Small Business Banking - UK - January 2011
This report examines the business banking market, concentrating on small businesses, but covering issues and trends that are relevant in the wider SME banking sector. It covers the various factors that influence the market, such as business start-ups and failures, as well as the key trends within the market itself.
- The commercial lending sector will be boosted by the mounting pressureto increase support for small firms. Banks have already pledged tocreate a £1.5 billion Business Growth Fund.
- The number of business current accounts grew by 2% in 2009, to 3.76million. This number is expected to continue to grow over the nextfive years, despite the difficult economic conditions.
- There is a definite opportunity to upgrade some small firms, as ourresearch found that around a quarter of SMEs use an ordinary/personalcurrent account to manage their day-to-day finances.
- Banks should become more community-orientated and engage with localfirms. While 43% of SMEs feel that their bank values their custom,only 27% think it really supports their business.
- Although the large high street banks still dominate the market (thebig four have a 79% share of the market), smaller providers have madesignificant progress in recent years, especially Santander, albeithelped by its acquisition of A&L.
- Business banking charges were found to be the main cause of complaintamongst customers, even long-term customers, highlighting anopportunity for banks to offer discounts on transaction charges as away of rewarding loyalty.
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