By Daniel Hunter
The UK’s bank brands collectively lost 3% of their value this year, according to the Brand Finance Banking 500.
NatWest, RBS and Nationwide all saw their brand values fall. Coutts was the worst affected; The Queen’s bank has lost 42% of its brand value in a year.
Standard Chartered was fined $327m by US authorities for violating sanctions against Iran but the reputational impact had an even bigger impact on its financial position; brand value is down by nearly $2 billion (£1.3bn).
HSBC remains the UK’s most valuable bank brand, with a value of $27.3bn (£17.5bn). Both HSBC and 2nd placed Barclays have registered negligible growth rates of 1.5% and 0.1% respectively. They, along with most UK banks, have been significantly affected by a toughening regulatory regime.
Lloyds was the only one of the Big Four to show strong growth, having increased 16% to $6.9bn (£4.4bn). Brand Finance’s results suggest that CEO Antonio Horto-Osorio has masterminded a successful turnaround. Renovated branches and a refreshed image suggest a new confidence, helping to distance Lloyds from the problems of the company’s recent past.
Recently revived TSB has fared even better and is the UK’s most successful bank brand this year, having grown by over 21%. Its marketing has emphasised not only its competitive rates but also the importance of straightforwardness, trust and heritage. It leads a field of increasingly successful challenger banks, putting more pressure on the established players.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh, said: “A strong brand builds loyalty, helping to reduce churn. As switching becomes easier and with nimble competitors emerging, some banks may have to rely on the power of their brand ever more heavily to hold onto customers.”