Chinese banking brands subside in value as American brands advance

Declan Ahern, Director of Brand Finance

Chinese banking brands in the ranking are subsiding in brand value with American brands quickly closing the gap. ICBC (brand value down 7% to US$69.5 billion) is the most valuable banking brand in the world, followed by China Construction Bank (brand value down 4% to US$62.7 billion) and Agricultural Bank of China (brand value down 7% to US$57.7 billion).

Every year, trusted brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s biggest brands to the test by measuring and publishing over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 500 most valuable and strongest brands in the banking industry are included in the annual Brand Finance Banking 500 2023 ranking.

What were the key findings of the report?

The Brand Finance Banking 2023 report finds several key trends in the banking industry. An important trend in the sector is that neo/digital banks, such as Revolut (brand value up 57% to US$194 million), have made a significant impact in the industry, entering the top 500 most valuable banking brands for the first time, with a brand value increase of 57% year-on-year.

ICBC remains most valuable banking brand

ICBC remains most valuable banking brand despite value falling 7% to US$69.5 billion. According to a new report from the brand valuation consultancy, ICBC (brand value down 7% to US$69.5 billion) is the most valuable banking brand worldwide. The company has several subsidiaries globally and serves over half a billion individuals and several million clients.

ICBC is outperforming all its competitors and successfully maintaining a strong lead in brand value over global companies like China Construction Bank (brand value down 4% to US$62.7 billion) and Agricultural Bank of China (brand value down 7% to US$57.7 billion), which happen to be the second and third most valuable banking brands around the world, respectively.

SVB is the fastest-growing banking brand

SVB (brand value up 148% to US$2.8 billion) is the fastest-growing banking brand in the world, more than doubling in brand value this year. The bank specialises in providing banking services for venture capital firms to support the start-up ecosystem. In 2021, the bank completed a merger with Boston Private and has hence rebranded to be called SVB Private.

SVB actively invests in entrepreneurial ventures including fintech firms like Wise and new healthtech ventures that are currently disrupting the industry. Their contribution is valuable.

New age neobanks

New age neobanks achieve about 103% growth, therefore more than doubling in value. Digital banks (also known as “neobanks”) have achieved insurmountable success in the past few years by integrating the power of technology and automation into banking. The fintech sector is growing around the world with a number of service offerings in a competitive market.

Digital bank brands like Tymebank and Discovery Bank in South Africa, Nubank (brand value up 110% to US$1.0 billion) in Brazil, and Maya Bank in the Philippines are disrupting and taking over the industry successfully and according to our research, these brands score highly in innovation and sustainability – two key and crucial drivers of customer choice and preference.

Value of neobanks in the Brand Finance 2023 report has grown from US$795.6 million in 2022 to US$1,611.9 million in 2023 – an increase of 102.6% (US$816.3 million). US$194 million of this value increase is due to Revolut entering the rankings for the first time this year. Revolut (brand value up 57% to US$194 million) is one of the new entrants in this year’s ranking.

The fintech bank announced its new growth strategy that resulted in 25 million customers internationally. Sustainability perceptions account for 6.8% when driving brand consideration.

Sustainability is a topic of growing importance in the banking sector and therefore a number of stakeholders and customers expect banks to be economically, socially, and environmentally responsible to gain their trust. Global banking brands including HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays have responded to this by communicating their sustainability accreditations and commitment to sustainability in their marketing campaigns, albeit not always successfully.

According to the research made by Brand Finance, DBS (brand value up 21% to US$10.5 billion), Bank of China (brand value down 4% to US$47.3 billion) and Al-Rajhi (brand value up 32% to US$5.7 billion) have the highest sustainability perception scores in the banking industry. Based on the findings from the Brand Finance Sustainability Perceptions Index of 2023, these banks have sustainability driver scores of 9.2%, 8.5% and 8.4% respectively.

First National Bank rated strongest banking brand

In addition to calculating the bank brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating aspects like marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and general business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 150,000 respondents in 38 countries globally and across 31 different sectors.

First National Bank (brand value down 3% to US$1.5 billion) is the strongest banking brand in the ranking with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 93 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA+ rating. It is one of the oldest and largest banks in South Africa, with a history dating all the way back to 1838. The bank also provides online and mobile banking services, making it easy for customers to access their accounts and to manage their finances from anywhere regardless.

What were Brand Finance’s thoughts on the survey?

Declan Ahern, Director of Brand Finance commented: “Banking brands across the globe have continued to recover significantly post COVID-19. There has been an improvement in digital banking services, government stimulus measures have been relatively successful, and the rise of mobile banking and online platforms have contributed to the sectors positive performance.”

“Accelerated by strict global lockdowns due to the COVID 19 pandemic, banking and fintech brands have innovated to create user friendly mobile application-based banking services that have led to a phenomenal increase in customer satisfaction and acquisition.” Silicon Valley Bank happens to be the fastest-growing banking brand, more than doubling to US$2.8 billion.


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