The Commonwealth has retaken the crown as Australia's most valuable bank brand

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev. Photo: Getty Images.

Commonwealth Bank, the biggest Australian bank by profit and by market capitalisation, has reclaimed its crown as the top Australian bank by brand value.

After two years as number two to the ANZ Bank’s first place, the Commonwealth Bank is back on top with a brand valuation increasing 37% to $9.2 billion.

The number is close to the bank’s last annual cash profit of $8.68 billion.

The Brand Finance Banking 500, conducted by 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.

Australia’s bank brands have had a positive year, growing collectively by 14%.

The league table:

Despite being knocked off the top spot, the ANZ brand had healthy growth of 8% and has a brand value of $8.1 billion.

The strong competition between Australia’s two largest banks is starting to have a positive effect on their position in the international banking system.

Australian banks are continuing to rise through the ranks of the Brand Finance Banking 500, with the top seven all improving their positioning in the table.

St George made it to the global top 100 thanks to 20% growth which brings its total to just under $2.4 billion. Since being bought by Westpac in 2008, the brand value has grown.

Only three of 16 Australian banks have seen a loss in brand value with MLC, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank all seeing a fall of between 13% and 14%.

The strong growth of the remaining 13 helped Australia overtake Germany in terms of total bank brand value. The cumulative national total is $41.9 billion, which paces Australia 9th globally.

Mark Crowe, Brand Finance Australia Managing Director, says increased brand strength will enable the banks to remain very competitive through building loyalty and minimising customer churn.

Globally, Wells Fargo remains the world’s most valuable bank brand. Following 15% growth its total value stands at US $34.9 billion.

Other US banks have registered respectable brand value growth such as Citi and Chase (both up 7%) while others such as Bank of America (-4%), Goldman Sachs (-7%) and JP Morgan (-15%) are in the doldrums.

JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon recently expressed concerns that overregulated western banks might be superseded by Chinese brands.

Brand Finance’s research shows ICBC has moved from 6th to 2nd, overtaking HSBC which is now 3rd globally.

China Construction Bank, which has already overtaken HSBC in terms of market capitalisation, has grown its brand by 39% to overtake City, BoA and Chase. Spain’s Santander has been pushed to the bottom of the top ten by Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China.

In terms of growth of brand value, the Commonwealth bank has made it into the global top ten:

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