‘Call to arms’ for banks to step up for under-served SMEs » SMEInsider

‘Call to arms’ for banks to step up for under-served SMEs

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SMEs are an untapped and viable sector that banks should be seeking to better serve, a survey has shown.

A study of the banking needs and practices of 162 SMEs across the UK examined some of the myths surrounding what small and medium-sized firms require from their banking providers.

 

Sophisticated sector

The results found that, contrary to popular belief:

  • SMEs are sophisticated and not restricted to domestic activities
  • They don’t necessarily require “the human touch” in order to receive good customer service
  • Technology should be used to provide expertise for SME banking customers
  • Banks can afford to serve the SME sector.

The study was conducted by iGTB, a global transaction banking solution from Intellect Design Arena Ltd. It questioned SMEs – businesses with an annual turnover of less than £50 million or fewer than 250 staff – about their concerns over current bank offerings and what banking capabilities they wanted to see.

 

Cinderella story

Phil Cantor, head of digital council at iGTB, said: “SMEs are the ‘Cinderella of the business world’. They’re vital to the country’s economy, hugely hard working, but routinely neglected by banks, who wrongly believe it’s not financially viable to serve this sector.

“This survey will prove invaluable to improving the lot of SMEs, by pinpointing the banking capabilities they actually need, and in turn showing how these can be met by banks, even in today’s difficult economic climate.

“The findings in this report should be a call to arms; a message to the whole banking industry that we can, and must, do better.”

Read the full report here.