Brand Finance logo

ING-DiBa – Germany’s Most Trusted Bank Brand

28 September 2017
This article is more than 6 years old.

· Brand Finance launches banking market research on German bank brands

· ING-DiBa is Germany’s most trusted bank with 80.8% of its customers and 75.0% of the market trusting it

· Deutsche Bank is the least trusted major bank with only 46.8% of its own customers trusting the bank and 13.6% planning on leaving

· 28% of Millennials looking to switch banks compared to only 7% of over 55s

· 44% of those ‘very likely’ to switch planning to move to non-traditional banks

Brand Finance conducted research on bank brands in 22 markets to understand how customers’ opinions have changed in an era of major disruption to the industry. As global banks retreated after the Great Recession, the traditional banking model has changed. The prevailing trends suggest FinTechs and niche “challenger banks” are biting into banks’ profits and luring their customers away with better quality service at lower prices. Traditional banks tend not to be set up as quick innovators, instead, they compete for customers’ trust. Brand Finance’s research has determined which are maintaining their advantage and which are not.

ING-DiBa is the most trusted bank in the study with 80.8% of its customers trusting the brand. This reputation is testament to the fact that ING-DiBa has been a pioneer in direct banking in Germany. The brand operates without branches, maintaining a limited but successful consumer offer. With about 9 million customers in Germany, ING-DiBa has become one of the most successful financial services brands in the country, differentiated also by high levels of customer loyalty, with 68.1% stating they were ‘very unlikely’ to leave the bank. ING-DiBa was also found to be the most popular brand among those customers of other banks looking to switch, with 13.6% choosing it over others.

ING-DiBa’s high trust and loyalty scores are, in fact, an anomaly since private banks tend to be less trusted than their public equivalents. Volskbank and Sparkasse, for example, have trust levels for all bank users of 67.8% and 63.9% respectively against just 53.8% for Commerzbank.

Alex Haigh, Director at Brand Finance, commented: “Public banks are generally able to be more localised and more cooperative with their customers. As a result, they have shielded themselves from the worst effects of public dissatisfaction with banks since the credit crisis of the late 2000s. However, across Europe, public banks come under increasing pressure to provide better service with fewer branches. Most brands are recognising this with investments in their digital offering and keeping a careful watch on customer care, but some are not.”

Deutsche Bank, for example, has not been able to compete on trust as the issues troubling its corporate and investment banking business have had a negative impact on the brand perception at the retail customer end.

The brand has been plagued by fines, claims of mismanagement, and scandals that have left it the least trusted major bank in Germany, with a score of only 46.8% among its customers and an even lower 39.6% in the market as a whole. The brand’s new management team has made noteworthy attempts to turn the corner in the last two years, however, excessive cost-cutting at the expense of customer experience appears to be leading to a decline in loyalty levels as the bank’s users are most likely in the market to plan to leave their bank.

28% of all German bank customers looking to switch are under 35s, the so-called ‘Millennials’. Customers are attracted to new, innovative brands with 44% of those ‘very likely’ to switch planning to move to a bank outside of the top 7 largest.

Alex Haigh, Director at Brand Finance, added: “Innovative in their online offerings, more flexible, while less tainted by scandals, these smaller, more nimble banks tend to be more responsive to their customers’ needs, leading in turn to higher loyalty levels.”


Note to Editors

Brand Finance researched 19,000 people in 22 markets. We asked the respondents to state which bank they were a customer of and whether they were likely to switch to a competing bank brand by selecting Might/Very Likely or Might Not/Very Unlikely. Bank brands with the highest proportion of customers “very likely” to switch are those with the least loyal customers. Whereas, others can boast a loyal customer base if the respondents were, in majority, “very unlikely” to switch.

We asked the respondents separately to state if they considered particular bank brands to be trustworthy. The samples were randomly selected and consisted on average of over 850 respondents representative of each market. The data was gathered with the help of online questionnaires and completed in November 2016, ahead of the release of the Brand Finance Banking 500 in February 2017.


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.

Get in Touch