China’s Banks Power up Brand Value League

China’s biggest banks have moved up the league table of most valuable brands, displacing their European rivals.

In the latest Finance Banking 500 study, conducted annually by brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance and
The Banker
magazine, the valuation of
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
increased by 20% on the year.

This lifted its ranking from sixth to second as it overtook HSBC and challenged the top ranking of Wells Fargo. However, the US giant’s brand value now stands at US$35bn, reinforcing its position as the world’s most valuable banking brand.

In the process, ICBC and China Construction Bank also overtook Citi, Bank of America (BoA) and Chase, the US’ second, third and fourth most valuable bank brands respectively. Agricultural Bank of China rose from 10th position to eighth, and Bank of China from 12th to ninth, pushing Spain’s Santander down to the 10th most valuable in the world.

When the world’s bank brands are ranked by the brand value they have added in 2015, six of the top 10 are Chinese, including five of the top six. China Construction Bank has added nearly US$7.5bn. Brand Finance commented that while Chinese banks still have far to go in making an impact domestically, they are clearly disrupting Western hegemony in international banking.

While China’s banks were the star performers, against European banks US bank brands performed relatively well. The improving US economy means helped offset the legacy of regulatory infractions continuing to impact brand strength, with a total of 60 US bank brands featuring in the global top 500, with a cumulative brand value of US$201bn.

In the 2015 league table, the year-on-year (YoY) change for total bank brand value is +4% for the US, against declines of -2% for Spain, -3% for the UK, -5% for Italy, -6% for Germany and -19% for France.

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