Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
Commonwealth Bank has reclaimed the top spot on this year’s Australian Brand Finance banking 500 league table from rival organisation, ANZ, after a two-year hiatus.
The latest list found Australian banks had a strong year for brand value, growing by 14 per cent year-on-year with a cumulative value of US$33.4bn. Commonwealth Bank led the way with a 37 per cent increase in brand value to US$7.5 billion (AUD$9.2bn), followed by ANZ, with growth of 8 per cent and a brand value of US$6.7bn.
ANZ had held the number one position on the Australian brand list for two years. The two banks were ranked 29th and 38th on the global list, respectively. They were followed in Australia by Westpac (third in Australia, 45th worldwide), NAB (fourth in Australia, 49th worldwide) and Macquarie (fifth in Australia, 82nd worldwide).
St George also made its first appearance on the top 100 list with 20 per cent growth in brand value of just under US$2bn.
There were some losers, however, and three of Australia’s 16 banks - MLC, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank - all recorded a brand decrease of between 13-14 per cent.
“Overall, the Australian banks have performed exceptionally well and achieved outstanding results,” Brand Finance Australia managing director, Mark Crowe, said. “Increased brand strength will enable the banks to remain very competitive through building loyalty and minimising customer churn.”
Worldwide, Wells Fargo was the most valuable bank brand, chalking up 15 per cent year-on-year growth to a total brand value of US$34.9bn. Other strong US performers included Citi and Chase with 7 per cent brand growth apiece, while Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan all saw their brand value decrease over the same period.
In second place on the global list was Chinese bank, ICBC, with a brand value of US$27.5bn, followed by HSBC (US$27.3bn), China Construction Bank (US$26.4bn) and Citi (US26.2bn).