Singapore banks still top most valuable brands list this year

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh noted that there have been aggressive moves from banks lately, particularly in mergers and acquisitions.

Singapore launches shuttle bus service between Changi Airport, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
Picture for representation Reuters (Representational Image)

The three banking giants in Singapore have retained their domination over any other brands in the city-state according to this year's Top 100 Most Valuable Brands.

DBS topped the rankings compiled by Brand Finance. The said bank has a brand value of US$ 5.4 billion and has been on the top of brands for five consecutive years. OCBC and UOB trailed behind closely, with brand values of US$3.64 billion and US$3.62 billion, respectively. Amongst the three, UOB improved the most, increasing its brand value by US$856m, closing the gap with OCBC.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh noted that there have been aggressive moves from banks lately, particularly in mergers and acquisitions. To recall, DBS acquired the wealth and retail business of ANZ in five markets whilst OCBC snapped up National Australia Bank and Barclays wealth business in Singapore and Hong Kong.

"These will provide a boost to the brands' values after the business integration and we expect the top three spots continue to be dominated by the banks next year. The 3 banks have contributed 30% of the total brand value in Singapore, up from 27% last year. The growth is in line with other financial brands around the world but we wish to see a more diverse mix at the top," he said.

Meanwhile, Brand Finance Managing Director Samir Dixit commended UOB for having the highest brand value increase amongst all the top 100 brands indicating the strong brand and business alignment by the bank.

"For UOB, there is possibly more upside in the future as their BSI has still room to grow and that will surely provide them with some buffer when DBS and OCBC integrate their acquisitions impact into the business and might report a higher revenue base," he said.

Next to the three banks is agriplayer Wilmar, with a brand value of around US$2.8 billion. Telco player Singtel and Singapore Airlines ranked fifth and sixth, with total brand value of US$2.6 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively. Completing the top 10 brands are Great Eastern (US$ 1.5 billion), Fraser Centrepoint (US$1.1 billion), ComfortDelGro (US$1.08 billion), and Genting Singapore (US$1 billion).

"While the Singapore brands have grown considerably well overall, it is the brand strength for most brands that still remains a concern. Also, the rankings still remains very top heavy with 57% of the total brand value contributed by the Top 10 brands and 93% contributed by the Top 50 brands. We would like to see a more diverse mix at the top and more significant value increase at the bottom which means other brands must start focusing on their value and brand strength," Dixit commented.