The Banker / BrandFinance® Banking 500


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Wells Fargo Heads Retail Banking Recovery to Become the World’s Most Valuable Bank Brand


  • Wells Fargo is the world’s most valuable bank brand with a brand value of $26bn
  • There has been a 15% increase in total brand values from $746.8bn in 2012 to $860.7bn in 2013, in contrast to over $100bn lost the previous year
  • Despite murmurings of reduced growth Chinese banks have again performed well, with a total brand value increase of 335%
  • UK banks, including 2012’s most valuable bank brand HSBC, have done poorly - the UK is the only top 10 country to see the total value of its bank brands fall (by 2%)


The Banker / BrandFinance® Banking 500, released today, is an annual study conducted by Brand Finance plc, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, published in the ‘The Banker’ magazine. The world’s biggest banks are ranked by their brand value, with the results reflecting industry trends and indicating future developments.

With a brand valued at $26bn in 2013, Wells Fargo is the world’s most valuable bank brand. CEO John Stumpf has spearheaded an impressive recovery from 2012, when total brand values for the top 500 banks fell by over $100 billion. Wells Fargo leads a field of retail-focussed banks that have outperformed competitors in other sectors. Total retail banking revenues for the top 500 are up 24% with brand values increasing 21%. Meanwhile investment banking revenues are down 7% and brand values down 14%.

US banks have fared well relative to their European counterparts. Most have disposed of bad assets and with the domestic economy and property market starting to recover, earnings projections, a key brand value driver, have improved. At the same time they have help boost employment, with employee numbers up 10%. US banks now occupy four of the top five places and five more places in the table as a whole, with a total of 93.

Emerging markets have seen huge increases in brand value, reflecting the fast growth of their banks and the continuing establishment of their brands. Russian banks have performed the best with a 453% uplift since 2008, followed by Indonesia (443%), the Philippines (412%), Colombia (377%) and China (335%). The presence and might of the Chinese banks has been ever growing. This year their total brand value reached $95.7 billion, with Agricultural Bank of China recording the highest leap in brand value of any bank ($6.04 billion) sending it from 18th to 11th place.

Commenting on the results, The Banker’s editor, Brian Caplen, said: “Total bank brand values are the highest they have ever been and are nearly double the level in 2009 during the worst of the financial crisis. Chinese banks are still leading the charge in terms of the largest increases in brand value but they are now being joined by leading US banks such as Chase, Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.”

Brand Finance Chief Executive, David Haigh said: “This year’s results show that globally the banking crisis is nearly over as both brand ratings and values are rising. Only UK banks continue to lag behind the global recovery in both reputation and brand value.”



About Brand Finance

Brand Finance plc, the world's leading brand valuation consultancy, advises strongly branded organisations on maximising their brand value through effective management of their brands and intangible assets. Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.

Its clients include international brand owners, tax authorities, Intellectual Property lawyers and investment banks. Its work is frequently peer-reviewed by the big four audit practices and its reports have been accepted by various regulatory bodies, including the UK Takeover Panel.

Brand Finance is headquartered in London and has a network of international offices in Amsterdam, Bangalore, Barcelona, Cape Town, Colombo, Dubai, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Singapore, Toronto and Zagreb.

For further information contact:

Robert Haigh +44 (0) 20 7389 9400.

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