The strongest and most valuable bank brands in South Africa

Global brand research group Brand Finance has published its 2021 Global 500 Banking report – ranking the most valuable banks in world, including seven banks from South Africa.

The report also ranks the top 10 strongest banking brands globally, which includes two banks from South Africa.

The group ranks banking groups by their brand value, which is calculated by measuring a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors.

Factors that are considered include marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and the impact of those on business performance.

Each brand is also assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Capitec was ranked as having the strongest banking brand in South Africa, and the third strongest banking brand in the world – retaining its position from last year.

FNB also retained its position from 2020 as the fourth-strongest banking brand in the world.

“Surpassing the 15 million client mark in December 2020, Capitec has more customers than any other South African bank, benefiting from its excellent customer service and personalised banking experience,” Brand Finance said.

“Fellow South African brand, First National Bank, in fourth place for brand strength globally, is also the most valuable bank in all of Africa with a brand value of $1.3 billion.”

Most valuable 

First National Bank (FNB) is the top-performing South African brand in the Brand Finance Banking 500 2021 ranking, despite suffering a 18% decline in brand value to $1.3 billon

Ranking inside the top 200 most valuable banks in the world (157th out of 500 overall), FNB is also the most valuable banking brand across the African continent.

Another six South African banks feature in the ranking, namely: Standard Bank (down 7% to $1.3 billion), Absa (down 19% to US$1.2 billion), Nedbank (down 19% to US$908 million), Investec (down 16% to $900 million), Capitec Bank (down 25% to$443 million), and Rand Merchant Bank (down 18% to $227 million).

Brand name Rank 2020 Rank 2021
First National Bank 146 157
ABSA 152 164
Standard Bank 162 162
Nedbank 177 197
Investec 181 199
Capitec 249 300
Rand Merchant Bank 398 434

“Few sectors have been as detrimentally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as the banking industry, reflected in the overall brand value decline this year and fragile global economy,” said Jeremy Sampson, managing director of Brand Finance Africa.

“Capitec Bank has fared reasonably well despite a brand value decline, retaining their elite brand strength ratings through positive reputations and consumer perceptions of their brands.”

Read: South Africa’s R200 billion Covid-19 loan scheme seems to have failed – here’s what happened

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The strongest and most valuable bank brands in South Africa