Canadian banks ‘expanding their footprints’ globally

Canadian bank brands rank 4th in the world, according to annual Brand Finance report

Canadian banks continue to grow internationally, ranking fourth as a national unit against all other countries.

In fact, Canadian banks jumped two spots against other nations this year, led by growth from TD and RBC, according to Brand Finance’s annual
Global Banking 500 report.

“We really are punching above our weight,” said Matt Kelly, a partner with LEVEL5 Strategy Group in Toronto, which observes international trends.

He added that Canadian banks are performing better than those from Japan, France, Germany and Brazil.

“It’s quite a story,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the 2015 report, both TD and RBC ranked inside the top 20 among individual brands.

Perhaps most striking is that RBC rose two spots on the list to number 14, inching closer to the top 10. RBC is now valued at nearly $12.5 billion (all figures in U.S.).

While RBC ranks higher, Kelly said TD is taking a North American strategy to growth and using a “simple and compelling” message.

Indeed, TD’s brand as “America’s most convenient bank” appears to be resonating with U.S. consumers.

“The whole notion that banking can be comfortable, that’s very impressive,” he said. “I think it’s the kind of promise that can resonate globally.”

With a value of more than $11 billion, TD held steady at number 18 on the list.

Bank of Montreal remained 34th on the list.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Canadian banks: Scotiabank dropped from 30 to 32, and CIBC slipped eight spots, from 45 down to 53.

Kelly suggested CIBC hasn’t invested as much in its image over the past year.

“They’ve been focused on other things, but maybe 2015 is the year CIBC differentiates itself,” he said.

Still, as Canada pushed its way to number four, it’s part of a greater international trend, said Edgar Baum, Brand Finance’s North American managing director.

“The international push of the banking sector is no longer coming from American banks. Rather it is aggressive Asian banks, led by the largest Chinese banks as well as select Canadian and European banks that are expanding their footprints and exploring what it means to be international,” he said in a press release.

In fact, while U.S. brands enjoyed a 4% rise in value, Chinese banks saw a 29% jump.

“The value generated is reflected in the sustained growth of these institutions over the past several years,” said Baum.

“This may also be due to the fact that the American banking landscape, for the most part, is still very fragmented with opportunities for consolidation as banks are increasingly under pressure to have a 24 hours presence through online and mobile banking expectations.”

Here were the top 10 brands and their countries of origin.

1. Wells Fargo (USA)
2. ICBC (China)
3. HSBC (U.K.)
4. China Construction Bank (China)
5. Citi (USA)
6. Bank of America (USA)
7. Chase (USA)
8. Agricultural Bank of China (China)
9. Bank of China (China)
10. Santander (Spain)

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