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2 November 2009

Survey: Interest rates key factor for Vietnamese depositors

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A survey of 5,000 bank customers in Hanoi and HCM City in Vietnam, conducted by market research and consultation company Cimigo, shows that Vietnamese depositors look at the interest rate first when choosing a place for their money, reported

The survey, Consumer Financial Services Monitor, started in the third quarter last year and was carried out by interviewing consumers aged 18 to 54 on their personal financial practices and perceptions.

When asked, “If your bank wanted to let you know about a new savings product that might interest you, how likely would each of the following methods be to convince you to sign-up?”, a quarter of the respondents said a high interest rate. Meanwhile, 20 percent of people interviewed said a face-to-face talk with a bank representative and 16 percent said a gift given upon sign-up. The least effective methods were info sheets describing the product and phone calls from bank employees.

Richard Burrage, managing director of Cimigo, told the Daily on the sideline of the seminar announcing the survey result on Wednesday that the result in Vietnam was different from developed foreign countries where customers did not give priority to the interest rate. However, he said it was not suitable to compare Vietnam with developed countries because Vietnam was an emerging economy with only 35% of its residents in Hanoi and HCMC having bank accounts while most all of the population in developed countries had bank accounts.

Besides interest rates, Burrage said another thing local bank customers cared about was the attitude of the bank’s staff toward customers. This was the key for banks to retain customers, he said, adding that most Vietnamese banks focus on catching new customers but forget to take care of existing customers. “Most banks we access in Vietnam do not have patience to clearly explain their products to a customer.”

In the survey, 26 percent of the respondents claimed to have recently had an exceptionally positive experience with their banks while 4 percent reported having had exceptionally negative experiences.


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