Strongest Brands in Banking? Bancography Says Wells Fargo & Austin Telco FCU

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The 2011 release of Bancography’s Brand Value Index, a quantitative ranking of the brand strength of all retail financial institutions in the US, finds Wells Fargo and Austin Telco FCU atop the list.

Among the largest U.S. institutions (assets $30B+), Wells Fargo reclaims the number one position for the first time since 2008, followed by U.S. Bank, M&T, Fifth Third and PNC. M&T and PNC ranked in the top five in previous years, but Fifth Third enters the top five for the first time in 2011.

Two institutions that previously ranked high on the list, Northern Trust and JPMorgan Chase, dropped out of the 2011 rankings, as their equity levels fell below Bancography’s minimum level for inclusion.

The BBVI rankings analyze US banks, thrifts and credit unions according to the profit premium their brands add to each institution’s underlying tangible value. This is the fourth consecutive year the BBVI study has been published by Bancography, a financial services consulting firm based in Birmingham, Alabama.

In calculating brand value, Bancography quantifies the proportion of each institution’s long-term value that is attributable to the intangible factors that constitute an institution’s brand — reputation, service quality, image and market awareness. The brand value index identifies institutions that produce financial results beyond what their capital base, market conditions and competitive environments would predict. The calculations reward institutions that display consistently strong earnings and a reasonable cost of funds.

Buoyed by a strong economy, the state of Texas leads all others throughout the study, with 12 Texas banks and nine credit unions ranked. Texas, the Midwest and the West place strongly in the rankings, with banks from those regions occupying 30 out of 40 positions. In contrast, the South and Mid-Atlantic regions are only minimally represented in the rankings, suggesting the troubled economy continues to affect brand strength. Institutions in those regions have suffered significant financial losses and greatly diminished balance growth rates.

Reflecting the strength and stability of the credit union sector, 19 of 2010’s top 25 large institutions retain their top-25 status in 2011. For the second year in a row Austin Telco FCU leads the largest credit unions (assets > $1 billion), followed by Landmark Credit Union and Local Government FCU.

The change — or lack thereof — in credit union rankings versus 2010 differs sharply from the commercial bank rankings, which saw widespread change from the prior year.

The tables below display the top ranking bank and credit union brands for 2011, with distinctions made between banks and credit unions of varying asset tiers. 2010 rankings are posted for comparison.

Institutions with negative average income over the past three years, or with insufficient equity, are  not included in the rankings.

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Megabanks ($30+ billion assets)

2011
Rank
Financial Institution State 2010
Rank
1 Wells Fargo CA 3
2 US Bank MN 2
3 M&T NY 7
4 Fifth Third OH 6
5 PNC PA 9
6 First Niagara NY 97*
7 BB&T NC 5
8 BofA NC 12
9 Comerica TX 8
10 Union CA 10

* Moved up from $2B-$30B asset tier

Large Banks ($2 billion – $20 billion assets)

2011
Rank
Financial Institution State 2010
Rank
1 FirstBank CO **
2 United WV n/a
3 Central Trust MO 130*
4 Union Savings OH n/a
5 Westamerica CA 4
6 Intrust KS 1
7 BancFirst OK 10
8 Commerce MO 12
9 Amarillo National TX 3
10 American State TX 7
11 Firstmerit OH n/a
12 Frost TX 9
13 First Financial OH 15
14 Woodforest TX 2
15 Bank of Oklahoma OK n/a
16 Pinnacle NE 13
17 City National WV 16
18 Texas Capital TX 25
19 First United OK 6
20 First Citizens NC 11

** Did not exist before 2010 (result of 10 merged banks)
* Moved up from $500M-$2B asset tier
n/a = Did not meet equity to asset ratio requirement

Medium-Sized Banks ($500 million – $2 billion assets)

2011
Rank
Financial Institution State 2010
Rank
1 Sabine State LA n/a
2 First National TX 1
3 Central Bank MO 14*
4 Citizens Security OK 4
5 Western National TX 8
6 First State TX 25
7 Bank of the West TX 5
8 Community Bank TX 30*
9 American Bank TX 10
10 Guardian Savings OH 24
11 Hilltop National WY 97*
12 Cambridge Trust MA 20
13 Jefferson Bank TX 12
14 First American NM 22
15 First National TX 177*
16 Seaway B&T IL 926*
17 First State Bank IL 584*
18 Boone County National MO 18
19 Union Bank VT 352*
20 Central National TX 29

* Moved up from < $500M asset tier
n/a = did not meet equity to asset ratio requirement

Small Banks ($500+ million assets)

2011
Rank
Financial Institution State 2010
Rank
1 First American OK 15
2 First State SD TX 48
3 Valley NM 6
4 Citizens State KS 267
5 Charter TX 13
6 Granite Falls Bank MN 104
7 Farmers & Merchants OK 69
8 Bank of Burlington CO 131
9 Southwest Bank TX 238
10 Oklahoma State Bank OK 7
11 East Texas National TX 1
12 First National La Grange IL 2
13 American State ND 8
14 Community Bank Louisiana LA 11
15 First National Trinity TX 10
16 First Security State TX 25
17 Community State Bank OK 89
18 Bank of Baker MT 12
19 Farmers Bank & Trust KS 33
20 First State Bank TX 73

Large Credit Unions ($1+ billion assets)

2011
Rank
Financial Institution State 2010
Rank
1 Austin Telco TX 1
2 Landmark WI 10
3 Local Government NC 5
4 JSC TX 7
5 University of Wisconsin WI 8
6 American Heritage PA 33*
7 Lake Michigan MI 13
8 State Employees NC 9
9 Navy Army TX 2*
10 HawaiiUSA HI 18
11 EECU TX 3
12 Caltech Employees CA 106*
13 Empower NY 161*
14 Tinker OK 21
15 Educational Employees CA 17
16 State Employees NY 22
17 Arizona State AZ 63
18 Sandia Laboratory NM 25
19 Municipal Employees MD 15
20 Police & Fire PA 11
21 San Diego County CA 24
22 Security Service TX 20
23 Educators WI 23
24 Robins GA 44
25 Ent CO 28

* Moved up from < $1 billion asset tier

Smaller Credit Unions (less than $1 billion assets)

2011
Rank
Financial Institution State 2010
Rank
1 Complex Community TX 5
2 Freedom PA 28
3 Gwinnett GA 4
4 Actors NY 14
5 White Sands NM 6
6 Idaho Central ID 12
7 Columbus Metro OH 40
8 University First UT 13
9 Southeastern GA 15
10 Motorola Employees IL 64
11 Alabama AL 103
12 Americu NY 10
13 SECNY NY 123
14 University of Hawaii HI 23
15 Denali Alaskan AK 79
16 Atomic OH 41
17 Cross Valley PA 160
18 Self-Help NC 452
19 1st Community TX 241
20 North East Texas TX 30
21 America’s WA 9
22 Sea Comm NY 24
23 University of Illinois IL 35
24 GPO NY 26
25 A+ TX 63

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