Factors that Affect Customer Choice of a Bank Finance Essay

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Introduction of banks: For the past three decades Indias banking system has several outstanding achievements to its credit. The most striking is its extensive reach. It is no longer confined to only metropolitans or cosmopolitans in India. In fact, Indian banking system has reached even to the remote corners of the country. This is one of the main reason of India’s growth process.

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The government’s regular policy for Indian bank since 1969 has paid rich dividends with the nationalisation of 14 major private banks of India.

Not long ago, an account holder had to wait for hours at the bank counters for getting a draft or for withdrawing his own money. Today, he has a choice. Gone are days when the most efficient bank transferred money from one branch to other in two days. Now it is simple as instant messaging or dial a pizza. Money have become the order of the day.

The first bank in India, though conservative, was established in 1786. From 1786 till today, the journey of Indian Banking System can be segregated into three distinct phases. They are as mentioned below:

Early phase from 1786 to 1969 of Indian Banks

Nationalisation of Indian Banks and up to 1991 prior to Indian banking sector Reforms.

New phase of Indian Banking System with the advent of Indian Financial & Banking Sector Reforms after 1991.

To make this write-up more explanatory, I prefix the scenario as Phase I, Phase II and Phase III.

Phase I

The General Bank of India was set up in the year 1786. Next came Bank of Hindustan and Bengal Bank. The East India Company established Bank of Bengal (1809), Bank of Bombay (1840) and Bank of Madras (1843) as independent units and called it Presidency Banks. These three banks were amalgamated in 1920 and Imperial Bank of India was established which started as private shareholders banks, mostly Europeans shareholders.

In 1865 Allahabad Bank was established and first time exclusively by Indians, Punjab National Bank Ltd. was set up in 1894 with headquarters at Lahore. Between 1906 and 1913, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, and Bank of Mysore were set up. Reserve Bank of India came in 1935.

During the first phase the growth was very slow and banks also experienced periodic failures between 1913 and 1948. There were approximately 1100 banks, mostly small. To streamline the functioning and activities of commercial banks, the Government of India came up with The Banking Companies Act, 1949 which was later changed to Banking Regulation Act 1949 as per amending Act of 1965 (Act No. 23 of 1965). Reserve Bank of India was vested with extensive powers for the supervision of banking in india as the Central Banking Authority.

During those days public has lesser confidence in the banks. As an aftermath deposit mobilisation was slow. Abreast of it the savings bank facility provided by the Postal department was comparatively safer. Moreover, funds were largely given to traders.

Phase II

Government took major steps in this Indian Banking Sector Reform after independence. In 1955, it nationalised Imperial Bank of India with extensive banking facilities on a large scale specially in rural and semi-urban areas. It formed State Bank of india to act as the principal agent of RBI and to handle banking transactions of the Union and State Governments all over the country.

Seven banks forming subsidiary of State Bank of India was nationalised in 1960 on 19th July, 1969, major process of nationalisation was carried out. It was the effort of the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. 14 major commercial banks in the country was nationalised.

Second phase of nationalisation Indian Banking Sector Reform was carried out in 1980 with seven more banks. This step brought 80% of the banking segment in India under Government ownership.

The following are the steps taken by the Government of India to Regulate Banking Institutions in the Country:

1949 : Enactment of Banking Regulation Act.

1955 : Nationalisation of State Bank of India.

1959 : Nationalisation of SBI subsidiaries.

1961 : Insurance cover extended to deposits.

1969 : Nationalisation of 14 major banks.

1971 : Creation of credit guarantee corporation.

1975 : Creation of regional rural banks.

1980 : Nationalisation of seven banks with deposits over 200 crore.

After the nationalisation of banks, the branches of the public sector bank India rose to approximately 800% in deposits and advances took a huge jump by 11,000%.

Banking in the sunshine of Government ownership gave the public implicit faith and immense confidence about the sustainability of these institutions.

Phase III

This phase has introduced many more products and facilities in the banking sector in its reforms measure. In 1991, under the chairmanship of M Narasimham, a committee was set up by his name which worked for the liberalisation of banking practices.

The country is flooded with foreign banks and their ATM stations. Efforts are being put to give a satisfactory service to customers. Phone banking and net banking is introduced. The entire system became more convenient and swift. Time is given more importance than money.

The financial system of India has shown a great deal of resilience. It is sheltered from any crisis triggered by any external macroeconomics shock as other East Asian Countries suffered. This is all due to a flexible exchange rate regime, the foreign reserves are high, the capital account is not yet fully convertible, and banks and their customers have limited foreign exchange exposure.

History of financial services

In the United States

The term "financial services" became more prevalent in the United States partly as a result of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of the late 1990s, which enabled different types of companies operating in the U.S. financial services industry at that time to merge. Companies usually have two distinct approaches to this new type of business. One approach would be a bank which simply buys an insurance company or an investment bank, keeps the original brands of the acquired firm, and adds the acquisition to its holding company simply to diversify its earnings. Outside the U.S. (e.g., in Japan), non-financial services companies are permitted within the holding company. In this scenario, each company still looks independent, and has its own customers, etc. In the other style, a bank would simply create its own brokerage division or insurance division and attempt to sell those products to its own existing customers, with incentives for combining all things with one company.


A "commercial bank" is what is commonly referred to as simply a "bank". The term "commercial" is used to distinguish it from an "investment bank", a type of financial services entity which, instead of lending money directly to a business, helps businesses raise money from other firms in the form of bonds (debt) or stock (equity).

Banking services

The primary operations of banks include:

Keeping money safe while also allowing withdrawals when needed

Issuance of checkbooks so that bills can be paid and other kinds of payments can be delivered by post

Provide personal loans, commercial loans, and mortgage loans (typically loans to purchase a home, property or business)

Issuance of credit cards and processing of credit card transactions and billing

Issuance of debit cards for use as a substitute for checks

Allow financial transactions at branches or by using Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

Provide wire transfers of funds and Electronic fund transfers between banks

Facilitation of standing orders and direct debits, so payments for bills can be made automatically

Provide overdraft agreements for the temporary advancement of the Bank’s own money to meet monthly spending commitments of a customer in their current account.

Provide Charge card advances of the Bank’s own money for customers wishing to settle credit advances monthly.

Provide a check guaranteed by the Bank itself and prepaid by the customer, such as a cashier’s check or certified check.

Notary service for financial and other documents

Other types of bank services

Private banking – Private banks provide banking services exclusively to high net worth individuals. Many financial services firms require a person or family to have a certain minimum net worth to qualify for private banking services. Private banks often provide more personal services, such as wealth management and tax planning, than normal retail banks.

Capital market bank – bank that underwrite debt and equity, assist company deals (advisory services, underwriting and advisory fees), and restructure debt into structured finance products.

Bank cards – include both credit cards and debit cards. Bank Of America is the largest issuer of bank cards.

Credit card machine services and networks – Companies which provide credit card machine and payment networks call themselves "merchant card providers".

Foreign exchange services

Foreign exchange services are provided by many banks around the world. Foreign exchange services include:

Currency Exchange – where clients can purchase and sell foreign currency banknotes.

Wire transfer – where clients can send funds to international banks abroad.

Foreign Currency Banking – banking transactions are done in foreign currency.

Investment services

Asset management – the term usually given to describe companies which run collective investment funds.

Hedge fund management – Hedge funds often employ the services of "prime brokerage" divisions at major investment banks to execute their trades.

Custody services – the safe-keeping and processing of the world’s securities trades and servicing the associated portfolios. Assets under custody in the world are approximately $100 trillion.


Insurance brokerage – Insurance brokers shop for insurance (generally corporate property and casualty insurance) on behalf of customers. Recently a number of websites have been created to give consumers basic price comparisons for services such as insurance, causing controversy within the industry.

Insurance underwriting – Personal lines insurance underwriters actually underwrite insurance for individuals, a service still offered primarily through agents, insurance brokers, and stock brokers. Underwriters may also offer similar commercial lines of coverage for businesses. Activities include insurance and annuities, life insurance, retirement insurance, health insurance, and property & casualty insurance.

Reinsurance – Reinsurance is insurance sold to insurers themselves, to protect them from catastrophic losses.

Other financial services

Intermediation or advisory services – These services involve stock brokers (private client services) and discount brokers. Stock brokers assist investors in buying or selling shares. Primarily internet-based companies are often referred to as discount brokerages, although many now have branch offices to assist clients. These brokerages primarily target individual investors. Full service and private client firms primarily assist and execute trades for clients with large amounts of capital to invest, such as large companies, wealthy individuals, and investment management funds.

Private equity – Private equity funds are typically closed-end funds, which usually take controlling equity stakes in businesses that are either private, or taken private once acquired. Private equity funds often use leveraged buyouts (LBOs) to acquire the firms in which they invest. The most successful private equity funds can generate returns significantly higher than provided by the equity markets

Venture capital is a type of private equity capital typically provided by professional, outside investors to new, high-potential-growth companies in the interest of taking the company to an IPO or trade sale of the business.

Angel investment – An angel investor or angel (known as a business angel or informal investor in Europe), is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups or angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital.

Conglomerates – A financial services conglomerate is a financial services firm that is active in more than one sector of the financial services market e.g. life insurance, general insurance, health insurance, asset management, retail banking, wholesale banking, investment banking, etc. A key rationale for the existence of such businesses is the existence of diversification benefits that are present when different types of businesses are aggregated i.e. bad things don’t always happen at the same time. As a consequence, economic capital for a conglomerate is usually substantially less than economic capital is for the sum of its parts.


All over the world, there is a shift in the economy from the manufacturing to the service sector. The contribution of banking to the service economy is duly recognized. Banking industry includes a number of businesses such as corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management, capital market etc. Retail banking is another segment of the banking industry. It is a typical mass-market banking characterized by a large customer base and a large volume of transactions. There is a high level of cooperation between banks, retailers, customers and consumers in this segment.

Retail banks offer services like account opening, credit card, debit card, ATM, internet banking, phone banking, insurance, investment, stock broking and so on. The retail banking industry is facing a very stiff competition and current scenario is that of the survival of the fittest. All the banks are trying to increase their customer base and are developing their own strategies to be in the market. Product differentiation along with the application of technology for creating an optimum transaction model is one of the strategies employed by retail banks.

The present day customers are technology savvy and they are more exposed to various kinds of goods and services. With globalization, the consumers are more aware of what type of services they get and from where. This has led to customer-demand-driven services to be offered by various service providers. Retail banks too have to design their products in such a way that customers are satisfied and that they return to the same bank for their services. In simple terms, customer retention is becoming the greatest challenge for retail banks.

But the most challenges for banks is how banks attract their customers and what factor affect customer choice of a bank:A 

The various factors that affect the choice of customer in choosing a bank namely: ATM facility, Friendliness of employee, Debit card facility, Loan facility, Parking facility, Speed of services, Loyalty program, Internet banking facility, Rate of Interest, Bank timing, Convenient display of counters, Free home delivery of Drafts, Phone banking facility, Minimum account balance, Bank charges, Overdraft facility, Brand name, Close to where you live or work, Security arrangement, Locker facility, De-mat Facility, Referral from friend and relatives, Computerization of the bank, Continuous flow of information from bank and Simple

application for all transactions.

There are many other factors that affect the choice of customers in choosing the banks. The 14 different factors that could be identified, approximately in the order of their importance, are

(1) Safety of Deposits,

(2) Size and Strength,

(3) Accuracy,

(4) General Service Quality,

(5) Speed of Delivery,

(6) Proximity,

(7) Security of Environment,

(8) Cordiality of Staff,

(9) Price and Service Charges,

(10) Product Packaging,

(11) General Public Impression,

(12) Peer Group Impression,

(13) Friendship with Staff and

(14) Advertisement and Publicity.

There are many factors who affect customer choice of bank. There are no of other factors also affect the customer choice of a bank which have also increased in importance are the offering of incentives, having a wide product range and economic factors, such as interest rate paid and fees and charges levied. Location factors, such as choosing a bank close to home or work place, have decreased significantly in importance in motivating choice.

Certain criteria have remained broadly constant through time, amongst them, and perhaps surprisingly, are choosing on the basis of a bank’s image and reputation and expectations about level of service.

Safety of Deposits:

Depositors are the major stakeholders of the Banking System. Firstly a customer when he think about to open account in any bank then first question come in his mind is safety of deposits. His cash save or not in that bank in which he keep the amount.


It is the most vital factor, which explains of the variation. Reliability factors such as employees in the bank are friendly and courteous .Parking facility, Loyalty Program, good brand name of the bank, security arrangement with the bank and low bank has low bank charges emerge with good positive correlations. This yields a great influence while choosing a banking service.


There are four loads to this factor. The factor "Convenience" is the second important factor, which accounts for nearly of the variations. The factors parking facility with the bank free delivery of demand draft Phone banking and free home cash delivery signifies that consumers want convenience in banking and they want to save time.


There are three significant variables with a variation of and these factors are speedy services bank provide good rate of interest zero balance account facility depicts that the students want assurance of the services from the bank.

Value Added Services:

This factor has the two significant variables, which has 7.36% of the variation, and this comprises of depicting the value added services required by the consumers.

The factor representing debit card facility, loan facility and loyalty programs respectively show value added services are also a significant factor in choosing a bank.


The next important factor, which comprises of four loadings, ATM facility, debit card facility speed in services and internet banking signifies that easy accessibility to their bank accounts is vital factor in choosing a bank.


Responsiveness is the next factor, which influences a consumer in choosing a bank. This factor has two loading namely the employees in the bank are friendly and courteous and convenient display of counters.

Location: when choosing a location for a branch, each bank takes various factors into account, such as the level of income, branch functions, competition, land value, growth potential, and the number of financial institutions. Also, from the methodological perspective, each bank employs. and develops various mathematical models or continuously strives to apply new methods. The recent introduction of Geographic Information System (GIS) can be viewed as an extension of such trend.

Bank image: The customers were found to form an image of a bank from various information sources, and such formed image had a significant influence on the profitability of the bank. Branch image, level of service, value of products, and the building should be considered in the evaluation of a bank’s profitability.

Quality: customer perceptions and preferences of service quality have a Significant impact on a bank’s success Service quality has received much attention because of its obvious relationship with costs, financial performance, customer satisfaction, and customer retention.

Acceptability: The point of acceptance in case of cheques, RTGS, NEFT and ECS would be the bank branches providing these facilities. While cheques are accepted at all bank branches in the country, extending the availability of NEFT and RTGS depend upon the technological level of the banks. While the reach of payment systems like RTGS and NEFT has expanded to cover more and more bank branches, their further expansion is limited by the presence of bank branches.

Level of Technology: The level of technological adoption in the banks would also decide the level of promotion of new payment products by banks. Banks which have implemented Core Banking Solutions are observed have provided the customers multiple delivery channels like ATMs, internet banking and mobile banking systems for initiation and receipt of payments. Substantial usage of new payment instruments are observed in these banks. These banks have also recorded cost savings from the migration of payments to electronic modes from the traditional cash and cheques.

Customer Service: The customer service is the main stepping-stone of any service industry. The payment systems are no exception to this. Customer services include (1) service level at the point of service (2) information dissemination and (3) grievance redressal. For gaining the confidence of a customer it is necessary that the service providers address these issues adequately.

Service Charges: Services charge constitute the charge levied by banks on their customers who avail payment services. Since 1999, when the practice of Indian Banks Association (IBA) fixing the benchmark service charges (which IBA had started prescribing from 1994) on behalf of the member banks was discontinued, the decision to prescribe the service charges was left to the discrete on of the Boards of individual banks.

Banks were then advised that, they should ensure that the service charges were reasonable and were not out of line with the average cost of providing the services and the customers with low volume of activities were not penalized.

Presently the Reserve Bank has prescribed the levying of service charges only for cheque clearing operations. An amount of Rs.2/- is collected per paper instrument (Re.1/- each to be collected from the collecting and paying bank) cleared by the MICR Cheque Processing Centers. In case the paper instruments are processed manually, the clearing houses are required to add up all the expenditure incurred and then recover them from the members (banks) of the respective clearing houses. The levying of cheque collection and electronic payment processing charges by banks from customers is left to the respective banks. But it was observed that instead of prescribing judicious charges a number of banks levy heavy fees for the use of electronic payment systems like RTGS / NEFT/ ECS systems.

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Factors That Affect Customer Choice Of A Bank Finance Essay. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from

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