India’s Bank Brands Surge Ahead with Pioneering Use of Tech
India’s banks have triumphed in the latest edition of the Brand Finance Banking 500. The study, conducted by leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, and published in the February edition of The Banker, is a league table of the world’s biggest banks, ranked by their brand value.
Economic reforms, increased infrastructure investment and a greater focus on tackling bureaucracy have boosted economic forecasts and investor confidence, laying the foundations for India’s brands to grow.
State Bank of India continues to lead the field as India’s most valuable banking brand. It has added $2.5 billion to reach a total of $6.6 billion. Its growth is not reliant on India’s economic performance alone. SBI’s pioneering approach to mobile banking has also driven performance; 12.5 million customers transacted via their mobiles in 2014 compared to 8.57 million in 2013. This has put SBI at the forefront of mobile banking in India, with its customers’ mobile transactions accounting for half of all mobile transactions in the country. Average transaction amounts also increased to over 7000 rupees last year suggesting that mobile is becoming an increasingly significant force in retail banking.
ICICI Bank, India’s 2nd most valuable bank brand, has also performed well. 49% growth takes its total to $2.5 billion. Like SBI, ICICI has been proactive in embracing new technology, having introduced the country’s first contactless cards, mobile payment systems and internet banking. To solidify the association of technological innovation with its brand, ICICI has created a ‘digital village’, transforming the rural community of Akodara in Gujurat into a hub of 21st century connectivity. The site showcases the transformative effect this can have on poor rural populations; thanks to ICICI’s tab banking, all of Akodara’s adults now have savings accounts.
Private sector lender IndusInd bank appears in the Banking 500 for the first time, securing a mid-table rank with a brand value of $312m. IndusInd has seen profits surge by around 30% in the past two quarters, one factor behind its brand value growth. Digitization has been a key focus for IndusInd, which recently launched ‘Video Branch’, which will allow for face-to-face interaction with bank managers for all its customers via computers and Android or Apple smartphones.
Yes Bank is another new entrant in the Brand Finance Banking 500. Its brand value is, up 59% to $204m. It has gained greatly from Narendra Modhi’s appointment. In the wake of Modi’s election in May, Yes Bank managed to raise US$ 500m in share sales to institutional investors as demand surged following his pledges to boost growth.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh comments, “Technological advances are opening up exciting new opportunities for India’s banks as swathes of the population begin to bank more formally. Their brand managers may need to forge new brand strategies to reach these customers most effectively while maintaining the trust and loyalty of existing ones.”
Chinese Brands Threaten America's Banking Primacy
Wells Fargo remains the world’s most valuable bank brand. Following growth of 15%, its total value stands at $34.9bn. Some other US banks have registered respectable brand value growth such as Citi and Chase (both up 7%) while others such as Bank of America (-4%), Goldman Sachs (-7%) and JP Morgan (-15%) are in the doldrums.
JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon recently expressed concerns that overregulated western banks might be superseded by Chinese brands. Brand Finance’s research would appear to bear that out. ICBC has moved from 6th to 2nd place in the rankings, overtaking HSBC which is now in 3rd 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 have had an even less successful year than those from the US. Total Spanish bank brand values are down 2%, for the UK the figure is -3%, Italy -5%, Germany -6% and France -19%.
QNB is the most valuable bank from the Middle East or Africa. Its brand value is up 44% to $2.6bn. It exemplifies the rapid growth of many Gulf and developing world bank brands. The top ten fastest growing countries are Morocco (+98%), India (+61%), Nigeria (+52%), UAE (+45%), Colombia (+44%), Qatar (+44%), the Philippines (+43%), Saudi Arabia (+40%), China (+29%) and Bahrain (+29%).
Note to Editors
Brand values for 2015 are calculated in USD with a valuation date of 1/1/15. All IRP figures are based on the exchange rate against the dollar as at that date.
The study has been published annually in the February edition of the Financial Times’ ‘The Banker’ magazine since 2006. Full results can be found on Brand Finance’s website or at thebanker.com/topbankingbrands from February 2nd.
To coincide with the release of the Banker / Brand Finance Banking 500, Brand Finance is hosting an event on February 10th. Speakers include Mark Mullen, chief executive of Atom Bank, David Yates, chief executive of Vocalink, Brian Spoule, chief economist at the IOD and Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker. More information can be found on our events website. To attend please email email@example.com.