Shawbrook Bank named the UK’s top climber by Brand Value in global industry review

The UK SME specialist bank enjoyed impressive gains in ‘The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands’ report for 2020.

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Shawbrook Bank has been named as one of the world’s top climbers by Brand Value in a report that assesses the global banking industry.

Shawbrook, a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) specialist lender with operations across the UK, performed favourably in ‘Top 500 Banking Brands’ report.

Published by ‘The Banker’ – a Financial Times-owned publication – the report looks at the global banking industry and the brand performance of the institutions within it each year.

Shawbrook was placed second globally in the table of top 20 climbers by rank, moving up 133 places to 366th. It also added 73% to its brand value, which earns it a spot in the top 20 global climbers by brand value table.

The report states that the Bank, which was launched in 2011, had reaped the benefits of a brand refresh in 2018.

Richard Armstrong, Group Head of Marketing at Shawbrook Bank, says success can be attributed to a return to the bank’s roots. “We are a specialist bank for SMEs. We decided to shrink our product portfolio and move out of the more vanilla markets,” he adds.

Shawbrook’s best brand campaign started off as an internal campaign, according to Mr Armstrong, featuring quotes from staff, talking about who they are and what they do. “We did a bit of word play with imagery of what they do in their spare time,” he explains. One example is 'specialists dive deeper', with an image of a technical cave diver. “We are illustrating that deep relationships, sector knowledge and attention to detail is what enables us to deal with complex scenarios,” adds Mr Armstrong.

The bank’s marketing plan for 2020 is to be “much louder” with more brand promotion activity, both digitally and in trade publications. It will also continue producing reports for specific industries, such as buy-to-let and commercial property. “We are using our insights to position ourselves as industry experts,” says Mr Armstrong.

For the first time since the aftermath of global financial crisis, the aggregate value of The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands ranking – which stands at $1327bn this year – has contracted, albeit by just over 2%. However, this is quite a reversal in fortune compared with the double-digit growth seen in recent years.

You can read the report in full by visiting The Banker’s website.