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Japan

Best bank
Shinsei Bank Best equities house
Nomura Securities

Best debt house
Daiwa Securities SMBC

Best M&A house
Goldman Sachs

Shinsei Bank, which was formed from the remnants of the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan and controversially sold to a foreign-led investor consortium, is small by Japanese standards. It boasts just $60 billion of assets and only 29 retail branches, in a business it started only in June 2001.

Yet Shinsei punches way above its weight and is leading the way for bank reform in Japan. ATMs available 24 hours a day and seven days a week without charge, and branches open on weekdays until 7pm are revolutionary in Japan.

Shinsei is also financially the fittest bank in Japan by some margin. Net profit for fiscal 2003 was up 25% to ¥66.4 billion ($613 million). Non-interest revenues have jumped and now constitute most of the bank?s revenues. Non-performing loans are a meagre 2.8%. Tier 1 capital comprises 99% of core capital. Shinsei also has a capital adequacy ratio of 21%, again higher than any other large Japanese bank. Adjusted return on equity was 14.6% and despite Shinsei?s infancy, retail banking already accounts for more than half of its funding sources.

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