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Banks no longer first port of call for half of Britain’s SMEs

A new survey from has revealed that the number of people who have considered going somewhere other than their bank for finance is on the increase.

The insights come from a new survey conducted by business finance provider Growth Street. The firm canvassed more than 2,000 directors and employees of British SMEs in January 2019, following up from its inaugural survey in 2018.

As hundreds of millions of RBS competition fund pounds are being distributed to challenger banking brands, Growth Street’s findings shine a light on an increasingly savvy business finance customer base.

Growth Street’s survey highlights respondents’ decreasing reliance on banks as their predominant source of finance and advice, as well as an improvement in respondents’ understanding of alternative options. More than a third of respondents (35%) stated that they had considered going somewhere other than their bank when thinking about funding their business in the past, up from 30% in 2018.

People’s understanding of alternative finance options is also shown to be on the increase. 34% of respondents said that they were not at all confident in their knowledge of non-bank funding, significantly fewer than the 45% of respondents who attested to the same lack of knowledge in 2018. 66% of respondents had at least some knowledge of finance outside of banks, up from 54% in 2018.

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