The bank switching behaviour of Singapore’s graduates: RESULTS

The ranking of switching incidents

Table 2 shows that, of those graduates who have switched banks, ‘inconvenience’ was the most often mentioned and, as seen from the points scored column in the table, ‘service failures’ ranked a close second. ‘Pricing’, ‘unacceptable attitude, behaviour or knowledge of staff, ‘involuntary/seldom mentioned incidents’ and ‘attraction by competitors’ completed the ranking.

Those who mentioned ‘inconvenience’ as a reason for switching indicated that taking up employment/moving job or inadequate opening hours were predominant causes of a switch. Those who mentioned ‘service failures’ did so on the basis that their previous bank did not offer a wide enough range of services and/or that their bank delivered services too slowly.

Keaveney (1995) provided a ranking of switching incidents relating to a broad range of service providers. She, in her Table 1, lists the following four incidents as being the most influential: first, ‘core service failures’ (which the present authors have retitled as ‘service failures’), then ‘failed service encounters’ (which the present authors have retitled as ‘unacceptable attitude, behaviour or knowledge of staff) followed by ‘pricing’ and ‘inconvenience’. These top four reasons are common with the present study, although there is some resequencing, most notably with ‘inconvenience’.

Although not specifically mentioned in Table 2, for some 32.3 per cent of those who had switched, switching took place due to a single incident. This finding is a lower percentage than that of Keaveney (1995) who reported that some 45 per cent of her respondents had switched due to a single incident.

Demographics

Table 3 shows that certain groups have switched to a greater extent than others, namely females, higher income earners, older people, and the Chinese racial group. However, none of these comparisons produced a result that was statistically significant at p<0.01. This finding (ie that there were no statistically significant differences) is largely reflective of what Fry et al. (1973) established in their Canadian graduate study. Moreover, in the present study, just as in that of Fry et al., female graduates were found to have switched to a greater extent than males.