UK Outperforms All Major Western Economies but RBS Woes Continue, Bank Brands Study Reveals
The annual study, conducted by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance plc, 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.
Total British bank brand values are up 18%, a faster rate of increase than that of the US, Germany, France, Spain or Canada. The net gain of US$11.5 billion (£7 bn) is the result of the resurgence of some of Britain’s top banks. Last year Britain’s three biggest bank brands (HSBC, Barclays and Standard Chartered) saw their values tumble and their ratings downgraded. This year however, all three have staged a recovery with HSBC leading the charge. It has added US$4 billion (£2.4 bn) of brand value, a 17.5% increase, to bring its total to US$26.9 billion (£16.3 bn). Barclays and Standard Chartered have added US$730 million (£442 m) and $126 million (£76 m) respectively.
The results for Lloyds Group are even more positive. Bank of Scotland and HBOS have increased their brand values by 35% and 38% respectively. The most significant news for the group this year though has been the partition of Lloyds TSB. TSB has been reincarnated, subsuming Cheltenham & Gloucester to create a US$2.35 billion (£1.4 bn) brand. Despite having lost such a significant chunk of brand equity, Lloyds’ brand value is up $454 million (£275 m) on the figure for Lloyds TSB last year - quite an achievement. Recent IT glitches aside, Antonio Horta-Osorio will be pleased with the Velvet Divorce he has overseen.
The results will make welcome reading for the chancellor too. The increasing brand values are the result not only of growing levels of consumer trust and shrewd marketing but also improved economic forecasts for the UK. Brand Finance analysts point to the falling corporation tax rate and the help to buy scheme, boosting banks’ competitiveness, revenues and reputation with mortgage customers.
The only bad news to emerge from the data is the performance of RBS Group. All five of the group’s brands, RBS, NatWest, Citizens Bank, Charter One and Ulster Bank have lost brand value, totaling US$1.193 billion (£722 m). RBS itself accounts for well over half of this. Falling revenues are largely to blame, but the impact of recent revelations that it profited from distressed businesses have hit brand strength.
Brand Finance chief Executive David Haigh commented, “In the last year, there has been a significant revival of UK bank brands. Bad news in the form of IT breakdowns and residual fines for bad behavior have continued, but looking forward, the outlook is encouraging with increased competition and choice, particularly in retail banking.”
Global Results (click here for the full table)
Wells Fargo has held its position as the world’s most valuable banking brand, with a total brand value of over US$30 billion. Western brands in general have shown promising improvements. Besides HSBC, UBS and BNP Paribas are Europes biggest winners, up US$3.35 billion US$1.6 billion respectively. Meanwhile the total for Greece is up over 100% as successful austerity measures have begun to rapidly transform the country’s economic outlook.
Notable results from elsewhere in the world included the halting of rapid growth in some BRIC countries, namely Russia, India and Brazil. Their national brand value totals are down 6%, 13% and 23% respectively. China, however, continues to grow strongly. Its banks have added a total of nearly US$19 billion and there are now 3 Chinese bank brands in the global top ten.