BBI WEBSITE REVEALS BUSINESS SATISFACTION WITH UK BANKS
November 28 2014.


The BBI has today unveiled its second wave of research commissioned by the Chancellor and driven by the FSB and the BCC.


Business Banking Insight (BBI), an independent website which looks at how well the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses are being served by banks and other finance providers, today unveiled its second wave of research.

Commissioned by the Chancellor and driven by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the updated BBI website publicly showcases the experiences of more than 15,000 businesses. It shows how they rate their banks and finance providers, with a view to enhancing trust and transparency between the groups.

The research found that 14% of firms (one in seven) are ‘quite likely’ or ‘very likely’ to switch to a different business current account in the next six months. The vast majority (85%) of all businesses said they were ‘not very likely’ or ‘not at all likely’ to switch provider in the same time period. The results were similar across all business sizes, although the research found that the figure for businesses likely to change banks was slightly lower for those with over 49 employees (11%).

Further findings show that 85% of businesses believe customer experience is important when they are choosing a bank, while businesses gave the provider of their business current account a satisfaction rating of between 59% - 68%, depending on the size of business.

Online interaction most important to SMEs
The second wave of research also included new insight into how businesses interact with their finance provider. The research found that 69% of respondents felt that access to online banking services was very important for their business compared to 52% who said that in-branch interaction was very important to their business and 41% of businesses who said that telephone services were very important to the operation of their business.

The research also found that the larger the organisation, the more likely it was to place high importance on online access to their business current account. This finding was the same for telephone services, with the 58% of mid-sized firms citing that this was ‘very important’, compared to 38% of sole traders.

Key findings for each business group within business current accounts include:

Sole traders (0 employees)

- These businesses gave banks an average current account satisfaction score of 61%

- 50% cited customer experience as ‘very important’

- They are the most likely of all business sizes to think it’s ‘very important’ to be able to access their bank in-branch (54%) and the least likely to think it’s ‘very important’ to be able to access their bank online (62%)

Micro firms (1-9 employees)
- These businesses gave banks an average current account satisfaction score of 59%

- 58% cited customer experience as ‘very important’

- 53% say its ‘very important’ to be able to access their bank in-branch and 73% say it’s ‘very important’ to be able to access their bank online

Small businesses (10-49 employees)

- These businesses gave banks an average current account satisfaction score of 62%

- 64% cited customer experience as ‘very important’

- 86% said it was ‘very important’ to be able to access their bank online and 47% said it was ‘very important’ to be able to access banking services in-branch.

Mid-sized businesses (50 – 249 employees)
- These businesses gave banks an average current account satisfaction score of 68%

- 63% said customer experience was ‘very important’

- They are the most likely of all business sizes to think it’s very important to be able to access their bank online (92%) and the least likely to think it’s very important to be able to access their bank in-branch (38%)


John Allan, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The Business Banking Insight (BBI) is the biggest and best survey of its kind in the UK and we are proud to support it. It provides businesses with somewhere to go to compare the full range of different bank and finance providers services based on the views of their own peers. This is therefore an important tool for bringing more competition into the banking market by enabling businesses to make more informed choices about which services are best suited to their needs.

“With one in seven (14%) businesses expecting to switch their current account provider in the next six months, we only expect interest in the BBI website from businesses to increase.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “With the latest Business Banking Insight (BBI) survey confirming that a large number of businesses are still unhappy with the level of service they receive from their finance provider, it is encouraging that some firms are looking to vote with their feet and switch institution.

“The BBI website can play a vital role in the switching process, equipping businesses with the tools to compare banking experiences with their peers. This is reinforced by the research also finding that the overwhelming majority of businesses say that customer experience is important when choosing a bank.

“Despite online being chosen as the most popular method of banking, businesses still value traditional channels of communication, such as in branch and telephone. We believe that BBI provides a unique opportunity to increase transparency, improve competition and help bring about a lasting improvement in standards across the banking sector.”

Anthony Browne, Chief Executive of the BBA, said: "This is a great tool to help businesses compare the products and services available from 137 different finance providers. The project also complements work the banking industry has been doing to help SMEs find the right type of finance for their needs.

"Though the majority of business bank customers are happy with their current arrangements, this site allows any firm to shop around. The switching service now makes it easier than ever to change providers if they find a better deal

"Recent research shows nearly 8 in 10 finance applications are being approved. We hope that the BBI website will inspire firms to get in touch with their bank to discuss their options."

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom said: “A key part of our long term economic plan is to increase competition and choice in banking and ensure that Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses get the best possible service from their bank. So I’m delighted to welcome the second set of results from the Business Banking Insight survey today. It provides Britain’s SMEs with a clear and credible way to judge how their bank compares to its competitors. It’s great to see that the BBI now covers an even wider range of banks, lenders and alternative finance providers. Increased transparency helps competition, which is good for customers.”


For further information visit www.businessbankinginsight.co.uk