The UK officially came out of recession in January this year and a comparison of the data for both the telecoms and financial sectors shows just how badly the latter suffered as a result of the recent financial difficulties.
There has been a pronounced increase in the scores for the financial sector, with the industry moving some way in restoring its tarnished reputation. On the overall 'Index' measure, those brands included in the card, loans and building society sector have increased to 4pts from -2pts at the start of the year.
By far the biggest increase has come in the high street banks and savings sector, with 'Index' scores rising from -7pts to 5pts since January. During the same period the sectors' 'Impression' rating went from -19pts to -2pts.
When looking at individual brands within the financial sector, there have been times this year when a relative newcomer, the high street bank Santander, has seen its BrandIndex scores come above the sector average.
Rupert Jones said in The Guardian on the 4th February 2010, that the credit crunch dealt 'a knockout blow to several UK banks but leaving Santander relatively unscathed' and the upturn in scores for Santander on BrandIndex around this time reflect the Guardian columnists sentiment. The article, centred around the rebranding of Abbey as Santander, refers to the former as 'Shabby Abbey' and the gap between both the brands is shown on the graph below.
As Santander became part of the financial sector furniture, its 'Index' and 'Impression' scores understandably dropped, although this decline subsequently stopped in July. Although Santander now appears to be following the same pattern as the other brands in the high street banks and savings sector, it is doing so at a level approximately 10pts higher up the scale than the sector average, suggesting the picture is healthy for the newcomer to the banking market in the UK.