INADEQUATE advice from high street banks is negatively impacting small businesses, a survey has revealed.
A poll by Amicus Finance, which provides property and invoice funding, found 47 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners claim the business advice they received in the past year from their mainstream bank had a negative impact on their business operations.
Another 16 per cent suggested their business is now in a worse position as a result.
The research showed that 40 per cent of SME owners do not rate the level of service they receive from their mainstream bank as ‘good,’ while 52 per cent ignored it.
Read more: 60 per cent of SME invoices paid late
Among the respondents who used the bank to obtain working capital or overdraft facilities, nearly a third (30 per cent) would not describe the bank as ‘helpful’, while nearly half (46 per cent) would not describe them as ‘flexible’.
SMEs also identified a lack of human interaction, with 22 per cent finding call centres time consuming, 17 per cent finding them frustrating and 10 per cent finding them complicated.
Read more: SME appetite for borrowing rises
“The research shows a worrying trend of business advice from mainstream banks been rejected or taken on board with negative consequences for SMEs,” said John Wilde, managing director of Amicus Commercial Finance.
“There is a growing divide between the level of business service and the flexibility required by business owners and the advice being offered by mainstream banks. As working capital and cashflow are by their very nature dynamic, most traditional mainstream systems have failed to keep pace over the last few years.”