QNB the Middle East's most valuable banking brand

Qatar National Bank (QNB) is the most valuable banking brands across both the Middle East and Africa, according to the Brand Finance Banking 500. Its brand value is up $792 million (the greatest increase of any brand in the region) to $2.6 billion. It has overtaken Turkish brands Akbank and IsBank and has entered the top 100 for the first time, ranking 79th globally. The Brand Finance Banking 500, conducted by leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance plc, is a league table of the world’s biggest banks, ranked by their brand value.

Yousef Darwish, General Manager, QNB Group Communication, said, “We have come a long way from our Brand Value of approximately QAR 2.5 billion ($703 million) in 2010 but there is still a great deal of work to be done to achieve our vision of becoming a MEA Icon by 2017. The importance of our brand and how it is perceived by our diverse range of stakeholders is paramount across our domestic and international network of operations and this prestigious accolade from Brand Finance proves that we are making impressive progress”.

Several of Qatar’s other bank brands have performed well too. Commercial Bank and Masraf Al Rayan have both increased their brand value by 47 per centsince the beginning of 2014. Qatar Islamic Bank has experienced the most rapid growth, nearly doubling the value of its brand in a year.

UAE banks are strengthening their position both domestically and in the wider region. HSBC has been eclipsed as the leading bank for syndicated loans in the UAE as native lenders gain favour with locals. Emirates NBD won five categories at the Effie MENA Awards 2014, including one for brand experience, contributing to the growing strength of its brand, which is 40 per cent more valuable than last year. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi was the UAE’s top performer; its brand value increased 76 per cent to almost $1.5bn. It has signed a three year agreement with Real Madrid, harnessing the power of one of the world’s most valuable sports brands, to build its own.

KSA’s Samba Financial Group, Riyad Bank and SABB have all seen their brand values grow strongly at 36 per cent, 53 per cent and 31 per cent respectively. Saudi Investment Bank and Alinma Bank are Saudi Arabia’s top performing banking brands, both have grown their brand values by 65 per cent since 2014. Al-Rajhi remains the country’s most valuable banking brand. A brand value of over $2 billion puts it in the global top 100.

NBK tops the list of Kuwait’s banking brands. 32 per cent growth takes its total to over $1 billion for the first time. Bahrain’s number 1 bank brand, Ahli United Bank, has increased in value by 63 per cent. The brand has benefitted from a disciplined risk management culture and good customer relations.

Brand Finance Chief Executive David High commented, “Home grown names such as QNB, NBK and Emirates NBD are asserting themselves as the bank brands of choice in the Middle East. Some are demonstrating international ambitions that are already leading to rapid expansion not just in their home nations, but across the Middle East, into Africa and beyond. The entry of QNB and Al-Rajhi Bank into the global top 100 for the first time this year suggests the Middle East’s banks are being recognised and rewarded internationally not only for financial success but for the powerful brands they are building.”