Four Nordic banks among world's safest

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Obviously the Nordic region hasn't been immune to the machinations of the global financial crisis, and the Baltic downturn has meant behemoths like SEB and Swedbank have hogged the headlines for the wrong reasons. However, four Nordic institutions feature among this year's safest banks rankings.

Global Finance Magazine's annual Top 50 World's Safest Banks list is compiled through comparison of the long-term credit ratings and total assets of the 500 biggest banks throughout the world by using ratings from Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

Nordic banks don't make the top ten - the highest bank being Sweden's Nordea at 21st - but manage to feature prominently, with four making it into the rankings. Only France and Germany have more firms on the list.

The Nordic banks to make the rankings are: Nordea Bank (21), Svenska Handelsbanken (23), Pohjola Bank (27), DnB NOR Bank (33).

Sadly, a recent report by Moody's doesn't agree with the sentiment from Global Finance. Soaring bad debts in the Baltic region combined with a deteriorating economy in the export-driven Nordic region has led the rating agency to downgrade Nordea, Handelsbanken and DnB NOR.

For the full list, click here.

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