INTERNATIONAL: US bank beats locals to Asian recognition

HONG KONG: Asians are more familiar with the brands of US financial institutions than with their local rivals, with US bank Citibank top of the regional league, according to a new financial image survey.

HONG KONG: Asians are more familiar with the brands of US financial

institutions than with their local rivals, with US bank Citibank top of

the regional league, according to a new financial image survey.



The research examined perceptions of 58 international financial

institutions among almost 23,000 Asian subscribers to magazines

Asiaweek, Fortune and Time. Of those who responded, 92 per cent were of

Asian descent.



Citibank came first across the region, with 90 per cent of respondents

saying they were ’familiar’ or ’very familiar’ with the bank and its

brand.



Seventy-two per cent of respondents said the same of Hong Kong’s HSBC,

which came second.



In the investment bank sector, US institutions also topped the league

with Merrill Lynch in front, while in the insurance sector, fellow US

giant AIA took the lead position.



Alice Chai, vice-president of marketing information at Time Inc Asia

which conducted the survey, said one explanation for HSBC’s second place

was the timing of the survey.



’When we did the survey, HSBC was in the middle of a global rebranding,’

she said.



HSBC topped the awareness league in Hong Kong - its home market - where

Citibank took second place. Chai’s explanation for poor performance

among other Asian banks centred on the comparative lack of investment in

marketing in Asian financial institutions in general.



’US companies have been established for many years and have had time to

build brand awareness and are particularly good at it,’ said Chai.



Across the region, Standard Chartered bank came third, followed by Bank

of America and Chase Manhattan.



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