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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Bank location is very central to the attraction of customers. According to Jonah (2003:10) location of bank branch is one area that management has to take into consideration, factors within the economy such as the population of the area, the nature of business community of the area, the category of workforce of the area, the security of the area.
According to Ibru (2005) Oceanic Bank Plc has to consider most economic factors and their weights on the bank before really opening any bank. She noted that work force had to be comfortable or motivated in any area as well as the bank security wise should be considered before opening any branch. The opening of bank branch, according to Ogwuma (1993) is not as easy as any body would want both the bank executives and the public to believe. He noted that Union Bank has to assess the security of the area and other things before setting up any bank location.
He added that nature of the area and the business communities around have to play important roles in the location of any branch of any bank. Speaking further on this, Elumelu (2004) observed that United Bank of Africa (UBA) was heavily bent on evaluating the average contribution of customers in an area before opening a branch of the bank. He weighs the issue of security low due to the cooperation of the nation’s police force. He noted that even in the remotest villages UBA was willing to open a branch provided that there is a booming business. The security he said could be beefed up by inviting the security personnel and paying them adequately.
Dozie (2004) added that Diamond Bank was a bank that believed wholly on branching out only to business-oriented places. He noted that Central Bank was forcing most banks to open branches in the capital cities. It is this mandate that makes banks to scramble for places in the capital cities of the states. He however noted that many other non-capital cities are more metropolitan than most capital ones, citing Aba and Umuahia as examples.
He further added that forcing any bank to open branch in the capital cities he noted that at least one metropolitan city in a state should be the guiding principle.
Moha (1975:5) did not quite agree with Pascal. To him, the act of using force to achieve obedience to desired results is very important. He stated that most bank executives do not fancy the idea of force, that it is the only way to ensure compliance, he stressed.
Justice (2000:13) stated that banks have to be forced to open branches in rural areas since they have no desire to do so under normal circumstances. He noted that customers are usually better off with branches that are nearer their business areas. Despite the CBN directives on rural banking, commercial banks are yet adamant, which calls for a greater directive to enforce. Proximity to business area is, therefore, according to Justice the overriding consideration in opening of any bank branch.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study is aimed at investigating the aspect of Bank location and the influence on customer bank behaviour. This is because the performance and location of Nigerian banking sector has been very unimpressive in the recent
past. There appears to be a relationship between the bank location and the customer banking behaviour.
It is one thing for a bank to be established in line with CBN directives and another to make enough impact on customer. The recent directives by the CBN for banks to establish branches in the major cities of the country is a giant stride by banks to bridge the gape between bank location and customer banking behaviour. Yet there remained gap between the bank and its customers.
Security problem is one of the major problems faced by Nigerian banking sector, and as such debilitates the expected productiveness of banks. Bank Security has a direct relationship with bank location, this is the reason why banks tend to concentrate or even like to be located close to other banks. Also the recent attacks on bullion van by armed robbers, spells doom for Nigerian banks.
The inability of a bank to be located closer their customers constitute a problem to every bank. This is because most customers tend to favour or patronize those banks that are closer to them. Moreover, the proficiency of service rendered has been one of the major factors that contributed to banks’ inability to grow. It is a problem that needed solution if the future of banking industry in Nigeria can be assured.
It is therefore pertinent to investigate the application and the resultant effects of the population of the area and extent of information service in any branch, which is a hub of customer banking behaviour.
This study is expected to address the issues pertaining “low rate extension of bank branches and poor patronage of customers as a result of
long distance of bank location and its resultant effect to both customers and the banking industry at large.
With the increase in information and communication technology, customers have become more discerning and are requiring quicker means of accessing financial services. Most banks have invested massively in IT infrastructures and these facilities are presently under-utilized. Therefore, the researcher would want to know whether IT intervention or innovation can checkmate location barriers.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following objectives are formulated by the study.
1. To determine how bank security influences customer services.
2. To ascertain the extent proximity to customers’ business area affects bank customer’s banking behaviour.
3. To determine the affect of IT driven on-line banking on bank location and the effect of branch information technology on customer satisfaction.
4. To make recommendations that will improve bank locations and customer services.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How does security affect bank customers’ banking behaviour?
2. How does proximity to customers’ business area affect customers’ banking behaviour?
3. What is the affect of IT driven on-line banking location and what is the impact of branch information technology on customer satisfaction?
4. What recommendations can improve bank locations and customer services?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses are formulate:
· Proximity of bank location influences customer money withdrawal frequency and timing.
· The far the bank is from the customer location the lower the frequency of withdrawal and vise versa.
· The availability of information technology has reduced the need for multiple bank branches.
· The use of information technology has improved customer satisfaction in bank service delivery.
· The nearer the bank is to the customer location the higher the frequency of depositing money.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be useful to the following groups:-
The relevant of this study cannot be over-emphasized with respect to banking industry. It is assumed that the wealth of ideas and knowledge revealed from this study under customers perception, behaviour and responsiveness to location of bank will be utilized by bank industry when
setting up bank. It will enable them apprehend what, why and how to position their location in order to satisfy and retain the customer.
However, the principle of the right place, time is reassured here.
2. The general public/customer:
The centre piece of this study is adored on customer satisfaction.
Though, the philosophy or concept of consumerism regards “customers as Kings” and customer recognition or stimulation of their interest survives every business. Thus, customers here will understand that they are the fulcrum that determine the location, flow and progress of an organization.
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