Almost half of UK SMEs (46%) don’t know the availability of their relationship manager or don’t have one at all, according to a new survey from CivilisedBank.
The report – conducted by the business bank and Opinium – found that the remaining 54% of SMEs did have a relationship manager, but only 18% of those with a turnover of £1m or more stated that they were extremely satisfied with their support.
For SMEs with a turnover of more that £500,000, this dropped to 15%.
CivilisedBank’s survey also found that the average tenure of a relationship manager was only two years, while only 43% of those with a relationship manager said that their manager was always on call when they needed help.
“Our research illustrates that the banking industry should not underestimate the importance of the relationship between a bank and its business customers,” said Philip Acton, CEO of CivilisedBank.
“However, given how important the personal relationship is, it is striking that only half of SMEs have a relationship manager.”
CivilisedBank pointed out that as banks continued to cut costs, questions would be raised as to whether the existing level of service could be maintained or even improved upon by the big banks.
There were also questions raised in the survey regarding effectiveness with 28% of SMEs stating their relationship manager did not have the authority or ability to make credit decisions locally without having to refer them to head office.
“Length of tenure and familiarity with the client’s business matter to businesses,” added Philip.
“Our business model includes succession planning for each of the local bankers to ensure a high level of continuity.
“The fact that our bankers are rewarded for customer service rather than the number of deals – we believe – will also help alleviate issues of high churn.”
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER TO RECEIVE MORE NEWS LIKE THIS STORY
U Account introduces cash pay-in option
U Account has launched a cash pay-in option for its 50,000 current account customers.
Aldermore provides £6.27m loan for south London development
Acre Invest has agreed a £6.27m funding package with Aldermore to build a large commercial unit and 18 apartments in Sydenham, south London.
Metro Bank to launch AI-powered money management service
Metro Bank has announced the upcoming release of Insights, a new artificial intelligence-powered money management service.
Over 500,000 complaints made about current accounts
The FCA has revealed that 509,047 complaints were made to financial services firms about current accounts during the second half of 2017.
A guide to ethical banking
Some 56% of workers with a pension are interested in investing in community projects, according to recent research.
Countingup partners with PrePay Solutions
PrePay Solutions (PPS) has joined forces with challenger bank Countingup to provide business accounting and banking together in one place.
TSB and Enterprise Nation offer SMEs digital MOT test
TSB’s small business customers have the opportunity to undertake a newly created digital MOT test as they join the Enterprise Nation community.
Revolut introduces spare change savings feature
Revolut has become the latest mobile banking platform to add a spare change savings feature to its current account.
GDPR compliance highlighted at first FIBA roadshow
The Financial Intermediary & Broker Association (FIBA) held its first regional roadshow last Thursday (12th April) in north London.
Moneyhub integrates with Monzo and Starling
Moneyhub has integrated with Monzo and Starling’s APIs to provide customers of the digital banks with a comprehensive overview of all their financial assets.