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Global Banks: The Weakest of Them All

Stocks in this article: DB BCS RBS BAC

Credit Agricole (ACA.PA)

Weiss Financial Strength Rating: E (Very Weak)

Headquarters: France

Credit Agricole, the second largest bank in France with assets of $2.2 trillion, is rated E (Very Weak) by Weiss Ratings. The bank's meager capital position, weak asset quality and poor profitability are primary factors behind Weiss' evaluation. With a tangible common equity ratio of 1.2%, Credit Agricole is well below the industry average of 8.4%. Nonperforming loans to core capital of 34.7% was worse than the average of 31.5%. Operating income to total assets was also very weak at 0.1% with global average benchmark of 0.8 percent.

Bank of America (BAC)

Weiss Financial Strength Rating: D+ (Weak)

Headquarters: U.S.

The largest U.S.-based global bank considered weak by Weiss Ratings is Bank of America (BAC), the tenth largest bank in the world with assets of $2.1 trillion. The bank reported return on equity of -1.5% for 2011, which is well below the industry average of 10%. Bank of America's reduced profitability due to prior bad loans and restructuring of nonperforming businesses is the primary factor in determining the D+ rating.

In Winners and Losers in the Great Global Banking Crisis of 2012-2013, we partner with our sister company, Weiss Research, to combine the global bank ratings with recommendations from the editor of the Safe Money Report, Mike Larson.

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