Here’s a question for small businesses: what do you think of the banks? Or more specifically, what is your personal experience of using the banks?

The reason we ask is because that’s the general nature of a new survey being produced by The Forum of Private Business on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The whole idea behind the questionnaire is to discover how the UK’s small business owners are being treated by the major lenders. And after the British Bankers’ Association revealed that bank lending fell again last month, it’s seems an apt time.

The Forum’s research manager, Thomas Parry, said: “Clearly, the issue of the way banks treat small firms has received an enormous amount of attention recently and sparked a lot of debate.

“On the one hand, groups like the Forum have been arguing that viable smaller firms are being unjustifiably denied credit, or offered it at an extortionate cost, by risk-averse banks which often don’t understand their needs.”

“On the other hand, the banks and their industry groups have claimed that lending is down simply because demand is down and they are doing everything they can to increase the flow of finance to business.”

The survey is open to all SME’s and will gauge your opinions on a range of issues including how you use banking services, what you look for in a provider and how satisfied you are with the service.

Any information you give is confidential and the survey is open to all freelancers, contractor and small businesses.

Feel free to fill in the survey via this link.