The credit ratings of AA- and Aa1 held by the bank are among the best available anywhere in the world.

DBS has been awarded the title of “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker, “World’s Best Bank” by both Global Finance and Euromoney, and “World’s Best Bank” by both of these publications in recognition of its worldwide leadership.

The bank has been recognised as the “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the “World’s Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker, both of which indicate that it is at the forefront of harnessing digital technology to influence the future of banking.

In addition, Global Finance has recognised DBS Bank as the “Safest Bank in Asia” for the period of 14 consecutive years, starting in 2009 and continuing through 2022.

Consumer banking, small and medium-sized business banking, and corporate banking are all catered to by DBS. DBS is a bank that was born and raised in Asia, so it is familiar with the complexities involved in doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets.

Being a bank that operates in an Asian manner, DBS is dedicated to establishing long-lasting connections with its clients.

Supporting social enterprises, often known as firms that aim to make a profit while also positively affecting their community or the environment, is one of the ways that the DBS Foundation expands the scope of the bank’s effect beyond the realm of traditional banking.

The DBS Foundation also contributes back to society in a variety of ways, such as by providing communities with skills that are relevant for the future and by bolstering their ability to withstand food insecurity.

DBS provides exciting chances for employment because to the broad network of operations it maintains throughout Asia and the focus it places on involving and empowering its workforce.

DBS is also one of the best banks in Singapore for expats, and among the top ten safest banks in Singapore. The bank also happens to be one of the best wealth management banks in Singapore.

2. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

OCBC Bank is the Singapore financial institution that has been around the longest. OCBC is second among the ten safest banks in Asia.

It was created in 1932 as a result of the merging of three local banks, the first of which was established in 1912.

Moody’s has given it a rating of Aa1, making it one of the most well regarded financial institutions on the planet.

It is presently the second biggest financial services company in Southeast Asia when measured by assets.

OCBC Bank is consistently placed among the World’s Top 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance, and it has been given the title of Best Managed Bank in Singapore by The Asian Banker.

Both of these accolades are in recognition of the bank’s impressive financial health and stability.

OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries provide a comprehensive range of commercial banking services, as well as specialist financial and wealth management services.

These services include consumer, corporate, investment, private, and transaction banking, as well as treasury, insurance, asset management, and stockbroking services.

The regions of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Greater China are OCBC Bank’s most important markets. It is present in 19 different countries and areas with more than 570 branches and representative offices.

They comprise about 90 branches and offices in Mainland China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Macau Special Administrative Region under the OCBC Wing Hang brand, in addition to the approximately 300 branches and offices that fall under the Bank OCBC NISP subsidiary in Indonesia.

Private banking services are offered by OCBC Bank’s wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Singapore. Bank of Singapore works on a one-of-a-kind open-architecture product platform, which allows it to source the best-in-class products to fulfill the needs of OCBC Bank’s customers.

Great Eastern Holdings, which is a subsidiary of OCBC Bank and specializes in life insurance, is the oldest and most reputable life insurance firm in both Singapore and Malaysia.

One of the major private sector asset management organizations in Southeast Asia is this company’s asset management arm, which goes by the name Lion Global Investors.

OCBC is also among the top 13 safest banks in Singapore.

3. United Overseas Bank (UOB)

The provision of financial services is the business in that United Overseas Bank Ltd. (Singapore) is engaged. UOB is third among the ten safest banks in Asia.

It conducts its business through the following four divisions: Group Retail (GR), Global Markets (GM), Group Wholesale Banking (GWB), and others.

Customers are offered several financial options by the GR business area. The GWB division provides individualised financial solutions, services, and insights into the industry.

The liquidity of the bank, its investments, and the market making of its financial instruments are all managed by the GM division.

The operations that are not related to banking and the functions of the company are discussed in the Others category. On August 6, 1935, Wee Kheng Chiang established the corporation, which now operates out of its headquarters in Singapore.

Along with DBS, UOB is also one of the best banks in Singapore for expats. In addition, it is one of the 13 safest banks in Singapore.

4. Korea Development Bank (KDB)

Top 10 Safest Banks In Asia
KDB Bank logo. Image from Wikipedia.

The Korea Development Bank, often known as the KDB, is a development bank that is owned by the state of South Korea. KDB is fourth among the ten safest banks in Asia.

It was established in 1954 with the goal of assisting in the growth of Korean companies as well as the economy of the nation.

Equity investments, corporate loans, debt and payment guarantees, public and corporate bonds, and other financial goods and services are among the bank’s offerings.

The bank has a significant presence in the project financing sector throughout Asia and the Pacific. In 2017, KDB made the decision to embrace the Equator Principles.

It provides loans for both equipment and operating cash to Korean private companies who are undertaking big industrial projects.

In addition, the bank will assist its customers’ other borrowings by providing them with guarantees, as well as fund significant industrial projects.

Local currency loans, won-denominated corporate debentures, and other Won liabilities as well as foreign currency loans from domestic and overseas Korean financial institutions as well as from international institutions are all backed by the Korean Development Bank (KDB).

Additional operations include involvement in a variety of industrial development activities such as conducting economic and industrial research, executing engineering surveys, giving business analysis and management help, and supplying trust services.

5. Export-Import Bank Of Korea (Korea Eximbank)

The Export-Import Bank of Korea, also known as Korea Eximbank, is the country’s official export credit agency. Korea Eximbank is fifth among the ten safest banks in Asia.

Its mission is to assist Korean businesses in expanding their operations abroad by offering a variety of loan and guarantee programs.

The objectives of Korea Eximbank are as follows:

  • promote economic cooperation between Korea and developing countries
  • facilitate cooperation and interchange between South and North Korea
  • provide financial support for export and import transactions; and
  • enhance Korea’s economic cooperation with foreign countries.

These objectives will be accomplished by providing financial support for export and import transactions.

Since its founding in 1976, the bank has been providing consistent assistance to Korea’s economy, which is driven mostly by exports, and has acted as a facilitator for economic cooperation with other nations.

The key services provided by Korea Eximbank include export loans, trade financing, and guarantee programs. These services are designed to fulfill the demands of clients in an attempt to directly complement and increase clients’ competitiveness in global markets.

In addition, the bank offers financing for international investments, credit for the development of natural resources, credit for imports, and information services relating to commercial prospects in other countries.

In addition, the bank is in control of the operation of two state funds: the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which is a program of the Korean Official Development Assistance, and the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund (IKCF), which is an economic cooperation program with North Korea. Both of these funds are administered by the government.

The Bank’s strategy calls for it to become “The global financial partner connecting Korea to the world,” and one of the ways it plans to achieve this goal is by consistently encouraging new forms of development and innovation across all of its business lines.

6. Industrial Bank Of Korea

The Industrial Bank of Korea was created in 1961 by the Government of Korea. bank ranks sixth among the ten safest banks in Asia.

The bank’s creation is in accordance with the Industrial Bank of Korea Act in order to assist small and medium-sized businesses in Korea with access to development financing and other banking services linked to those financing needs.

According to the IBK Act, the IBK is the only financial institution in Korea that is authorized to borrow money from the Korean government for the purpose of assisting small and medium-sized businesses and to issue Small and Medium Industry Financing Bonds (the SMIF Bonds).

IBK has about 690 branches spread out over the country, which are part of its countrywide branch network. The bank offers full banking services to Businesses via these locations.

IBK provides assistance to SMEs and MSMEs that are active in international markets via its international branches and subsidiaries.

IBK is now in the driver’s seat when it comes to financing for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and the company intends to strengthen and maintain its dominant position in this market area.

IBK views small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as significant future growth engines that will grab the initiative in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and transition to a carbon neutral economy.

As a component of this plan, sustainability is included into IBK’s business strategy, and the bank has made a commitment to adhere to worldwide efforts that aim to enhance the number of good effects on society as well as the environment.

IBK will be able to better share best practices in the financial industry connected to ESG domains thanks to its participation in UNEP FI, with a particular focus on sustainable financing.

7. Bank Of Taiwan (BOT)

Bank of Taiwan, abbreviated as BOT, is a commercial bank that caters to both individual customers and commercial clients. BOT ranks seventh among the ten safest banks in Asia.

This financial institution accepts deposits, lends money, provides services for those who use credit cards, and facilitates currency exchanges.

BOT is largely focused on providing services to local Taiwanese customers. The company Taiwan Financial Holdings is the parent organization, and the bank is one of its subsidiaries.

The headquarters of Bank of Taiwan may be found in the Chinese island of Taiwan. The city of Taipei serves as the location of the company’s headquarters. The Commercial Banking sector is the business sector in which the organization works.

On May 20, 1946, the Bank of Taiwan was officially established as a legal entity. At the moment, there are a total of 8,206 people working for the company (2023).

According to the most recent financial highlights for the third quarter of 2022 released by Bank of Taiwan, the company’s net sales revenue increased by 14.25 percent. The company’s total assets saw an increase of 9.89% throughout the course of the year.

8. Hang Seng Bank

A significant local financial institution in Hong Kong, Hang Seng Bank is also a participant in the HSBC group based in the United Kingdom. The bank ranks eighth among the ten safest banks in Asia.

With over 240 branches and a large number of ATMs placed across Hong Kong’s shopping malls and MTR stations, Hang Seng has a significant presence in the retail banking sector of the city’s economy.

It is estimated that more than half of the adult population in Hong Kong has an account with the Hang Seng Bank.

In 2007, the financial institution opened a subsidiary in mainland China, where it now manages over 50 branches in locations such as Shanghai and Beijing. It intends to place its primary emphasis on the sale of financial goods including insurance and investment trusts.

The Hang Seng Bank was established in 1933 as a money exchanger, and at one time it was the Hong Kong financial institution with the most Chinese shareholders.

Nonetheless, a bank run was sparked by the collapse of the Hong Kong property and stock markets in 1965. Thus, it was absorbed by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.

Hang Seng Ngan Ho, the forerunner of Hang Seng Bank, was established in Hong Kong in 1933 by business associates Sheng Tsun Lin, Ho Sin Hang, Leung Chik Wai, and Lam Bing Yim.

“ever-growing” is what “Hang Seng” translates to in Cantonese. On March 3, 1933, it opened its doors to the public in Sheung Wan as a straightforward money-changing store located at 70 Wing Lok Street.

In 1952, Hang Seng Bank transitioned from a public institution to a private enterprise and began engaging in commercial banking.

In 1960, Hang Seng Bank underwent the transformation into a public enterprise. In 1965, Hang Seng Bank was the victim of a bank run, which resulted in roughly one fourth of its funds being emptied.

As a consequence of this, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) purchased a controlling 51% stake in Hang Seng Bank, a holding that it subsequently raised to 62.14% of the bank’s total shares.

In 1969, as a public service, the Hang Seng Index was established. [4] The index is now well recognized as the gauge of the Hong Kong stock market. The Hang Seng Bank first became publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the year 1972.

The year 1981 marked the beginning of Hang Seng Bank’s operation of branches inside MTR stations after receiving authorization to do so.

The Shenzhen representative office of Hang Seng Bank was first established in 1985, marking the beginning of the bank’s expansion into the Chinese market. Hang Seng Bank launched its first Chinese location in Guangzhou ten years after it had originally opened its doors.

In 2002, Hang Seng Bank became the first bank in Mainland China to provide personal online banking services. In 2003, Hang Seng Bank established a branch in the city of Macau.

Hang Seng Bank was granted permission in 2006 to start preparations for the launch of a bank operating on the mainland of China as a subsidiary bank.

The same year that the brand revitalisation effort was launched, Hang Seng Bank also unveiled its new business motto, which was “Managing wealth for you, with you.”

2007 was a pivotal year for Hang Seng Bank, since it was the year that the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) gave its approval for the establishment of Hang Seng Bank (China) Ltd, the bank’s mainland China subsidiary bank, which was founded on May 28 of the same year.

The new Hang Seng Bank Hong Kong office was inaugurated in the month of November at the MegaBox in Kowloon Bay. In 2010, Hang Seng Bank was the first financial institution in Hong Kong to successfully lock in the renminbi (RMB) prime rate.

In February of 2012, Hang Seng Bank was the first financial institution in the world to launch an RMB gold exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In the 2012 Brand Finance Banking 500, the brand value of Hang Seng Bank was placed 65th internationally, making it the bank with the highest rating among Hong Kong’s financial institutions.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. now holds around 60% of Hang Seng Bank’s shares. The two organizations share ATMs and otherwise collaborate closely.

Since its inception in 1969, the Hang Seng Index has served as Hong Kong’s primary comparative stock index.

Rose Lee Wai-mun, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hang Seng Bank, has worked in senior roles at HSBC in Hong Kong.

9. China Development Bank (CDB)

Top 10 Safest Banks In Asia
China Development Bank logo from Wikimedia Commons.

The China Development Bank (CDB) started out as a policy financial organization and was established in 1994. It is directly led by the State Council. CDB ranks ninth among the ten safest banks in Asia.

In December of 2008, it became a legally recognized entity under the name China Development Bank Corporation, and in March of 2015, the State Council formally designated it as an institution for the financing of development.

The registered capital of the CDB is a total of RMB 421.248 billion. Buttonwood Investment Holding Company, Ltd. (27.19%), Central Huijin Investment Ltd. (34.68%), and the National Council for Social Security Fund (1.59%) are its shareholders. The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China owns 36.54% of the company.

The China Development Bank (CDB) offers medium- to long-term funding facilities to support important long-term social and economic development objectives for China.

Its assets reached RMB 12.62 trillion at the end of 2015, with a balance of loans of RMB 9.21 trillion and a total recovery rate of 98.78%, which allowed it to maintain its position as the leader in the industry for the sixteenth year in a row.

The bank also made other improvements to its risk management and sustainability, which resulted in a net income of RMB 102,788 million, a return on assets of 0.90%, a return on equity of 11.74%, and a capital adequacy ratio of 10.81%.

The China Development Bank (CDB) has been given a rating that is equivalent to China’s sovereign rating by professional credit rating organizations such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

The China Development Bank (CDB) is the biggest development finance organization in the world. It is also the largest Chinese bank in terms of international investment and financial cooperation, long-term loans, and bond issuance.

In 2015, it held the 87th spot on the list of the Fortune Global 500 companies.

One offshore branch can be found in Hong Kong, 37 major branches and three subsidiary branches are now located on the Chinese mainland, one representative office each can be found in Moscow, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, and Cairo, and the total number of CDB employees is around 9,000.

CDB Securities Co.,Ltd., China-Africa Development Fund Co.,Ltd., CDB Leasing Co.,Ltd., and CDB Capital Co.,Ltd. are its subsidiaries, among others.

10. Agricultural Development Bank Of China (ADBC)

The Foreign-Currency IDRs of Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) are equal to Chinese IDRs. The bank ranks last among the ten safest banks in Asia.

These are based on Fitch Ratings’ predictions that there is a very high likelihood that ADBC will get exceptional help from the central government in times of hardship.

This is ensured by the fact that the state owns it entirely and has a long history of supporting it in many ways, including making financial contributions. Due to the fact that ADBC serves in the capacity of an agent for the state, a Viability Rating (VR) is not awarded.

In China, ADBC is the only policy entity that is specifically focused on agriculture. It does this through providing funding for the acquisition of agricultural commodities and initiatives geared toward rural development, so supporting and promoting strategic developments.

The primary objective of ADBC’s policy work is to protect the nation’s food supply while also maintaining price stability in the agricultural goods market. The central government places a high priority on the realization of these objectives from a strategic standpoint.

The ADBC’s involvement in commercial activities has been very minimal up to this point. 

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission’s (CBIRC) regulations on the supervision of the three policy institutions, among which is the ADBC, stipulate quite precisely that the policy institutions shall give precedence to policy-related companies above commercial activities.

Substantial involvement from the state may be seen in the fact that the ADBC is provided with continuous assistance from a variety of government agencies in the form of tax reductions and capital infusions.

In 2015, capital in the amount of 10 billion Chinese Yuan (CNY) was contributed to ADBC by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

It is often considered that the lending requirements for policy institutions, such as ADBC, are frequently compromised as a result of the policy duties that these institutions perform.

Bonds will make up over 64% of ADBC’s total liabilities by the end of 2019, demonstrating the company’s reliance on wholesale finance.

While ADBC cannot accept deposits from individual customers, its wider network gives it a leg up on China’s other two policy institutions when it comes to accessing deposits from corporations.

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