Financial Tribune

  In Financial Tribune 

Iranian Bank Among Top Int’l Brands

The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands for 2018–an annual report ranking the world’s most valuable banking brands–has been released, in which an Iranian bank holds the 166th spot on the influential list.

The list published by Brand Finance, which compiles the ranking for The Banker also puts Bank Pasargad among the top 10 brands in the Middle East. The bank has climbed nine spots compared with the 2017 list.

According to the bank’s website, the brand value of the private lender has been put at $1.17 billion which marks a 19.6% growth compared with the previous year.

The Banker is the world’s premier banking and finance resource affiliated with the Financial Times, providing global financial intelligence since 1926.

As the positive news emerged for Pasargad, the bank also announced that it will soon open a branch in India. According to a statement by the bank, the Indian license for the bank was issued during President Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to the Asian superpower.

“All the measures for the establishment of the bank in India have been put in place and as soon as the official permit is issued, banking services will commence,” Pasargad’s statement reads.

According to the Banker’s report, Qatar National Bank once again topped the Middle East regional ranking, a place it has held since 2012 when it knocked Emirates NBD off the top spot. QNB has increased its lead, increasing its brand value by almost 11% compared with the 4% rise at Emirates NBD.

A new brand has emerged in the region–First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)–following the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank. Ranking third in the regional table and reflecting NBAD’s previous position, FAB launched its new brand identity in May 2017 with the “Grow Stronger” slogan.

From a global perspective, despite facing an increasingly regulated market, suppressed interest rates, macroeconomic uncertainty and changing customer expectations, the world’s top banking brands have continued to flourish.

While The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands ranking smashed the trillion-dollar barrier for the first time in 2017, this year’s elite brands have added a further 10%, bringing the aggregate valuation to $1,181 billion.

“The growth mainly stems from strong financial performance generally across the sector, with market capitalization increasing by an average of 14.9%,” says Declan Ahern, consultant, at Brand Finance, which compiles the ranking for The Banker.

“Forecasts were also up, reflecting optimism among analysts in the sector.”

The strong results pushed the average brand strength index of the top 100 brands up from 75.5 to 76.

“This has had a big effect on the total value, as 79% of the total brand value are held in this top 20%,” Ahern was quoted as saying by Banker’s website.

China Still Leads

Chinese banking brands experienced another year of striking growth, increasing the country’s total banking brand valuation by 22% and widening the gap between itself and the US.

Impressively, China’s aggregate brand strength of $317.4 billionn is based on just 45 banks, 84% of which expanded their brand value over the past year.

The US, in second place, increased its aggregate brand valuation by 8% and added six banks to the Top 500 ranking, bringing the total number to 76. However, the country’s top three banking brands–Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America–slipped by one place each, losing out to Chinese brands despite increasing their brand value.

Overall, one in three US banks in the Top 500 saw a contraction in brand valuation.