New research also found that more than half of SME owners ignored advice they received from their mainstream bank over the last 12 months.
The research showed that four-in-ten of SME owners do not rate the level of service they receive from their mainstream bank as ‘good’. SME owners in the West Midlands and North West were the most disappointed in the level of service while half of SME owners in the IT and communications industry didn’t rate the service as ‘good’.
Furthermore, the research showed that of those who have used the bank to help them support their business with working capital or overdraft facilities, nearly a third wouldn’t describe the bank as ‘helpful’ and nearly half of SME owners suggested they wouldn’t describe them as ‘flexible’.
Regionally, two in three SME owners in the West Midlands suggested that they wouldn’t describe their mainstream bank as ‘helpful’ with working capital or overdraft facility support.
Eastern and South Western SME owners said they wouldn’t describe the bank’s advice as ‘helpful’. More than three in five of business owners in Yorkshire wouldn’t describe the help from their mainstream bank as ‘flexible’, compared to 57 per cent in the West Midlands and 53 per cent in Wales.
The research also looked at the lack of human interaction available for SME owners when looking for working capital or overdraft facility support. Indeed the three most commonly associated grievances of dealing with a bank through a call centre are that they are time consuming, frustrating and complicated.
John Wilde, Managing Director of Amicus Commercial Finance, commented: “The research shows a worrying trend of business advice from mainstream banks been rejected or taken on board with negative consequences for SMEs. 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. 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.”