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The world’s best bank in the emerging markets 2021: Bank Central Asia

Renowned for its prudence and conservatism, the bank was in a strong position going into the pandemic. Investment in digital banking and risk management make it well placed to thrive once the crisis is over.

This was a year to reward a bank proving itself in desperate circumstances. At the time of writing, Indonesia is suffering its worst Covid outbreak of the pandemic to date; more than twice as many people died there in the two weeks to August 11 as in any other country. While many western nations have begun to talk about Covid in the past tense, in emerging markets from Asia to Latin America it is very much in the present and the future.

In several of these blighted countries, we have seen a strong bank get stronger, proving its resilience, getting ahead in digital and putting further daylight between itself and domestic peers.


  • HDFC Bank
  • BBVA
  • Perhaps the most potent example of this worldwide is Bank Central Asia, by some distance the best-run bank in Indonesia under the longstanding stewardship of president director Jahja Setiaatmadja.


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