Global brand research group Brand Finance has published its 2020 Global 500 Banking report – ranking the most valuable banks in world, including eight banks from South Africa.
The report also ranks the top 10 strongest banking brands globally, which for the first time includes two banks from South Africa.
In the main ranking, Brand Finance 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 – up from sixth position in 2019.
Entering the global top 10 is also FNB, which is ranked fourth overall, up from 11th in 2019.
Capitec, which has more customers than any other South African bank, has seen its band strength rise by 0.5 points to 89.2 – while the country’s oldest bank, FNB, has a BSI of 87.6, up from 87.3 last year.
Indonesia’s BCA, which has become one of Asian banking’s most admired companies, has the sector’s strongest brand, along with Russia’s Sberbank, both of which boast an impressive Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 91.6 out of 100 and the corresponding elite brand rating of AAA+.
South African banks by value
No South African bank placed within the top 100, with First National Bank (FNB), the highest placed local bank at 146 on the list.
South Africa’s big banks fared poorly over the last year, all dropping down the rankings – while WesBank dropped out of the top 500 entirely.
The only change among the local rankings was Nedbank overtaking Investec to be ranked as the fourth most valuable banking brand in the country.
Both banks climbed the rankings, with Capitec also seeing a jump – the biggest among the South African banks ranked.
|Brand name||Rank 2019||Rank 2020|
|First National Bank||141||146|
|Rand Merchant Bank||371||398|
As has become the norm, on a global scale US and Chinese banks dominate the upper reaches of the ranking.
Continuing from the precedent set in 2019, Chinese and US banks continue to dominate the global ranking, led by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), followed by China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China.
US banks follow in the next four places, led by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi Bank and Chase.
The last two places are taken by China Merchant Bank, ranked ninth, and JP Morgan at 10th, pushing the UK’s HSBC out of the top ten, now ranked 11th.
According to Brand Finance, ICBC’s brand value is US$80.791 billion – almost double that of the closest US competitor (Wells Fargo) at $40.881 billion.