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Zimbabweans Prefer Foreign Banks, Survey

June 2, 2014

ZIMBABWEANS prefer to have foreign-owned institutions managing their funds over local banks due to perceptions over stability and convenience, a survey by a local consultancy firm has shown.

The survey by Industrial Psychology Consultants (IPC), which sought to establish baking sector customer engagement, ranked Standard Chartered Bank as the most customer-friendly financial institution in the country.

A total of 22 banking institutions and 872 banking customers participated in the survey.

"Findings reveal that more customers want to move to other banks today than they did in 2012. Eight in every 10 bank customers said they want to move away from their current bank," IPC said.

The most preferred international banks were Stanbic, Standard Chartered and Barclays. The preferred alternative local banks were FBC and NMB.

"Only 24 percent of the bank customers said they would want to stay with their current banks. Interestingly most of the customers prefer moving to international banks," the consultancy said.

Other highly ranked banks in customer relationship management were NMB, FBC, MBCA and CBZ.

Zimbabwe's banking sector is dominated by indigenous banks but foreign-owned institutions rank highly in terms of market share.

A number of locally owned banks have in the past few years closed shop or were put under curatorship by the central bank, developments which analysts say dampened customer confidence in indigenous banks.

The survey established that customers viewed polite and courteous staff, prompt service and accessibility in terms of branches, access to their funds and managers as key in maintaining the relationships.

"The results of this research show that customers are agitated by poor communication or lack thereof by their banks," IPC said.

The consultancy said banks needed to do more to improve customer relationships.

"Banks need to understand engagement drivers of their customers and move from the traditional customer engagement strategies and come up with unique strategies not yet used by their counterparts to segment themselves from competition," the consultancy said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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