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BrandFinance® Banking 500 2010

01 February 2010
This article is more than 14 years old.

BRANDFINANCE® Banking 500 shows:

  • HSBC World's leading bank brand for 3rd year in a row
  • Santander is world's fastest growing retail bank brand
  • Decline in US dominance of world banking industry
  • Rise in banking brands from Middle East
  • First Russian bank breaks into World Top 20 Bank brands

The banking sector has begun to show tangible signs of recovery, with the world’s 500 most valuable banking groups growing by 62% in terms of market capitalisation and their brand values cumulatively increasing by 49%, according to the fourth edition of the BrandFinance® Banking 500 – an annual review of the top banking brands in the world published in conjunction with The Banker.

The report, which measures companies by both brand strength and brand value as of 31st December 2009, details how all segments of the banking industry have recovered.

HSBC retains its place as the most valuable banking brand in the world for the third year in a row, increasing in brand value by 12% to US$28.5bn. Bank of America, the second most valuable global banking brand increased in brand value by 24% to US$26.1bn. However, smaller US brands showed much higher percentage increases than Bank of America including Goldman Sachs, Chase and JP Morgan (106%, 53% and 45% respectively).

Santander is the world’s fastest growing retail bank brand, coming third overall in the Top 500. The Spanish banking group saw its brand value rise by US$14.8bn, an increase of 136% to US$25.6bn. A significant factor in the growth in Santander’s brand value has been the consolidation of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley brands under the Santander brand.

The BrandFinance® Banking 500 rankings also track the rise of banking brands from emerging markets. Middle Eastern brands, and most particularly in the GCC states, revealed a strong performance increasing in brand value by 78%. This is a reflection of buoyant oil and gas receipts underpinning many Middle East economies and the growth of Islamic banking. However, the South American region experienced the highest growth in brand value increasing by 84%. This is a reflection of the resilient performance in the region, particularly in the Brazilian banking market.

US dominance of the global banking industry has declined with a decrease in the number of US banks in the Global Top 500 down from 95 in 2008 to 85 in 2009. Although US bank brands recovered during 2009 the overall increase in brand value was only 29%.

Whilst the number of European banks in the Global 500 has increased from 174 to 197, the number of UK banks has fallen from 24 to 22. This suggests that recovery in continental Europe – most particularly in France, Spain and Switzerland – has left British banks behind. European bank brands have recovered significantly growing their brand value in aggregate by 67%.

Asian markets continue to do well but grew by only 31% in brand value because Japanese brand values declined by 3% reflecting the continued instability of the Japanese market. By contrast India and China saw brand value growth by 137% and 58% respectively.

2009 is also the first year that a Russian bank – Sberbank – has made the Top 20 (No.15), with significant growth of 160% on the previous year, bringing its market capitalisation to US$51.1bn and its brand value to US$11.7bn.

Banks in the Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand, have seen a recovery with growth of 58%.

“This year’s BrandFinance® Banking 500 shows how significant the recovery of global banking brands has been,” explains David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance plc. “The value of the Top 500 global bank brands is now 4% higher than in 2008, prior to the banking crisis. The total value of The top 500 global bank brands is $US 716bn, an increase of 49% on 2009.There has been a significant shift in the balance of power globally away from the US and towards banks in emerging markets.”

Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker added: "In the wake of the financial crisis, banks are approaching the issue of branding with renewed vigour. However this cannot be a short term project. What the Brand Finance® Banking 500 ranking shows is that successful banks such as HSBC and Santander work at getting all the parts of the operation to work in favour of the branding".

To download the full report, please visit

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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