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BizReport : Research archives : January 17, 2017

SMBs bemoan relationship with their bank

Most small businesses in the UK have a rather dim view of their bank, according to a new report from Amicus Commercial Finance, finding them inflexible and unhelpful.

by Helen Leggatt

When Amicus Commercial Finance surveyed 504 small business decision makers in the UK they discovered that the relationship between them and traditional lenders is often strained. In fact, nearly half (47%) said that advice given to them by their bank had had a negative impact on their business and 16% said they were in a worse position having accepted such advice.

Almost a third (30%) of small businesses refused to describe their bank as "helpful", 46% said they could not describe their bank as "flexible", and 40% said the service they had received in the past was not good.

"The research shows a worrying trend of business advice from mainstream banks been rejected or taken on board with negative consequences for small businesses," said John Wilde, managing director of Amicus Commercial Finance. "There is a growing divide between the level of business service and the flexibility required by business owners and the advice being offered by mainstream banks."

Having to deal with call centers rather than face-to-face human interaction was the biggest pain point for small businesses when doing business with their bank. Nearly a quarter (22%) said they were time consuming, 17% found them frustrating and 10% complicated.

"As working capital and cashflow are by their very nature dynamic, most traditional mainstream systems have failed to keep pace over the last few years," said Wilde.

Tags: banking, finance, small business

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