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December 20, 2016updated 12 Apr 2017 3:44pm

34% of SMEs seek ‘long-term commitment’ from banks

Many small businesses feel that their banks are uncommitted, with 34% feeling there was not a genuine feeling of partnership, according to Hitachi Capital Business Finance.

By Saad Ahmed

Many small businesses feel that their banks are uncommitted, with 34% feeling there was not a genuine feeling of partnership, according to Hitachi Capital Business Finance.

The latest ‘British Business Barometer’ asked 1,006 small business owners, and found that 34% felt disconnected from banks, and a further 32% wanted a greater willingness to lend to support growth.

Over a quarter, 28%, of small businesses also sought greater transparency in fees and charges.

The results varied by region, with 46% of West Midlands-based businesses seeking long-term commitment from their lending partners, while 37% of those in Yorkshire and the Humber wanted more flexible finance terms.

In London results were more even, with 33% seeking a long-term commitment from their funder, and a greater willingness to lend and flexible finance attracting 30% and 29% of respondents respectively.

Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said high street lenders needed to overcome the breakdown in trust, and reassure firms that they were open for something more permanent.

Wraith-Carter said: “Despite the concerns that small businesses have felt towards banks and leaders, they do want a relationship and a financial partner that will commit to the journey with them.

“We are open for business and we invest in building the long term relationships that SMEs so clearly want.”

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