Wells Fargo has been ranked the world’s most valuable bank brand on Brand Finance’s Banking 500 list. The list, compiled annually by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, ranks the world’s biggest banks by their brand value. The results, published in the February edition of The Banker magazine, reflect industry trends and indicate future developments.
Most US banks are seeing strong growth due to monetary policy that has driven an economic recovery. Wells Fargo experienced the greatest growth, adding $4.2 billion of brand value to reach a total of over $30 billion. The improved domestic economy has increased revenues, helping Wells Fargo overtake JP Morgan as the world’s most profitable bank.
Additionally, Wells Fargo has made customer service central to its brand. The bank now holds a more favorable reputation with the general public than its competitors, which is reflected in its enhanced brand rating, up to AAA-. Despite the success, Wells Fargo is closely followed by Bank of America and Citi, which have grown their brands by $4.3 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively.
A steady increase in the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) has helped many investment banks, including Goldman Sachs. Last year, there were 222 IPOs- seven times the figure for 2008. Consequently, Goldman has grown its brand value faster than any major bank, up 37% to a total over $10 billion.
The success of America’s top banks is not distributed evenly throughout the list. At a time of wealth polarisation and calls for greater competition in banking, there has actually been a consolidation around the biggest US banking brands. In 2013, the top 10 US banking brands represented 68% of the total value of all US brands in the table; in 2014, that figure is 83%.
“This year’s Brand Finance Banking 500 shows clearly the recovery not just of the US economy, but also the reputation of America’s biggest banks,” said David Haigh, Brand Finance’s chief executive. “Looking forward, banks will be concerned that tapering will restrict the liquidity that has allowed them to rebuild over the last year. However, by focusing on brand and reputation as well as financials, banks such as Wells Fargo will be well placed to prosper QE free.”
|Global Rank 2014||Global Rank 2013||Brand||Brand Value 2014 (USD millions)||Brand Rating 2014||BV Change (%)||BV Change (USD m)||Brand Value 2013 (USD millions)||Brand Rating 2013|
In addition to the success of US banks, western brands in general have shown promising improvements. In Europe, HSBC saw the greatest growth, with a brand value increase of $4 billion. UBS and BNP Paribas followed closely with increases of $3.35 billion and $1.6 billion. Meanwhile, Greece’s total is up over 100% as successful austerity measures have begun to rapidly transform the country’s economic outlook.
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Notable results from elsewhere in the world include the halting of rapid growth in some BRIC countries, namely Russia, India and Brazil, whose national brand value totals are down 6%, 13% and 23%, respectively. China, however, continues to grow, with its banks adding nearly $19 billion and 3 bank brands ranked in the global top ten.
Click here to see the complete Brand Finance Banking 500 list.