» more from Slideshows

Safest Banks in the World

In a global economy that has been plagued by troubles in the world’s financial systems, the words “safe” and “bank” still give investors pause. The shakeup of banking systems around the world raises the question: "Which banks are the safest?"

For the past 20 years, Global Finance has compiled a list of the World’s 50 Safest Banks, and in the current environment of increased regulation and oversight, long-term safety of banks is of key interest. According to Global Finance, the companies who ranked highly this year were the ones that "cleaned up their balance sheets and strengthened their capital positions."

This ranking of safe banks was created through the comparison of long-term credit ratings (from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch) and analysis of total assets owned by the 500 largest banks in the world.

For ease of comparison, we’ve listed the highest-ranking bank in each country, since many of the highly ranked banks are headquartered in the same country.

It may be a surprise where you’ll find the safest banks in the world. Click ahead to for the list!

By Paul Toscano and Jennifer Parker
Posted 19 Aug 2011

Photo: Getty Images