Banking Circle carried out a detailed study into the attitudes of SME business leaders across Europe, which revealed a significant gap between their needs and expectations, and the quality of advice and service they receive.
This report sets out concrete areas where financial institutions can adopt new approaches to support small companies for a profitable, sustainable future in the next normal after COVID-19. Ultimately, achieving total financial inclusion for SMEs requires a joined-up ecosystem, where various financial providers connect their solutions.
- Almost half (48%) of SMEs have looked elsewhere for banking solutions that better suit their needs
- Nine in ten SMEs are happy with core account services – but almost one in four experience customer service issues with their bank
- 50% of banks say the move to digital services is a major challenge
- Two-thirds of banks believe they are keeping pace with technological change, but smaller companies are turning to alternative providers for faster, cheaper solutions
- One in five (22%) SMEs waited up to two months for loan application responses, with 25% waiting up to a month
- Alongside high fees (42%), SMEs said poor quality service and low responsiveness reduced their confidence in their bank
- Only 27% of banks believed there has been an erosion of bank customers’ trust in recent years