• Transform magazine
  • July 29, 2021


Chinese bank brands grow while Europe and the US lag behind


A league table of the world’s biggest banks, ranked by brand value, is topped by Wells Fargo.

The research, carried out by Brand Finance Plc, shows that UK bank brands lost 3% of their value in the past year. Chinese banks continue to rise above American and European banks.

Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh, comments, “A strong brand builds loyalty, helping to reduce churn. As switching becomes easier and with nimble competitors emerging, some banks may have to rely on the power of their brand ever more heavily to hold onto customers.”

Of the ‘big four’, Lloyds was the only one to demonstrate growth. This could be attributed to its recent brand refresh. TSB is the UK’s most successful bank brand this year, its success (it has grown by over 21%) is indicative of the threat challenger banks are now posing to the UK’s major players.

The rest of the UK’s banks continue to suffer from damaged reputations. NatWest, RBS and Nationwide all saw their brand values fall. The Coutts private banking service was the worst affected, it lost 42% of its brand value due to continued association with investment mis-selling scandals. The UK banks have all been affected by a tougher regulatory regime.

In the US, Standard Chartered’s brand value is down by nearly $2 bn. It was fined $327m by the authorities for violating sanctions against Iran but it appears that the reputational implications have had an even bigger impact on the bank’s financial position.

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan chief executive, recently expressed concerns that overregulated western banks might be superseded by Chinese brands. The Brand Finance Banking 500 shows that China’s ICBC has moved from 6th to 2nd place in the rankings, overtaking HSBC which is now in 3rd place globally. China Construction Bank, which has already overtaken HSBC in terms of market capitalisation, has grown its brand by 39% to overtake Citi, 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. European banks in general are not demonstrating strong brand growth.

QNB is the most valuable bank from the MENA region, its brand value is up 44% to $2.6bn. QNB exemplifies the rapid growth of many developing-world bank brands. The top ten fastest-growing countries are Morocco, India, Nigeria, UAE, Colombia, Qatar, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, China and Bahrain.

For the full directory, see here.


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