Small business owners remain reluctant to switch banks, despite ongoing concerns over access to finance, according to new research by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

Over 50% of those surveyed were content with their current banking arrangements and thought they offered good or excellent value for money, with a further third saying their experience was average.

However, concerns were expressed over bank charges and the calling in of loans, which business owners agreed were ‘harmful’ practices.

Although a fifth said that they would consider moving providers, over a quarter were unsure and a further quarter said they would not – citing cost, awareness and lack of reliable advice as their main objections.

Phil Orford MBE, Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business, said:

“A growing economy poses its own issues for small businesses, as they decide whether to invest for expansion.

“The government, the banks, other lenders and businesses support organisations are all important enablers of growth and need to work together to ensure small businesses are getting the necessary amount of money in the right format.”

The FPB has renewed its call for government to introduce a shared branch pilot to increase competition in the business banking market.

 Photo by Billy Wilson