Commonwealth Bank Back on Top, Brand Study Reveals
The Brand Finance Banking 500, conducted by leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, and published in the February edition of The Banker, is a league table of the world’s biggest banks, ranked by their brand value.
Australia’s bank brands have had a positive year, growing collectively by 14%. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has had a particularly good year as it saw its brand value rise 37% to US$7.5bn (AUD9.2bn). This strong growth helped it reclaim its position as Australia’s most valuable banking brand from ANZ, which had held that accolade for the previous two years. Furthermore, Commonwealth Bank has seen its brand rating upgraded to AAA-, making it not just the most valuable brand, but the strongest too.
Despite being knocked off the top spot, the ANZ brand enjoyed healthy growth of 8% and has achieved a brand value of US$6.7bn (AUD8.1bn). The strong competition between Australia’s two largest banks is starting to have a positive effect on their position in the international banking system. Australia’s banks are continuing to rise through the ranks of the Brand Finance Banking 500, with the top seven all improving their positioning in the table.
St George has entered the global top 100 thanks to 20% growth which brings its total to just shy of US$2 billion (AUD2.4bn). Since being bought by Westpac in 2008, the promise to maintain the St George brand identity has been upheld and seemingly vindicated, as brand value continues to grow.
Only three of 16 Australian banks have seen a loss in brand value; MLC, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank all saw a fall of 13-14%. The strong growth of the remaining 13 has allowed Australia overtake Germany in terms of total bank brand value. The cumulative national total is US$33.4bn (AUD41.9bn), putting Australia 9th globally.
Brand Finance Australia Managing Director, Mark Crowe, comments “Overall the Australian banks have performed exceptionally well and achieved outstanding results. Increased brand strength will enable the banks to remain very competitive through building loyalty and minimizing customer churn.”
Wells Fargo remains the world’s most valuable bank brand. Following 15% growth its total value stands at US$34.9bn. Some other US banks have registered respectable brand value growth such as Citi and Chase (both up 7%) while others such as Bank of America (-4%), Goldman Sachs (-7%) and JP Morgan (-15%) are in the doldrums.
JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon recently expressed concerns that overregulated western banks might be superseded by Chinese brands. Brand Finance’s research would appear to bear that out. ICBC has moved from 6th to 2nd, overtaking HSBC which is now in 3rd globally. China Construction Bank, which has already overtaken HSBC in terms of market capitalisation, has grown its brand by 39% to overtake City, BoA and Chase. Spain’s Santander has been pushed to the bottom of the top ten by Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China.
Ranking the brands by the brand value they have added to their totals this year, the rapid expansion of the Chinese banking sector and the entry of Chinese banks into the global brand elite becomes even clearer. Commonwealth Bank also makes it into the top ten.
European banks have had an even less successful year than those from the US. Total Spanish bank brand values are down 2%, for the UK the figure is -3%, Italy -5%, Germany -6% and France -19%.
QNB is the most valuable bank from the Middle East or Africa. Its brand value is up 44% to $2.6bn. It exemplifies the rapid growth of many Gulf and developing world bank brands. The top ten fastest growing countries are Morocco (total bank brand value +98%), India (+61%), Nigeria (+52%), UAE (+45%), Colombia (+44%), Qatar (+44%), the Philippines (+43%), Saudi Arabia (+40%), China (+29%) and Bahrain (+29%).
Note to Editors
2015 brand values are calculated in USD with a valuation date of 1/1/15. All AUD figures are based on the exchange rate as at that date.
The study has been published annually in the February edition of the Financial Times’ ‘The Banker’ magazine since 2006. Full results can be found on Brand Finance’s website or at thebanker.com/topbankingbrands from February 2nd.
To coincide with the release of the Banker / Brand Finance Banking 500, Brand Finance is hosting an event on February 10th. Speakers include; Mark Mullen, Chief Executive of Atom Bank, David Yates, Chief Executive of Vocalink, Brian Spoule, Chief Economist at the IOD and Brian Caplen, Editor of The Banker. More information can be found on our events website. To attend please email email@example.com .
Brand Finance Australia:
Mark Crowe, Managing Director,
T: +61 (2) 8249 8320, M: +61 408 232 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Haigh, Communications Director,
T: +44 (0)20 7389 9400, M: +44 (0)7762211267, email@example.com
Raj Rai (Ms), Senior Marketing Manager, T: +44 (0)20 7775 6340, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Brand Finance
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, with offices in over 15 countries. We provide clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors by quantifying the financial value of brands.
About The Banker
The Banker is the world's premier banking and finance resource, providing global financial intelligence since 1926, published by the Financial Times ltd. The Banker combines in-depth regional and country coverage reporting on capital markets, structured finance, risk management, working capital management and securities services, environmental finance, trade and project finance, trading, technology and management and governance issues. The Banker/Brand Finance Banking 500 is published in The Banker February edition, to find out more email email@example.com or visit thebanker.com/topbankingbrands.
Brian Caplen has been a financial and business journalist for more than 25 years He has worked in Hong Kong and the Middle East and reported from all over the world. He joined The Banker in 2000 and became editor in 2003.
Explanation of Brand Finance’s Methodology
Brands are probably the most valuable assets that companies own, driving demand and building relationships with customers and partners. However, without firm financial data their importance can be overlooked or misunderstood. Brand Finance calculates their value by determining the royalties a corporation would have to pay to license its brand if it did not own it, known as the ‘royalty relief’ method.
As well as a brand value, each of the 500 brands in the table is accorded a brand rating; a benchmark of the strength, risk and potential of a brand relative to its competitors, similar to a credit rating. A more detailed methodology of how the brand values are calculated can be found here and the results from last year’s study here.