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Brand Finance Banking Forum 2020

05 February 2020, 09:00–11:00

Can Challenger Banks Succeed?

Challenger banks were set up to revolutionise the way we manage our money. They provide a speedy and convenient high-tech service, focusing on retail banking areas that have historically been underserved by the large incumbent banks.

However, with the ongoing threat of financial security to the consumer, is it possible to secure the longevity of the emerging challenger banks over the long-established stability of the traditional banking system?

We were joined by Harriet Rees, Head of Data Science at Starling Bank at Brand Exchange to discuss the issues facing challenger banks, and whether they can succeed in the constantly evolving banking system. The speaker presentation was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Brian Caplen, Editor of The Banker.

We also presented the results of our Brand Finance Banking 500 study into the world’s most valuable and strongest banking brands.


08:30 - 09:00 Registration & Coffee
09:00 - 09:05 Welcome & Introduction


David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance

09:05 - 09:25 Brand Finance Banking 500 Report Presentation


Declan Ahern, Associate Director, Brand Finance

09:25 - 09:45 Can Challenger Banks Succeed?


Harriet Rees, Head of Data Science, Starling Bank

09:45 - 10:15 Q&A Session


Moderated by Brian Caplen, Editor, The Banker

10:15 - 10:20 Conclusions & Closing Remarks


David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance

10:20 - 11:00 Networking & Refreshments
to be notified of future events
In association with
The Banker

The Banker is the world’s premier banking and finance magazine. Read in 150 countries around the world, The Banker is the key source of data and analysis for the industry. Its unique database of more than 4000 banks maps their financial strength and soundness via Tier 1 capital, their profitability, and their performance versus their peers. The Banker has been providing global financial intelligence since 1926 and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting on major events. The Banker’s senior editors travel the world to interview senior bankers and world leaders, giving the magazine a unique insight on global trends.

The Banker Website


Brian Caplen
The Banker

Brian Caplen has been editor of The Banker since 2003. He joined the Financial Times Group from Euromoney in 2000 where he had been executive editor of Euromoney magazine for five years. He also worked as a business editor and journalist in Hong Kong and the Middle East for 10 years. He has travelled extensively and done numerous high level interviews with prime ministers, finance ministers, central bank governors and senior executives. He has a first class honours degree In Development Studies from the University of East Anglia.

David Haigh
Chairman and CEO
Brand Finance

David is the Chairman and CEO of Brand Finance Plc – the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. He has worked in the area of branded business, brand, and intangible asset valuation since 1991. He specialised entirely in the field after becoming the Director of Brand Valuation for Interbrand in 1995. He subsequently left Interbrand in 1996 to launch Brand Finance which is celebrating 25 years in business this year.

David represented the British Standards Institution in the working parties responsible for crafting international industry standards: ISO 10668 on Brand Valuation in 2010 and ISO 20671 on Brand Evaluation in 2019.

David is a passionate writer and has authored many articles on brand valuation, published in numerous marketing and finance newspapers and magazines, such as: Financial Times, Accountancy Age, and Marketing Week. He has also lectured on the topic of brand valuation for Harvard, Chicago, and London Business Schools.

David graduated from Bristol University with an English degree, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London, and obtained a postgraduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He is a Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has a practising certificate with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Declan Ahern

Declan joined Brand Finance as an Analyst. During his time at Brand Finance, Declan has worked on projects in a range of sectors, but with a specific focus on Banking, Insurance and Mining, as well as extensive experience in evaluation of sports sponsorship activities. Declan has performed various valuations and conducted strategic analysis  for a number of notable clients such as Chevron, Barclays, Zurich, Allianz and Rio Tinto. From these Valuations, Declan has been able to advise our clients about strategies that could maximise their Business Values through increased utility from their brand.Declan studied at the University of Cape Town and graduated with Bachelor of Business Science in Finance with Economics. He is currently studying to become a Chartered Accountant with Brand Finance, and recently completed the first level of the Chartered Financial Analyst exams.

Harriet Rees
Head of Data Science
Starling Bank

Harriet is passionate about using Technology and AI to drive better customer experiences across financial services and as such joined Starling Bank in 2018 as Head of Data Science. At Starling, Harriet directs a broad range of data analytics projects to provide insights across the bank, improve operational efficiency and harness a data-driven mindset across the organisation. Harriet previously worked as an Actuary as Head of Price Optimization at AXA Global where she ran predictive analytics projects across Europe and Asia, based in Paris.


Job Title


Brand Exchange 3 Birchin Lane London EC3V 9BW

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