Report How Safe Is Your Bank - List According To Exposure To Cds in House prices and the economy Posted October 23, 2008 The cost of a CDS - how much it costs to insure a loan to, or investment in that bank - reflects how risky the market thinks the bank is, i.e. how likely that bank is to default. The higher the price, the more risky it is. So, yes, it is a table of relative safety, but based on the cost of a CDS; it does not tell you what their exposure to CDSs are, i.e. how much they would be liable for if another institution went bust (although that should, in theory, be built in to the cost of a CDS).