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The Middle East's Most Valuable Banking Brands

02 February 2015
This article is more than 6 years old.

QNB Crowned the Middle East’s Most Valuable Banking Brand

  • QNB is the most valuable banking brand in the Middle East and Africa
  • Growing presence & power of brand in Africa helps brand value jump 44%
  • Al-Rajhi remains top in KSA and enters the global top 100
  • Emirates NBD grows brand 40% with award winning marketing
  • NBK is top in Kuwait, now valued at over $1 billion
  • Qatar Islamic Bank is the fastest riser with a 91% increase in value
  • Globally, Chinese banks overtake major western brands
  • Wells Fargo remains the world’s most valuable bank brand

The Brand Finance Banking 500, conducted by leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance plc, and published in the February edition of The Banker, is a league table of the world’s biggest banks, ranked by their brand value.

QNB is the most valuable banking brands across both the Middle East and Africa. Its brand value is up US$792 million (the greatest increase of any brand in the region) to $2.6 billion. It has overtaken Turkish brands Akbank and IsBank and has entered the top 100 for the first time, ranking 79th globally.

Commenting on the achievement, Yousef Darwish (General Manager, QNB Group Communication) said, “We have come a long way from our Brand Value of approximately QAR 2.5 billion (US$703 million) in 2010 but there is still a great deal of work to be done to achieve our vision of becoming a MEA Icon by 2017. The importance of our brand and how it is perceived by our diverse range of stakeholders is paramount across our domestic and international network of operations and this prestigious accolade from Brand Finance proves that we are making impressive progress”.

Several of Qatar’s other bank brands have performed well too. Commercial Bank and Masraf Al Rayan have both increased their brand value by 47% since the beginning of 2014. Qatar Islamic Bank has experienced the most rapid growth, nearly doubling the value of its brand in a year.

UAE banks are strengthening their position both domestically and in the wider region. HSBC has been eclipsed as the leading bank for syndicate loans in the UAE as native lenders gain favour with locals. Emirates NBD won five categories at the Effie MENA Awards 2014, including one for brand experience, contributing to the growing strength of its brand, which is 40% more valuable than last year. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi was the UAE’s top performer; its brand value increased 76% to almost $1.5bn. It has signed a three year agreement with Real Madrid, harnessing the power of one of the world’s most valuable sports brands, to build its own.

KSA’s Samba Financial Group, Riyad Bank and SABB have all seen their brand values grow strongly at 36%, 53% and 31% respectively. Saudi Investment Bank and Alinma Bank are Saudi Arabia’s top performing banking brands, both have grown their brand values by 65% since 2014. Al-Rajhi remains the country’s most valuable banking brand. A brand value of over $2 billion puts it in the global top 100.

NBK tops the list of Kuwait’s banking brands. 32% growth takes its total to over $1 billion for the first time. Bahrain’s number 1 bank brand, Ahli United Bank, has increased in value by 63%. The brand has benefitted from a disciplined risk management culture and good customer relations.

Brand Finance Chief Executive David High commented, “Home grown names such as QNB, NBK and Emirates NBD are asserting themselves as the bank brands of choice in the Middle East. Some are demonstrating international ambitions that are already leading to rapid expansion not just in their home nations, but across the Middle East, into Africa and beyond. The entry of QNB and Al-Rajhi Bank into the global top 100 for the first time this year suggests the Middle East’s banks are being recognised and rewarded internationally not only for financial success but for the powerful brands they are building.”

Global Results

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%.

The countries with the fastest growing bank brands are Morocco (+98%), India (+61%), Nigeria (+52%), UAE (+45%), Colombia (+44%), Qatar (+44%), the Philippines (+43%), Saudi Arabia (+40%), China (+29%) and Bahrain (+29%) highlighting the strong performance of the GCC.

Note to Editors

Brand values for 2015 are calculated in USD with a valuation date of 1/1/15. 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’swebsite or at 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

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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