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Most small firms happy with banks and reluctant to switch, survey finds

POSTED: 2nd June 2014
IN: Business news
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The majority of small firms are satisfied with their banking services and feel reluctant to switch to a different provider, according to recent research

The majority of small firms are satisfied with their banking services and feel reluctant to switch to a different provider, according to recent research. undefined

A survey by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) found that just over half of small companies felt content with their current banking arrangements and thought they provided good or excellent value.

The findings also showed that a third of respondents felt the service they received was average in terms of value for money.

Nearly one in six (15 per cent) small businesses want more flexibility and less centralisation in lending, according to the study, while 14 per cent would appreciate easier access to finance as the economy gets back on track.

Twelve per cent of firms said they would like banks to take on a greater proportion of risk.

About a fifth of companies suggested they would consider using an alternative provider for banking services and 14 per cent would possibly turn to another lender for additional finance.

When asked about their concerns in this area, businesses cited bank charges and the reduction or calling in of loans or overdrafts.

Sixteen per cent of respondents said difficulties in accessing finance were an ongoing worry, particularly for organisations depending on external credit to survive.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB, said: "A growing economy poses its own issues for small businesses, as they decide whether to invest for expansion.

"The government, the banks, other lenders and business support organisations are all important enablers of growth and need to work together to ensure small businesses are getting the necessary amount of money in the right format."

In a report released in March this year, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the UK's smaller firms are experiencing a sustained recovery, with an increasing number showing a willingness to create jobs.

The FSB's research also indicated that companies were enjoying more success in finance applications.

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