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Bank Watch List

Balance sheets and financial results-based evaluations are by nature and definition backward looking. To overcome this, we are introducing a forward-looking element called the “Bank Watch List” into the strongest bank balance sheet evaluation. This identifies and considers the impact of specific evaluation parameters on balance sheet strengths, should macro-economic and business conditions change. By identifying the parameters and institutions that are most likely to be impacted by such changes, we aim to provide a holistic 360 degree view of the ranking without materially changing the composition of the scorecard.

Bank Watch List 2014

Monitoring and tracking small banks that have grown assets rapidly, yet kept low NPL levels in the last two years.

Download the Bank Watch List:
Strength Rank 2014 AB 500 Rank 2014 Commercial Bank Country Net Loans CAGR
Gross NPL Ratio Average
16 335 Bank of Fuxin China 38.51 0.50
33 201 Bank of Suzhou China 29.99 0.70
42 242 Nanchong City Commercial Bank China 35.67 0.40
66 243 China Resources Bank of Zhuhai China 99.72 0.54
67 424 Bank of Chengde China 31.95 0.41
146 249 Bank of Lanzhou China 30.92 0.88
166 28 Ping An Bank China 34.35 0.95
197 431 Bank of Jining China 31.12 0.77
64 245 Guangxi Beibu Gulf Bank  China    
64 263 China Resources Bank of Zhuhai  China    
123 29 Ping An Bank  China    
123 488 JP Morgan Chase Bank (Malaysia) Malaysia    
142 444 Bank Sumitomo Mitsui Indonesia  Indonesia    
189 469 Bank ICBC Indonesia Indonesia    
203 347 Seven Bank  Japan    
217 472 Ratnakar Bank India    
220 344 Zhejiang Mintai Commercial Bank China    
441 307 Members Equity Bank  Australia    
Source: Asian Banker Research

Why introduce the Bank Watch List?

For the second year running, we see smaller and relatively new banks making it to the top of the ranking.30 of the top 50 strongest bank balance sheets belong to these small banks, which rank outside the Top 100 in terms of the size of their balance sheets. The assets of these 30 banks range from $4 billion (434th in the AB 500 2013 ranking) to $57 billion (102nd in the AB 500 2013 ranking).

Who are in the Bank Watch List?

Compared to other banks in the Top 50, these banks generated much higher growth in loans and deposits, and at least on their balance sheets reflected better profitability, risk profile, asset quality and liquidity than other banks.

With the exception of more established banks such Wing Lung Bank, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, the other 27 banks are all smallish new Chinese banks, seven of which are in the Top 20 strongest bank balance sheet ranking. These banks have grown mainly in a period of benign credit expansion and excess liquidity fuelled by the state’s growth-focused policies in the last decade or so.

However, the real test of financial strength is when the business and credit cycles turn and become less benign and asset quality and liquidity positions are stressed. With a marked slowdown in the Chinese economy and signs of stress showing, we anticipate that the performance of these banks in the key parameters will start to show real vulnerabilities.

What does it mean to be in the Bank Watch List?

In this year’s ranking, we have identified net loan growth (CAGR of more than 30%) and NPL (less than 1%) as parameters that will impact financial strength due to fluctuations in macroeconomic and business conditions such as a downturn in credit cycle and asset quality in the region. Banks that have grown net loan relatively quickly and yet been able to maintain
NPL at very low levels on the balance sheet are generally in great shape. However, such performances also show up potential susceptibility and vulnerabilities to a credit cycle downturn.

The “Bank Watch List” does not reflect the financial performance or management of these institutions. It is a tool to monitor and review parameters in order to give a holistic view of financial strengths and the institutions being evaluated. This is the first iteration of what we think will be a powerful tool for the industry to benchmark and review financial strength and which will be continuously enhanced.

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