Consumers saving behaviour : an empirical investigation of consumers attitudes towards commercial banking services with special reference to savings accounts in Iraq
This thesis is the result of a study of consumers' saving behaviour in Iraq. It is an empirical investigation of consumers' attitudes towards commercial banking services with special reference to savings accounts in Iraq. A number of research objectives and related hypotheses were stated to be achieved through carrying out this investigation. The main focus of the research objectives was to develop a theoretical model and an empirical method of investigating consumers' saving behaviour (decisions) in Iraq. This investigation was carried out in order to achieve the following benefits: (a) providing better understanding of consumers' banking behaviour in Iraq, as one of the less-advanced countries, where little attention has previously been paid to consumers and their needs, wants and satisfaction; (b) contributing to the literature of bank marketing in the Third World which is very limited; (c) establishing the extent to which models of consumer behaviour are applicable in investigating consumers' banking behaviour in a less-advanced country such as Iraq; (d) providing better understanding of consumers' saving decisions in Iraq, which may help banks to gain more savers and enhance the process of mobilisation of finance, and that will have positive effect on the national economy; (e) relating consumers' saving decisions to their attitudes, socio-economic, demographic and some psychographic financial characteristics; and (f) the findings of the research may encourage banks to provide better services for consumers in Iraq by providing banks with some insights about Iraqi consumers in terms of their wants, needs, desires and opinions. The theoretical part of the research was devoted to covering the following: (a) a background review of the status of the Iraqi banking system; (b) a review of the literature related to the problem under investigation; (c) a discussion of the theories of consumer behaviour in general and consumer banking behaviour in particular; and (d) a presentation of the research methodologies of research design, data collection, sampling and the statistical methods of data analysis. The empirical part of the research was designed according to the Faceted Design which helps in defining and selecting the most important and relevant variables to the research problem. Also, the faceted design was of a great help in preparing the research questionnaire for this investigation which was used for the purpose of primary data collection from respondents. Data was gathered in Iraq by questionnaires distributed to 800 respondents. Two methods of probability random sampling, area and systematic sampling, were used for the purpose of selecting a representative sample of the population. The collected primary data consisted of attitudinal and categorical variables. In other words, the data was multivariate in type and of ordinal and nominal scales. The variables were dependent and independent in nature. Therefore, three statistical methods of data analysis were used to analyse the primary data. Factor Analysis and Two-Group Discriminant Analysis were used to analyse the attitudinal data and achieve the relevant research objectives, while Multiple Classification Analysis was used to analyse the categorical data and achieve the relevant objectives. In addition, the Kolmogorov-Sairnov Goodness-of-Fit test, the F-test and the T-test were used as statistical tests for the purpose of testing the research hypotheses. With regard to consumers' saving behaviour (decisions) in Iraq, the findings of the empirical part of the investigation revealed, in brief, the following: The results of Factor Analysis indicate that there are thirteen attitudinal factors which are perceived by SAVERS in Iraq as of significant importance in influencing their decisions to open savings accounts. These thirteen factors summarise the 60 attitudinal variables related to SAVERS' attitudes towards savings accounts. The results of Two-Group Discriminant Analysis and T-test confirm that there are dissimilarities between the Iraqi consumers' attitudes towards the idea of saving and having savings accounts, if compared according to their: (1) Saving decisions; (2) Saving habits; (3) Age group; (4) Family size; (5) Income; and (6) Educational level. The results of the Multiple Classification Analysis suggest that consumers' socio-economic and demographic characteristics have an influence on Iraqi consumers' saving decisions (hold / not hold a bank savings account). In other words, the results of the analysis confirm that the seven consumers' socio-economic and demographic characteristics used in this investigation, taken together, have significant influence on their saving decisions. However, when the relationship between each of the seven consumers' socio-economic and demographic characteristics and consumers' saving decisions are examined separately, the findings confirm that each of them, except sex of respondents, has a significant influence on consumers' saving decisions in Iraq. Thus, the findings confirm that sex of respondent in Iraq had no significant influence on his I her saving decision, while, marital status, age, family size, income, educational level and occupation of respondents were of significant importance in influencing consumers' saving decisions. The main reason for this finding can be attributed to the fact that in the Iraqi society women have a less prominent role in general, and have less financial independence in particular. Finally, the main contributions of the present study can be summarised as follows: (a) a model for investigating consumer's banking behaviour in Iraq, as one of the underdeveloped countries, was developed, as presented in figures 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 and 5.1; (b)Facet Theory was extended to be used in bank marketing research in general, and in investigating consumer banking behaviour in Iraq, as one of the underdeveloped countries, in particular; (c) this study is the first study of consumer banking behaviour in Iraq and its model can be generalised and modified to be used in investigating consumer banking behaviour in the underdeveloped countries; and (d) in comparison with previous comparative studies this study is more comprehensive in terms of its model, methodology and findings.