Société Générale has pushed Pictet from the top spot in the twelfth annual global custody survey by R&M Consultants, which aims to show how clients view the services provided by their custodians.
The French bank, which finished second to Pictet in 2003 leapfrogged its Swiss custody rival in the last year with Pictet pushed back to third place by RBS Global Services who came in second.
BNP Paribas was voted the most improved custodian over the year.
However, among pension funds, foundations and charity clients, RBC Global Services came top, with Pictet moving down into second place.
Investment managers named Société Générale as their favourite custodian for the second year running with BNP Paribas leaping from thirteenth to fifth place. The Bank of New York (ninth) and JP Morgan (tenth) both improved their positions by two places.
Significantly, the survey results show an improvement in performance from all the participating banks for the third year running.
The total scores from all respondents increased from 5.32 in 2003 to 5.56 (out of 7), a gain of 0.24. This follows the gains in recent years of 0.13 (2003) and 0.37 (2002).
Commenting on the results, Richard Hogsflesh, managing director of R&M Consultants, says: “It can be difficult to compare the performance of global custodians who manage under £20bn (E29bn) of assets compared to those who have nearly £500bn. The clients know whether they want or need a reputed local provider or a large and sophisticated global player.
“What the survey does is to show how the different types of clients view their custodians. “This analogy can be applied to the survey respondents – major international investment managers dealing with perhaps 40 or 50 custody relationships have a much broader experience and are likely to be more critical than regional pension schemes that deal with one provider only and have no basis for comparison.”