New insights on measuring bank branches efficiency through DEA : transactional, operational, and profit assessments
This thesis presents a number of methodological developments that were raised by a real life application to measuring the efficiency of bank branches. The advent of internet banking and phone banking is changing the role of bank branches from a predominantly transaction-based one to a sales-oriented role. This fact requires the development of new forms of assessing and comparing branches of a bank. In addition, performance assessment models must also take into account the fact that bank branches are service and for-profit organisations to which providing adequate service quality as well as being profitable are crucial objectives. This study analyses bank branches performance in their new roles in three different areas: their effectiveness in fostering the use of new transaction channels such as the internet and the telephone (transactional efficiency); their effectiveness in increasing sales and their customer base (operational efficiency); and their effectiveness in generating profits without compromising the quality of service (profit efficiency). The chosen methodology for the overall analysis is Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The application attempted here required some adaptations to existing DEA models and indeed some new models so that some specialities of our data could be handled. These concern the development of models that can account for negative data, the development of models to measure profit efficiency, and the development of models that yield production units with targets that are nearer to their observed levels than targets yielded by traditional DEA models. The application of the developed models to a sample of Portuguese bank branches allowed their classification according to the three performance dimensions (transactional, operational and profit efficiency). It also provided useful insights to bank managers regarding how bank branches compare between themselves in terms of their performance, and how, in general, the three performance dimensions are connected between themselves.