Global banking profits jumped in this year's Top 1000 World Banks ranking to exceed their pre-crisis peak. So is the sector back in good health? Not universally so, reports Philip Alexander.
Profits are up in the 2014 Top 1000 World Banks ranking, with much of the good news coming from the direction of western Europe. On a regional basis, however, Asia-Pacific still dominates.
Brazilian banks remain way out in front in the Central and South America region, but it is Venezuelan banks that are putting in the most eye-catching performances.
As was the case in 2013 Top 1000 World Banks ranking, when it comes to returns on assets, African banks are the stellar performers.
Loan-to-deposit ratios among the global regions have generally fallen, though central and eastern Europe has risen from 107.61% to 112.79% in the 2014 Top 1000 World Bank rankings.
HSBC holds on to the top position in western Europe, while the aftermath of the eurozone crisis shapes much of the rest of the list.
Despite increasing profits, the performance of Japan's banks continues to suffer across most metrics.
The Asia-Pacific (excluding China and Japan) region is once again led by Australian institutions, although this year's rankings underscore the strength of the region as a whole, with a high number of new entrants in each category.
Gulf lenders continue to drive the performance of Middle Eastern banks, recording impressive growth in this year's rankings. Elsewhere, Iranian banks are making sizeable gains.
Little has changed at the top of the central and eastern European ranking, where Russian lenders still dominate, but sales and takeovers have caused a reshuffle further down the ranking.
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