When it comes to bank safety, head north. At least that's how the magazine Global Finance sees it.
In the magazine's annual list of the world's 50 safest banks, European banks, both inside and outside the eurozone, garnered the most slots with 20. All are located in the northern part of the continent. Meanwhile, Canada placed the most banks of any single country with seven.
In contrast, only five American institutions made the cut.
Still, asterisks could be applied to some of the banks: the top nine institutions are state owned and the bank that ranked No. 1 is KfW Bankengruppe of Frankfurt, Germany, is a development bank.
Among U.S. banks, Bank of New York Mellon ranked highest at No. 29. It was followed by CoBank - the largest of the nation's Farm Credit lenders - at No. 32; U.S. Bancorp (USB), at No. 37; Northern Trust (NTRS), at No. 39; and Wells Fargo (WFC), at No. 48.
As for the rest of the world, six Asian banks made the list, including three in Singapore, while Australia and New Zealand placed five banks, the Middle East placed four banks and South America placed two. No African banks made the cut. (Global Finance's complete rankings.)
Global Finance says the ranking is based on debt ratings from Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch, as well as total assets. Complete details of the results will be released until October.