A survey by Business Banking Insight (BBI), a new government-backed website for SMEs to compare bank performances, reveals continuing discontent with banks.
The survey of 5,000 businesses found 85 per cent had not approached a bank to apply for credit during the past 12 months. Firms with less than 10 employees gave their banks an average satisfaction rating of just 60 per cent while medium-sized firms offered a 65 per cent. Firms generally gave banks relatively low-level ratings for value for money.
Jointly driven by the FSB and British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), BBI was originally initiated by HM Treasury and is supported by an advisory group that includes the British Banking Association, Royal Bank of Scotland, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Office of Fair Trading.
Conducted by independent research firm ICM across 5,000 small to medium UK businesses, the BBI is the first of its kind to access the banking sector as a whole, look at the performance of individual banks and financial providers as perceived by micro, small and medium sized businesses. The research will be repeated every six months.
John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "There are some big prizes to be won. For the first time ever, the BBI will provide businesses with a much clearer picture of the quality of banking services available to them both on and off of the high street."
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer added: "I welcome the first set of results from the new Business Banking Insight survey... A key part of our long-term economic plan is increasing competition and choice in banking, and ensuring Britain's SMEs get the best possible service."