Business

BofA world's top banking brand, Wells Fargo second

Posted February 1, 2011 8:11 a.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2011 9:43 a.m. EST

Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, replaced HSBC Holdings Plc as the world’s most valuable banking brand, according to a survey by London-based Brand Finance Plc.

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, fell to third place this year behind Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America and San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., the fourth-biggest U.S. lender by assets. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which in July reached a $550 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over claims the firm misled investors in a collateralized debt obligation linked to subprime mortgages, dropped to 16th place from seventh.

Brand Finance, started in 1996, calculated the value of each banks’ brand using the so-called royalty relief method, which estimates the notional price a company would have to pay for the brand. Bank of America’s brand was valued at $30.6 billion, Wells Fargo’s at $28.9 billion and HSBC’s at $27.6 billion, the survey found.

“American banking is beginning to rebound,” said David Haigh, chief executive officer of Brand Finance, which conducted the survey. “Bank of America and Wells Fargo did well because they have expanded through acquisitions, American growth expectations have improved and both have focused on promoting their roles as traditional main street lenders.”

Spain’s Banco Santander SA ranked fourth, New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. fifth, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco SA sixth and London-based Barclays Plc seventh.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. ranked eighth, New York-based Citigroup Inc. was ninth and China Construction Bank Corp. was 10th, according to the survey.