Best and worst bank brands in South Africa 2016

The latest Brand Finance report on banking shows which South African banks have the most valuable brands in 2016.

Standard Bank has overtaken Absa and FNB as the most valuable banking brand in the country, climbing two spots since the 2015 ranking – increasing its brand value by 4.4% to $1.32 billion (R20.6 billion) over the past 12 months.

This is still down from the $1.6 billion brand value it scored in 2014, however.

Except for Standard Bank, and Capitec as a new entry, all South African banks lost brand value over the past 12 months.

Absa, which was the number one bank in South Africa in 2015, has dropped to third in the country at a brand valuation of $1.02 billion (R15.9 billion), down from $1.6 billion last year.

The Brand Finance report was released before the recent announcement by Barclays that it would be selling off its majority stake in Barclays Africa (Absa), thus this new information was not factored into the group’s overall brand positioning.

What was likely factored in was the much maligned “9/12”, where president Jacob Zuma fired then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene on an apparent whim, resulting in the South African economy losing as much as R500 billion in manner of weeks.

The South African finance sector was one of the hardest hit by the crumble.

First National Bank retained its position as the second most valuable bank in the country, worth $1.05 billion (down from $1.4 billion), with Nedbank and Wesbank rounding off the top 5 banking groups.

Capitec made its debut on the top 500 ranking, listed as the sixth most valuable bank in South Africa, and coming in at 347th overall.

These are the most valuable banks in South Africa:

2016 2015 Bank 2015 Brand Value ($m) 2016 Brand Value ($m) Change
134 136 Standard Bank 1 264 1 319 +4.4%
154 129 FNB 1 385 1 050 -24.2%
158 117 Absa 1 585 1 016 -35.9%
170 140 Nedbank 1 169 934 -20.1%
173 175 Investec 883 900 +1.9%
292 283 Wesbank 416 384 -7.7%
347 New Capitec New 280 New
469 408 Rand Merchant Bank 221 177 -19.9%

Investec, which was previously listed under South Africa, is now listed as a UK banking group. The bank saw an overall climb in the rankings from 175th in 2015, to 173rd in 2016.

Brand Finance determines its brand value rankings by looking at all things related to a banking group and its brand – defined as, but not limited to, “names, terms, signs, symbols, logos and designs, or a combination of these, intended to identify goods, services or entities”.

It specifically looks at the brand contribution, which refers to the total economic benefit that a business derives from its brand, from volume and price premiums over generic products to cost savings over less branded competitors.

The group also looks at the proportion of brand value that banks derive from particular sub-sections of the industry.

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