Staff Reporters
Jun 16, 2020

COVID actions pay off in favourability for banks

Definitive action and the ability to project stability in uncertain times helped Citibank, DBS, HSBC, Standard Chartered and others achieve favourable perceptions, according to a report from Carma Asia.

COVID actions pay off in favourability for banks

Citibank scored the highest favourability rating across coverage in traditional media outlets in both Singapore and Hong Kong, according to a report on May media mentions released by Carma Asia.

HSBC had the most prominent coverage in Hong Kong and the most favourable in Malaysia. DBS and
Maybank took the top spots as most prominent banks in Singapore and Malaysia, respectively.

The media intelligence company evaluated 1,434 articles and 66,148 social-media posts using a combination of technology and human analysis. The report covers Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

In Singapore, much of Citibank’s positive coverage came from the bank's decision to return payouts received from the government's Jobs Support Scheme. In Hong Kong, charitable donations and business innovations positioned the bank positively, according to the report. COVID-19-related actions also created favourable coverage for DBS, which had the second highest favourability rating in Singapore, Standard Chartered (third in Singapore, second in Hong Kong and Malaysia), and Bank of China (third in Hong Kong).

"This analysis shows that some banks were able to distinguish themselves in the media with definitive action taken in response to COVID-19 and an effective use of spokespeople to convey stability in uncertain times,” Andrew Nicholls, CARMA Asia’s MD, said in a release.

L-R: Volume of mentions, favourability and share of voice in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia (Source: Carma Asia)


The report also names Citibank as the top bank brand on social media in Hong Kong. In Singapore, the top ranking went to UOB on Facebook and Standard Chartered on Twitter, In Malaysia, the top spot went to Hong Leong Bank on Facebook and HSBC on Twitter. 

The report also details the top topics generating media coverage, the top spokespeople cited, key messages that media coverage conveyed, and drivers of conversation and sentiment on social media. 

Nicholls also noted that many consumers use social media to ask questions and voice opinions, especially about customer service and digital banking products. "With the growth of digital payment systems and virtual banks catering to niche segments, the traditional banks will need to be mindful of this feedback and manage their brands effectively to demonstrate value," he said. "New entrants might not portray the credibility of established brands, but they will likely focus on digital experience and customer-centricity.”

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