Chinese Brands Threaten America’s Banking Primacy

  • Bank brand study shows Chinese banks overtaking major US names
  • Wells Fargo remains the world’s most valuable bank brand
  • European banks lost significant value between 2014 & 2015
  • GCC and emerging economy bank brands show strongest growth

The Brand Finance Banking 500, conducted by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, and published in the February edition of The Banker, is a league table of the world’s biggest banks, ranked by their brand value.

America’s banks remain the most valuable in the world. 60 American bank brands feature in the global top 500, with a cumulative brand value of $201bn. Wells Fargo is not just the most valuable banking brand in the US, but across the world. Its brand value now stands at just short of $35 billion.

However, there is no room for complacency. JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon recently expressed concerns that overregulated western banks might be superseded by Chinese brands. The results of this year’s Brand Finance Banking 500 would appear to bear Dimon’s fears out; Chinese brands have well and truly arrived.

Citi, BoA and Chase, America’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th most valuable bank brands have been overtaken by both ICBC and China Construction Bank. When the world’s bank brands are ranked by the brand value they have added this year, five of the top six are Chinese. China Construction Bank has added more than any other, $7,463 billion since the 2014 study.

US bank brands have in fact performed relatively well, especially in comparison to European banks. The total brand value of US brands in the table is up 4% to a total of $201bn. For Spain the figure is -2%, the UK -3%, Italy -5%, Germany -6% and France -19%.

QNB is the most valuable bank from the Middle East or Africa. Its brand value is up 44% to $2.6bn. It exemplifies the rapid growth of many Gulf and developing world banking brands. The top ten fastest growing countries are Morocco (+98%), India (+61%), Nigeria (+52%), UAE (+45%), Colombia (+44%), Qatar (+44%), the Philippines (+43%), Saudi Arabia (+40%), China (+29%) and Bahrain (+29%). 


The World’s Most Valuable Banking Brands

Top 500


The Most Valuable Banking Brands by Brand Value Added

The Most Valuable Banking Brands by Brand Value Added


Note to Editors

Brand values for 2015 are calculated in USD with a valuation date of 1/1/15.

The study has been published annually in the February edition of the Financial Times’ ‘The Banker’ since 2006. Full results can be found on Brand Finance’s website or at from February 2nd.

To coincide with the release of the Banker / Brand Finance Banking 500, Brand Finance is hosting an event on February 10th. Speakers include Mark Mullen, chief executive of Atom Bank, David Yates, chief executive of Vocalink, Brian Spoule, chief economist at the IOD and Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker. More information can be found on our events website. To attend please email


Media Contacts

Brand Finance:

Robert Haigh, Communications Director,

T: +44 (0)20 7389 9400, M: +44 (0)7762211267,                      

The Banker:

Raj Rai (Ms), Senior Marketing Manager, T: +44 (0)20 7775 6340, 


About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, with offices in over 15 countries. We provide clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors by quantifying the financial value of brands.


About The Banker

The Banker is the world's premier banking and finance resource, providing global financial intelligence since 1926, published by the Financial Times Ltd. The Banker combines in-depth regional and country coverage reporting on capital markets, structured finance, risk management, working capital management and securities services, environmental finance, trade and project finance, trading, technology and management and governance issues. The Banker/Brand Finance Banking 500 is published in The Banker February edition, to find out more email or visit

Brian Caplen has been a financial and business journalist for more than 25 years. He has worked in Hong Kong and the Middle East and reported from all over the world. He joined The Banker in 2000 and became editor in 2003. 

Explanation of Brand Finance’s Methodology

Brands are probably the most valuable assets that companies own, driving demand and building relationships with customers and partners. However, without firm financial data their importance can be overlooked or misunderstood. Brand Finance calculates their value by determining the royalties a corporation would have to pay to license its brand if it did not own it, known as the ‘royalty relief’ method. As well as a brand value, each of the 500 brands in the table is accorded a brand rating; a benchmark of the strength, risk and potential of a brand relative to its competitors, similar to a credit rating. A more detailed methodology of how the brand values are calculated can be found here and the results from last year’s study here

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