South Africa’s most valuable bank brands

 ·25 May 2021

Global brand research group Brand Finance has published its 2021 South African 50 report – ranking the 50 most valuable brands in South Africa, including seven banks.

The group ranks banks 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+ – a format similar to credit ratings.

According to Brand Finance, banking is South Africa’s most valuable sector, claiming 23% (R104.4 billion) of the ranking’s overall brand value.

First National Bank (FNB) leads the banking sector with a brand value of R22.1 billion, followed by Standard Bank (R20.8 billion) and Absa (R20.5 billion).

# Bank Brand Value
1 FNB R22.1 billion
2 Standard Bank R20.8 billion
3 Absa R20.5 billion
4 Nedbank R15.0 billion
5 Investec R14.9 billion
6 Capitec R7.3 billion
7 Rand Merchant Bank R3.8 billion

“While FNB is South Africa’s most valuable banking brand for the fourth consecutive year, Capitec is one of the five most reputable banking brands globally – according to the Brand Finance Banking 500 ranking – and ranks within the top 25 most valuable South African brands this year in 24th position,” the group said.

In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.

According to these criteria, Capitec is the strongest banking brand in the country, with a Brand Strength Index of 89.2 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Most valuable brands

The top 50 most valuable South African brands were initially forecast to lose over R65 billion in cumulative brand value (15%) during the pandemic, Brand Finance said.

“However, resolve and resilience – attributes that arguably define South African culture – have meant the top 50 have only recorded a 2% (R8.8 billion) decrease in cumulative brand value, from R471.3 billion in 2020 to R462.4 billion in 2021.”

“This resilience is especially evident in the impressive recovery seen on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which returned to January 2020 levels after just 15 months.”

Gauteng (and the wider Johannesburg area in particular) shines as value powerhouse in the country.

“With banking and telecoms – two of the top three sectors in the Brand Finance South Africa 50 2021 ranking – clustered around Gauteng, it’s hard to argue that when it comes to identifying the powerhouse of the African economy, Gauteng is clearly leading the pack,” it said.

Following banking, telecoms accounts for 18% (R81.3 billion) of the ranking’s overall brand value with five brands featuring, including the country’s top rated brand – MTN. Rival operator Vodacom, is second, despite losing 6% to R28.4 billion.


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