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Australia's Most Valuable Banking Brands

08 May 2015
This article is more than 8 years old.

Commonwealth Bank Back on Top, Brand Study Reveals

  • Commonwealth Bank reclaims the number 1 spot
  • ANZ second after 2 years on top
  • Vast majority of Australia’s bank brands growing rapidly
  • Total Australian bank brand value up 14%, ranks 9th globally
  • Wells Fargo stays as world’s most valuable banking brand
  • Chinese brands growing strongly, overtaking major western brands

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.”

Global Results

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 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 protected] .

Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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