Most valuable banking brands in South Africa

All but two of South Africans banks have slipped down the rankings of the top 500 banking institutions in the world.

Asset valuation consultancy, Brand Finance, in association with The Banker, has released its 2015 Banking 500 list, which ranks the world’s top 500 banking brands according to their brand value.

Brand value is determined through the “royalty relief” method, which determines the value a company would be willing to pay to license its brand as if it did not own it.

In 2014’s ranking, Standard Bank was rated as the most valuable banking brand in the country – a position it has now lost to two other banks, having lost 21% of its brand value over the course of the past year.

Standard Bank’s brand value slipped to US$1.26 billion, from a high of US$1.59 billion in 2015.

SA’s new leading bank, Absa, boosted its banking brand value by 30% to US$1.58 billion from US$1.2 billion in 2014.

Also shooting past the former number one, First National Bank grew its brand value by 31% to US$1.38 billion from just over US$1 billion the previous year.

The remaining SA banks – Nedbank, Investec, WesBank and RMB – all slipped down the list, having lost brand value according to Brand Finance’s metric.

South Africa’s top banks carry a total brand value of US$6.9 billion, which is up 5% from US$6.59 billion recorded in 2014.

South African banks brand value (in US$ millions)

2015 rank
2014 rank
Bank 2015 Brand Value
2014 Brand Value
117 132 Absa  1,585 1,223 30%
129 146 FNB  1,385 1,056 31%
136 113 Standard Bank  1,264 1,595 -21%
140 136 Nedbank  1,169 1,196 -2%
175 155 Investec 883 908 -3%
283 281 WesBank 416 391 6%
408 390 RMB 221 219 1%
Total Value 6,923 6,588 5%

Globally, America’s banks remain the most valuable in the world, Brand Finance said.

Of the top 500 banks listed, 60 American bank brands feature, with a cumulative brand value of US$201 billion.

Wells Fargo, with a brand value of US$35 billion, is the most valuable banking brand in the US, but also across the world.

However, findings by the group have shown that Chinese banks are rising quickly, with two Chinese powerhouses – ICBC and China Construction Bank – climbing higher among the top 10.

Notably, China Construction Bank has added more than any other, $7.463 billion since the 2014 study, to reach a total of $26.4 billion.

Citi, BoA and Chase – America’s second, third and fourth most valuable bank brands – have been overtaken by both ICBC and China Construction Bank.

“When the world’s bank brands are ranked by the brand value they have added this year, five of the top six are Chinese,” Brand Finance said.

Top 10 world bank brand values (in US$ millions)

2015 rank 2014 rank Bank 2015 Brand Value 2014 Brand Value
1 1 Wells Fargo 34,925 30,242
2 6 ICBC 27,459 22,803
3 2 HSBC 27,280 26,870
4 9 China Construction Bank 26,417 18,954
5 4 Citi Bank 26,210 24,518
6 3 Bank of America 25,713 26,683
7 5 Chase 24,819 23,157
8 10 Agricultural Bank of China 22,714 17,783
9 12 Bank of China 20,392 16,725
10 8 Santander 18,700 20,021

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Most valuable banking brands in South Africa