An investigation into the factors which influence international students’ choice of retail bank in the UK

Topics: Bank, Retail banking, Commercial bank Pages: 27 (5145 words) Published: May 28, 2014

An investigation into the factors which influence international students’ choice of retail bank in the UK

International students are considered an attractive segment of customers for retail banks in the UK. The purpose of this research was to investigate the factors influencing the choice of retail banks of international students in the UK. Thirty international students from Glasgow International College were investigated by convenience sampling strategy. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaire based on a review of the literature. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings showed that there are seven important factors, namely, technological service, recommendation by friends and family, and low service charge. This research also highlighted the four most important determinants which include bank security, bank reputation, customer service and proximity of ATMs. Based on these results, there are several managerial implications and recommendation for retail banks which can be summarized as providing security banking environments as well as convenient customer service and building good brand image. Introduction

According to Mokhlis (2010:98), the fierce competition in the financial services market presents a big challenge to the profitability of all retail banks in recent years. Due to its growing importance, there have been numerous studies which analyze the issue of choice criteria in retail banking context. For instance, general studies have been conducted in both developed and developing countries such as that those conducted by Gerrard and Devlin (2004) in the UK, Mokhlis et al. (2008) in Malaysia, Omar (2008) in Nigeria, and Rehman and Ahmed (2008) in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of international students in UK higher education in recent years. The latest data of students in UK higher education indicate that the total number of the overseas student is 405,810(280,760 non-EU) in 2009/2010 academic year which has increased by about 10% compared to the previous academic year (UKCISA, 2010). This rapid growing number of international student may be a significant potential costumer segment for retail banks in the UK. However, no known study has investigated the factors which may influence international students’ criteria of selecting bank in the UK. Therefore, this study is of high academic importance and may provide some useful recommendations to the banks for adjusting their marketing strategies 

The aim of this study is to investigate which factors may be considered when international students choose a bank and which is the most important factor that influence their choice of bank. Based on previous studies, the hypothesis of this study is that there are six main factors which may influence bank selection of international student, namely, service, proximity, reputation, recommendations, security and financial benefit. Meanwhile, this research also attempt to find out which factor is most important and to explain the reason.

This project will first build the theoretical framework through an empirical literature review. Then the research methods and instrument adopted in this project will be introduced in the methodology section. The next section will present important findings and data of this research and then discuss and compare them with previous studies. Finally, it will give some recommendation and highlight the limitation of this study as well as scope for future research.

Literature review
The literature review will first focus on the main factors examined by previous studies. Then, this review will identify the exiting gap of the reviewed literature and relate it to the research objectives of this project.

Convenient factors of selection
In order to save time, customers regard proximity as an important factor when selecting commercial banks. Almossawi...

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