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
Handelsbanken names new head for northern UK arm
Ingela Forsberg is set to become the new head of Handelsbanken Northern UK.
Tesco Bank expands mortgage intermediary panel
Tesco Bank has added Sesame to its mortgage intermediary panel.
Emma integrates with Monzo
Emma Technologies has integrated with mobile bank Monzo as it makes its first Open Banking partnership.
Commercial mortgage brokers positive despite Brexit concerns
Almost four-fifths of commercial mortgage brokers (78%) said they felt confident about the lending environment in 2018, up from 72% in 2017, according to new research.
Metro Bank names new commercial banking director
Metro Bank has appointed Jamie Sim (pictured above) as a commercial banking director within the commercial real estate team.
The launch of Open Banking
The launch of Open Banking at the weekend is clearly an important milestone in opening up the UK retail banking industry to much-needed competition.
Aldermore appoints specialist vehicle valuations head
Tim Bearder has joined Aldermore as its new head of specialist vehicle valuations.
Millennial banking app secures FCA approval
Emma Technologies Ltd has received approval from the FCA.
Open Banking goes live: industry reacts
The launch of the Open Banking scheme last week has presented many opportunities, but as one bank has stated, data sharing alone will not revolutionise the market.
EIB and Bankia to allocate €800m to SMEs and mid-cap projects
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed a €400m loan with Bankia which will provide finance for Spanish SMEs and mid-cap (up to 3,000 employees) projects.