Daily News: February 4, 2014

Wells Fargo Tops List of World’s Most Valuable Bank Brands

Wells Fargo was found to be the world’s most valuable bank brand in the Brand Finance Banking 500, conducted by Brand Finance. The results were published in the February edition of The Banker magazine.

Most U.S. banks are growing strongly thanks to monetary policy that has driven a recovery in the economy. Wells Fargo added $4.2 billion of brand value to reach a total of over $30 billion. Lending across a huge range of categories, the improved domestic economy has driven revenues and helped Wells Fargo overtake JP Morgan to become the world’s most profitable bank.

In addition to benefitting from broader economic growth, the bank has made attention to customers central to its brand. Wells Fargo also enjoys a more favorable reputation than its peers with the general public, whether customers or not. This is reflected is its enhanced brand rating, up to AAA-. Wells Fargo is closely followed by Bank of America and Citi, which have grown their brands by $4.3 billion and $2.8 billion respectively.

The increased number of IPOs this year has helped many investment banks and Goldman Sachs in particular. Last year there were 222 IPOs, seven times the figure for 2008. Consequently Goldman has grown its brand value faster than any major bank. It is up 37% to a total of over $10 billion.

The successes of America’s top banks are not quite matched by those lower down the list. In fact, at a time of wealth polarization and calls for greater competition in banking, there has been a further consolidation around the biggest U.S. banking brands. In 2013 the top 10 represented 68% of the total value of all US brands in the table, in 2014, that figure is 83%.

Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh commented, “This year’s Brand Finance Banking 500 shows clearly the recovery not just of the US economy but also the reputation of America’s biggest banks. Looking forward, banks will be concerned that tapering will restrict the liquidity that has allowed them to rebuild over the last year. However by focusing on brand and reputation as well as financials, banks such as Wells Fargo will be well placed to prosper QE free.”

To read the Brand Finance Banking 500, visit, click here.