First Bank, GTBank, Zenith join world’s most valuable 500 banks

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Brand Finance Plc has named First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc among the world’s 500 most valuable bank brands in its 2014 global rankings.

A statement by the organisation said on Tuesday in Lagos by its study “The Banker/Brand Finance Banking 500’’, rated First Bank as the seventh Africa’s Most Valuable Bank Brand and 382 globally.

The Banker/Brand Finance Banking 500 is an annual study conducted by Brand Finance Plc, a brand valuation consultancy firm.

According to the statement, the world’s biggest banks are ranked by their brand value with the results reflecting industry trends and indicating future developments.

It said that First Bank in 2014 recorded a brand value of 228 million dollars following a 13.44 per cent increase over its $201 million brand value ranking in 2013.

Guaranty Trust Bank is 10th on the African ladder with a brand value of $191 million, declining by nearly five per cent compared to its brand value of $201 million recorded in 2013.

Zenith Bank was ranked 11th Africa’s most valuable banking brand with a brand value of $174 million in 2014, representing a marginal increase of 1.21 per cent over $172 million in 2013.

According to the statement, Standard Bank holds its position as Africa’s most valuable banking brand.

It said that Standard Bank of South Africa recorded a brand value growth of over 15 per cent which took its total value to nearly $1.6 billion.

“The $211 million increase is by far the biggest improvement of many African banks and stands in marked contrast to other brands from South Africa.

“ABSA, Nedbank and First National Bank have all seen their brand values fall.  Togo’s Ecobank, which is Africa’s most valuable bank brand to be based outside South Africa, has grown by 14.51 per cent to a total of $243 million, ” the statement said.

It said that Morocco Banque Populaire re-entered The Banker/Brand Finance Banking 500 to bring the total number of African banks among the top 500 banks to 12.

The statement said that Wells Fargo held its position as the World’s most valuable banking brand with a total brand value of over $30 billion.

The Chief Executive Officer of Brand Finance Plc, David Haigh, said that “Nigerian banks have put in another impressive performance in the Brand Finance Banking 500 this year’’.

The statement quoted Haigh as saying that a bank such as FBN (First Bank of Nigeria Plc) has benefitted from prudent financial management and Nigeria’s economic growth.

“However, the most important factor has been an understanding that banks must prioritise their intangible assets, measuring, monitoring and managing their brands to achieve sustainable growth and maximise value,’’ it said.

The Country Representative, Brand Finance, Babatunde Odumeru, said that First Bank of Nigeria had continued to grow its brand value.

Odumeru said the bank had also moved up the global ranking, adding that it was welcome news, adding that other banks, such as GTB and Zenith had fared well.

“However this year’s global result indicates that Nigerian banks really need to do more in channeling their orientation towards managing and exploiting their intangible assets which are fast becoming the key driver of their business.

“Recognition of this fact is imperative as these assets are unique and require efficient exploitation in order to maximise brand value,’’ Odumeru said.

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