OCBC named world's 3rd strongest bank, DBS and UOB also among top 10

OCBC was ranked the highest among the trio, at number three on the list.
OCBC was ranked the highest among the trio, at number three on the list.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's Big Three banks have been ranked by Bloomberg Markets magazine as among the world's ten strongest lenders.

OCBC was ranked the highest among the trio, at number three on the list, followed by DBS in the ninth spot and United Overseas Bank coming in 10th.

Number one on the list this year is Hong Kong's Hang Seng Bank, which also topped the list in 2014. Japan's Norinchukin Bank repeats in second place, after having tied for that spot a year ago.

This marks the fourth time in the last five years that all three Singapore banks were listed among the world's 10 strongest banks in the annual Bloomberg ranking, which evaluates private and public lenders based on five weighted financial indicators.

The ratio of a bank's Tier 1 capital to its risk-weighted assets accounted for 40 per cent of each bank's overall score. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets got a weighting of 20 per cent, as did the ratio of reserves for loan losses to nonperforming assets. The ratio of deposits to funding accounted for 15 per cent of the score. And the efficiency ratio, which compares costs with revenues, received a 5 per cent weighting.

Singapore banks have long been known to be among the world's most resilient and financially sound banks, the result of strict regulatory requirement on both the banks' financials and borrowers' access to credit.

Commenting on OCBC's accolade, chief executive Samuel Tsien told the Straits Times that the bank will not rest on its laurels.

"We continue to actively manage our strong capital and liquidity positions; and maintain healthy asset quality as we execute a prudent strategy of sustainable growth in our key markets," he said in a statement on Thursday. "

As a financial institution, these attributes are what matter most to our customers, investors and regulators." 

DBS strategic marketing and communications head Karen Ngui added: “Over the years, Singapore has established itself as a leading financial centre and we are pleased that Singapore banks continue to be seen as not just leaders but trusted partners on the world stage. 

"Given the present macro uncertainty and market volatility, at DBS, we will keep a watchful eye on risks as we focus on embracing the digital world and supporting our clients here and all across the region."

whwong@sph.com.sg