The former chief executive of HSBC Dyfrig John has received the only high profile honour for banking in the New Year Honours.
Mr John, who retired in March, is appointed CBE for services to the financial services industry.
Other business figures honoured include bra entrepreneur Michelle Mone and River Cafe restaurant founders Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.
The awards come at the end of another difficult year in the banking sector.
Banks have spent much of 2009 slowly recovering from the global financial crisis that engulfed them in the autumn of 2008.
Mr John's honour comes at the end of a 38-year career in banking which began when he joined Midland Bank in 1971 as a management trainee.
He then went on to help modernise HSBC's branch network before taking on the chief executive role, spanning the UK and Europe.
On his departure from HSBC in March, the bank's chairman Stephen Green described Mr John's contribution to the business as "immeasurable".
In previous years several members of the banking elite have received honours for their services to the industry, including Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, and Sir Victor Blank, the former chairman of Lloyds.
Other business figures honoured this year include Michelle Mone, the designer of the Ultimo bra range, who becomes an OBE.
After coming up with the unique bra design in the 1990s, she went on to build her own business empire in women's underwear.
Ms Mone said she was "absolutely thrilled, honoured and delighted" to receive the honour.
"It's incredibly overwhelming and makes it all worth it," she said.
Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, who co-founded the Michelin-starred River Cafe restaurant in London, have also been honoured.
They become MBEs for services to the hospitality industry.
Other business figures honoured this year include:
Richard Douglas Lapthorne, chairman of Cable and Wireless, who is made a Knight Bachelor for services to telecommunications
Rodney Cousens, chief executive of Codemasters, is made a CBE for services to the computer games industry
Source: BBC News