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Title: The impact of financial service type on consumer relationship engagement motives : an empirical investigation of retail banking consumers
Author: Yu, Pei-I.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis contributes to the body of knowledge on relationship marketing, specifically consumer relationship behaviour in the early stage of relationship engagement among financial services consumers. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the motives for consumers to engage in a relationship with financial institutions (e.g. traditional banks, building societies, insurance companies, or other non-traditional financial services providers) in the acquisition of four fundamental retail financial products: current account, savings account, mortgage and car insurance. This thesis investigates the motivation for consumer relationship engagement in the context of the UK financial services industry. The financial services industry has been recognised as a suitable context in which to investigate relationship marketing strategies due to its highly intangible and complex service-based nature. Over the past three decades, UK financial institutions have experienced a dynamic and competitive environment due to a number of drivers such as legislation (Hughes, 2006), technological development (Hughes, 2006) and customer sophistication (Dawes and Worthington, 1996). In an attempt to investigate the motivations for consumer relationship engagement, a two-stage data collection process combining qualitative and quantitative methods has been carried out. In the first stage, four focus group discussions were conducted to explore consumers’ fundamental relationship engagement motives. In the second stage, a web-survey was conducted to examine whether the motives for consumer relationship engagement vary according to type of institution, product, channel or customer. Findings reveal that financial services consumers indeed exhibit different motives for relationship engagement. The main research findings are as follows: Firstly, individuals tend to build multiple relationships to conduct their financial affairs, although motives for relationship engagement differ according to the purchase context. Secondly, “simplifying purchasing process and improving convenience needs” and “economic needs” emerged as the most important motives for relationship engagement, whilst “obtaining special product benefit or service treatment needs” and “social-psychological needs” were found to be the least important across all financial products studied. The motivations that differ the most across the financial products studied were found to be “social-psychological needs”, “reducing perceived risk needs” and “simplifying purchasing progress and improving convenience needs”. Specifically, individuals rated “social-psychological needs” and “simplifying purchasing progress and improving convenience needs” highly important in the acquisition of savings accounts, and rated “reducing perceived risk needs” more highly in the acquisition of a mortgage. Car insurance received the lowest scores on all factors mentioned. Finally, in terms of channel use, individuals who mainly use the physical branch channel tend to be motivated by the need for a more emotional relationship compared to individuals who mainly use online channels who tend to be driven by more functional motives and the need for convenience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available