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BrandFinance® Banking 500 2010

01 February 2010
This article is more than 11 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

Konrad Jagodzinski
Konrad Jagodzinski
Communications Director
Brand Finance
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Senior Communications Manager
Brand Finance

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