Two-thirds of European firms feel let down by banking provider during pandemic

A survey by Parliament Street Think Tank has found up to 66% of SMEs feel they have been let down by their banking provider during the Covid-19 crisis.

A team of analysts from the organisation held telephone interviews with a total of 250 SMEs across the UK, Germany and France in August of this year. Sectors included in the research were manufacturing, retail, professional services and food and beverage.

The survey found up to 55% of SMEs were actively considering looking for a new provider due to poor service during the pandemic. Meanwhile, 76% of respondents described their banks’ payments processes as too expensive and inefficient.

Parliament Street also discovered that 56% of all respondents believed that they think their bank does not prioritise their needs. Up to 34% of those surveyed saying that they were seeking a specialist financial provider to enable them access to tier one banking services and provide more financial options.

There were also issues found around a lack of choice in the banking provider space. Up to 67% of respondents noted that their bank provides a limited suite of financial services while almost half – 42% – said they struggle to access professional consultancy about their business needs.

In a separate area, the survey found that 51% of respondents would consider investment in cryptocurrency this year, while 56% said they would need access to credit or loans in order to grow over the coming year.

SH Payments CEO Justinas Basalykas said, “SMEs are the lifeblood of the global economy, and its shocking that so many feel disappointed in the support offered to them by banks over the last year. As businesses begin to rebuild and reboot with even more digital approach and international interaction, getting access to capital and cross-border payments services is critical for expansion and job creation.

“Key to this effort is not only giving them access to agile financial services such as e-wallets, apps supported payments and other cutting-edge technologies, but also by connecting them with well-established world-leading banking and financial services which otherwise wouldn’t be available to them, enabling smooth and effective payments processes.”

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