The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www. emeraldinsight. com/1753-8394. htm IMEFM 2,4 Customer perception on service quality in retail banking in Middle East: the case of Qatar Mohammed Hossain and Shirley Leo Department of Accounting and Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the service quality in retail banking in the Middle East in general, and Qatar in particular, based on different levels of customers’ perception regarding service quality.
Design/methodology/approach – This is an analytical study based mainly on the primary data collected through a scienti? cally developed questionnaire. The questionnaire have been personally administered on a sample size of 120, chosen on a convenient basis from four Qatari banks, i. e. Qatar National Bank, Doha Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, and Arab Bank. The questionnaire has been designed on the basis of the study of previous scholars such as Berry et al. , Parasuraman et al. Zeithaml and Bitner, and Stafford. Findings – The result indicates that customers’ perception is highest in the tangibles area and lowest in the competence area. Practical implications – In order to achieving higher levels of quality service in retail banking, banks should deliver higher levels of service quality and in the present context customers’ perceptions are highest in the level of infrastructure facilities of the bank, followed by timing of the bank, and return on deposit.
The Qatari economy is one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world, offering the international community a variety of world-class and cutting-edge products and services (Qatar Economic Review, 2008). Moreover, Qatar’s economy is expanding at an unprecedented rate. For example, Qatar has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita income in the world estimated at US$68,467 in 2008. Qatar’s nominal GDP growth continues to reach record levels, averaging 25 percent over the past ? ve years (Qatar Economic Review, 2008).
The Qatari banking sector comprises a combination of local and foreign banks. A total of 15 banks currently operate in Qatar, seven of which are Qatari-owned institutions, including ? ve commercial banks (Al Ahli Bank, Commercial Bank, Doha Bank, Grindlays Qatar Bank, and Qatar National Bank (QNB)) and two Islamic institutions (Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB)). Also represented are the local branches of seven foreign banks including Arab Bank, Bank Saderat Iran, HSBC, Mashreq Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, and United Bank.
Moreover, as well as their standard current and savings accounts, all the commercial banks in Qatar offer the same range of standard facilities you would expect to ? nd anywhere in the world including personal loans, vehicle loans, debit cards, credit cards, travelers cheques, money transfers, etc. Selected banks also offer specialized accounts such as VIP, ladies, students or children’s accounts, plus electronic banking platforms such as telephone and PC banking which offer 24 hours-a-day, seven days a Customer perception on service quality 339 IMEFM 2,4 340 week access (www. qatarembassy. net).