South Korea’s banks have seen a year of low growth, which means no change in the country ranking and little movement in the global table. 

Despite South Korea being one of the largest economies in the Asia-Pacific region, its banks have shown muted growth in their Tier 1 capital over the course of 2019. This stagnation is reflected in the country’s lack of progress in the Top 1000 ranking, with very little change in the placing of its banks. 

This year’s results are unchanged from 2019’s positions, with 10 banks in the Top 1000 World Banks ranking hailing from South Korea. In the country table, each of these banks retain the same position as last year, with KB Financial Group, Shinhan Financial Group and Korea Development Bank taking the top three places respectively. 

However, they did not fare as well in the overall world bank ranking, all slipping down the chart. KB Financial Group is in 61st place, falling from 59th in 2019, while Shinhan Financial Group is in 65th (down from 63rd), and Korea Development Bank is 67th, after ranking 64th the previous year. These results come on the back of a year of poor results in Tier 1 capital growth. Of the top three, only KB Financial Group has seen an increase in Tier 1, growing by 3.47%. Both Shinhan Financial Group and Korea Development Bank recorded declines, by 0.43% and 1.38%, respectively. 

Ranked by assets and the results are different. Shinhan Financial Group moves up to the top spot, pushing KB Financial Group into second. In third place, it is all change, with NongHyup Financial Group, ranked seventh for Tier 1 capital, rounding out the top three. Meanwhile, Korea Development Bank is pushed down into seventh position. 

In terms of return on assets (ROA), the results are even more interesting. KB Financial Group places third and Shinhan Financial Group is second, while Korea Development Bank ranks lowest overall for South Korean banks in 12th place. However, JB Financial Group, in 12th place for Tier 1 capital and 11th for assets, is in first place for its ROA. 

In the best-performing banks ranking, KB Financial Group outshines its peers, with an overall performance score of 6.76. However, this result is thanks more to its consistency across the eight categories than for topping any of the metrics. The bank’s highest placing is second, for liquidity, while it comes fourth in leverage and third for all other categories. 

Shinhan Financial Group varies between the categories, coming in third overall with a score of 6.67. It comes top for both growth and liquidity, but is let down in soundness and leverage, ranking seventh for both. 

NongHyup Financial Group also performs well, coming in second place in the best-performing banks ranking by leading its peers in profitability, asset quality, and return on risk.  

Woori Bank is fifth in the country ranking and 91st in the global list after growing its Tier 1 capital by 6.05%. It comes fifth in the best-performing banks table with a score of 5.86. This success is down to the bank being ranked second in the leverage, soundness and asset quality. 


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