As banks struggle worldwide, Australian lenders seem a mainstay of stability but they depend heavily on the housing sector.
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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.
Chinese banks dominate the top 50 in terms of the best cost-to-income ratios, while Australia is the best-performing developed market.
As Basel III regulations come into play, banks looking for a quick fix to bulky balance sheets are divesting their trade finance assets, creating a gap in the market that investor groups and other alternative financiers are keen to fill.
Market reforms are flooding the financial sector and banks are facing the challenge of managing their liquidity more efficiently. But the industry remains divided on best practice approaches to intraday liquidity management.
While the Asia-Pacific region's growth story over the past few decades has been powered by Japan and then China, at least as far as banking is concerned, when these two countries are removed from The Banker's Asia-Pacific rankings, it is Australia's banks that come to the fore.
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