02/01/2011 09:30 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bank Of America #1 Banking Brand, Survey Says

Perhaps Bank of America's efforts are paying off.

The bank may be worried enough about their public image that they are buying up scores of domain names that portray the financial institution or its CEO Brian Moynihan in a negative light. And they reportedly set up counterespionage team to combat an rumored WikiLeaks dump of gathered from the hard drive of a Bank of America executive.

But according to a new survey (PDF), the company has actually risen in stature over the past year, replacing HSBC as the world's most valuable banking brand.

Brand Finance, a London based brand valuation consultancy, surveyed 90 American banks and 20 UK banks to estimate the notional price a company would have to pay for the brand. Bank of America was valued at $30.6 billion, Wells Fargo came in second at $28.9 billion, and HSBC third at $27.6 billion, the survey found.

"The top tier of the BrandFinance Banking 500 demonstrates that some banks are pursuing an intelligent brand strategy in salvaging their reputations, whereas others are making only superficial, less effective efforts," David Haigh, chief executive officer of Brand Finance, told the Financial Times.

"American banking is beginning to rebound," Haigh told Bloomberg News. "Bank of America and Wells Fargo did well because they have expanded through acquisitions, American growth expectations have improved and both have focused on promoting their roles as traditional main street lenders."