Bank executives recognize the need to measure the risk and reward trade-offs of globalization, and fear worldwide windows of opportunity may be closing. Understanding their own strengths against the changing nature of systemic risk as well as financial sector sophistication in different parts of the world will allow them to choose the right strategy. Without question, banking is becoming more global. However, banks have a choice in how they attain greater growth, efficiency and effectiveness - for some, this means becoming a globally integrated financial services provider. For others, it means expanding the bank's global reach in a more targeted fashion.
Retail banks compete on service levels, product range, convenience, customer relationships, reputation, and price (fees and interest rates). Also, consumers often choose a bank based on family history or habit. The importance placed on each of these variables does not appear to be consistent across the four countries examined. We can, however, infer that non-price variables are, in general, as important, if not more important, to consumers when choosing a banking product or service. Retail banking markets are found to be national in scope. Although concentration levels vary considerably across markets and across countries, retail-banking markets are in general characterised by moderate to high concentration levels.