Bank of China is providing a high level of service to its customers, which has been so accepted by two thirds of the populace that it has served. However there are number of areas in which there is scope for efficiency and better customer service where low scores in some case of a mere 30 % plus have been indicated which should be a cause of concern for the management and specific areas as indicated by the research need to be addressed.
The Bank of China will have to invest greater technological as well as management resources in enhancing its internet banking model to satisfy the customers, provide timely and efficient services. Since large quanta of customers are likely to use the internet in the future, investment in this critical resource will prove to be greatly beneficial to banks. HSBC on the other hand has provided a good model of internet banking which other banks could well emulate.
The trend is also to induce customers to go on line and use the communication enabled services on offer including mobile and internet banking. A key facet which is noticeable in HSBCs services is bundling of personal services with travel insurance, travel money and even airport parking all into one large group and providing discounts on all three to varying degrees thereby adding to the convenience of the customer as well as enabling the bank to easily service him. Chinas banking sector is set to see two major challenges which will be faced by banks as BOC.
The first which would be obvious from the study is the threat of foreign banks such as HSBC which having a better experience of providing customer friendly services and with an ability to introduce innovative products which will be able to attract a large portion of the high value and business clientele in the country. (BOC Global Offering, 2006). This is likely to see greater increase with Chinas accession to the WTO. In the beginning of 2007, foreign banks would be conducting commercial banking in foreign currency as well as Renminbi without any limitations of locations.
(BOC Global Offering, 2006). The Chinese government is also encouraging the entry of foreign participation in the finance sector, particularly related to automobile financing and also in reform and restructuring of the financial institutions. (BOC Global Offering, 2006). The other challenge identified is the demand for high value products which can enable growth of economy as well as reduce the risk such as investment banking and insurance. The need will also be felt for products relating to asset management.
These could also extend support for underwriting during mergers and acquisitions and financing and securitization of projects. (BOC Global Offering, 2006). However as a competitive business entity, HSBC is focusing on the perceived growth areas such as credit cards and it is said to be teaming up with the Chinese Bank of Communications to provide credit cards to the large majority of Chinese who do not own one thereby creating vast business opportunities. (Schuman, 2006). The Bank of China could exploit such a strategy while at the same time fulfilling its social obligations in personal banking for the less privileged.
A survey of the issues covered in the research will indicate that the lead banks of China are well set to undertake this challenging task of providing services of a global standard. An increased interaction with global banks as HSBC will prove beneficial for BOC to attain its ends as stated in its vision of a, Market-driven, Client-oriented, World-class Financial services institution, a robust corporate governance structure, capable of delivering outstanding performance over a long term. (About Bank of China,. 2006).
There were a number of limitations during this research; first of all, the number of respondents to questionnaires is limited, because it is difficult to collect information from large number of consumers due to constraints of time and resources. Secondly the subject being of a contemporary nature the response of the bank staff is restricted to the stated company policy. As also there is limited research material in terms of reference books on the specific subject, thus there has to be reliance on sources provided by the two banks as well as journals and the internet.
This limitation might induce some error in the research, however the researcher insisted on a precise approach, therefore the results of research are reliable. The Chinese banking industry provides a number of areas for further research. Detailed research can be undertaken on the impact of WTO on Chinese banking industry. In addition research on the role of the central bank in China in supporting financial autonomy and greater growth can also be undertaken.
Adoption of best practices by other state banks of China could also be another area of study.
References 1. About Bank of China. 2006. http://www. bank-of-china. com/en/common/third. jsp? category=ROOT%3Een%3EInformation+Center%3EAbout+BOC%3EAbout+Bank+of+China. ( 22 August 2006). 2. Agent. 2006. http://www. bank-of-china. com/en/common/third. jsp? category=ROOT%3Een%3ECorporate+Banking%3EOther+Services+in+Money+Management%3EAgent+Bank+Business. (23 August 2006).
3. Assurance. 2006. http://www. hsbc.co. uk/1/2/business/insurance. (26 August 2006). 4. Bancassurance, 2006. http://www. bank-of-china. com/en/common/third. jsp? category=1099361248100. (23 August 2006). 5. BOC Global Offering. 2006. 202. 66. 146. 82/listco/hk/boc/prospectus/pro060518. pdf . (26 August 2006). 6. BOCI. 2006. http://www. bank-of-china. com/en/common/third. jsp? category=1099540300100. (25 August 2006). Cantrell, D. C. (n. d. )) Alternative paradigms in environmental education research: The interpretive perspective.