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
Citibank came first across the region, with 90 per cent of respondents
saying they were ’familiar’ or ’very familiar’ with the bank and its
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,’
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.