“BBVA will be one of the financial sector’s winners in the next decade,” stated Francisco Gonzalez, BBVA’s chairman and chief executive officer recently. “The new global financial backdrop will bring winners and losers. The best banks will be those who are able to increase profits which, in the end, and now more than ever before, is what counts.” At a time when banking giants are facing turmoil, here’s a role model. In the first quarter of 2008, BBVA reported a 14.9 per cent rise in net profit to euro 1.44bn. BBVA’s history dates back to 1857 when the Spanish Board of Trade sponsored the creation of Banco de Bilbao as a currency-issuing and discount bank. The group known as BBVA was created in 1999. In 2000 it was chosen World’s Best Bank (Forbes) and Best Bank in Spain (The Banker). In 2001 it was Best Bank in Latin America (Forbes) and Best European Bank (Lafferty).
Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. HSBC’s international network comprises over 10,000 offices in 83 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With listings on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges, shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by around 200,000 shareholders in some 100 countries and territories. HSBC and it group entities have bagged several awards over the years. HSBC won the Euromoney world’s best bank award in 2004. HSBC Global Transaction Banking won the Best Cash Management House in July 2007. HSBC is headed by Stephen Green. HSBC’s net operating income was up 13 per cent to $61,751 million on 2007.
3. Morgan Stanley
Founded in 1935, Morgan Stanley has revolutionized financial services. The company has $749 billion in assets under management, a consistent dividend payout growth, diversified revenue sources and excellent credit ratings. John J Mack is the chairman of the company which has common shares outstanding as on May 31, 2008 at 1,108,865,416. The MS common stock closing price on NYSE as of May 31, 2008 was $44.23. Morgan Stanley was named as Top-10 Companies to Work for, by Westchester
4. National Australia Bank
National Australia Group is an international financial services organization that offers a comprehensive and integrated range of financial products and services. The Group is structured around regional banking and wealth management operations. The company saw profits rise at the beginning of the year when sentiment across businesses was not positive. National Australia Bank Group CEO, John Stewart said strong earnings in each business unit had continued into the first half of the 2008 financial year. In the first half of 2008, the company’s net profit rose by 25.8 per cent to $2.7 billion. The revenue for the same period went up by 7.1 per cent from $7.1 billion to $7.6 billion. Average lending growth was 15.4 per cent from $355.9 billion to $410.8 billion. Retail deposits grew by 10.3 per cent to $166.2 billion.
5. Standard Chartered Bank
“We want to be recognized across Asia, Africa and the Middle East for delivering a sustainable business and to lead by example in our markets,” said Peter Sands, Group chief executive. The 150-year old Standard Chartered Bank has a global reach and a strong position in emerging markets. Standard Chartered has a network of over 1,700 branches and outlets in more than 70 countries across the Asia Pacific Region, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. One of the world’s most international banks, we employ 73,000 people, representing 115 nationalities.
6. Banco Bradesco
Founded in 1940, the Banco Bradesco is the short form of Banco Brasileiro de Descontos. It is also called the ‘Brazilian Discount Bank’. It is one of the four major banks in Brazil. It is also Brazil’s largest private bank. Headquartered in Osasco, it has more than 2,916 branches. Bradesco offers Internet banking, insurance, pension plans, annuities, credit card services (including football club affinity cards for soccer fans) and free Internet access for customers. The bank also provides personal and commercial loans, as well as leasing services. In 2007 it had revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion.
Helping Indians experience the joy of home ownership’, is HDFC’s mantra. Founded by the late Hasmukhbhai Parekh at the age of 60, HDFC set a trend in housing finance since its inception. Today, the company says it has “nearly three million satisfied customers whose dream we helped realize.” The company’s net profit has surged to Rs 2436.25 crore (Rs 24.36 billion) in 2007-08 from Rs 1570.38 crore (Rs 15.70 billion) in 2006-07. Headed by Deepak S Parekh, HDFC is a professionally managed organization with a board of directors consisting of eminent persons from various fields including finance, taxation, construction and urban policy & development. HDFC was selected as the best ‘Investment Management Company’ in India at the Liquid Real Estate Awards – 2007 organized by Euromoney. HDFC was ranked among the Top 3 Best Managed Companies by Finance Asia – 2007.