Small busi­ness own­ers re­port less sat­is­fac­tion with banks in US: sur­vey

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

NEW YORK: Small busi­ness own­ers de­sire cer­tain things from a busi­ness bank - specif­i­cally, col­lab­o­ra­tion, open­ness and a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship. How­ever, a re­cent study from con­sumer sat­is­fac­tion re­search firm J.D. Power and As­so­ci­ates re­veals those needs are go­ing un­met.

The U.S. Small Busi­ness Bank­ing Sat­is­fac­tion Study showed that small busi­nesses' over­all sat­is­fac­tion with their banks has dropped to 711 on a 1,000-point scale, down from 718 last year. The sur­vey mea­sured cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion with the over­all bank­ing ex­pe­ri­ence by ex­am­in­ing eight fac­tors: prod­uct of­fer­ings, ac­count man­ager, fa­cil­ity, ac­count in­for­ma­tion, prob­lem res­o­lu­tion, credit ser­vices, fees and ac­count ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, here's what small busi­ness own­ers value in a busi­ness bank:

1: An ac­count man­ager who un­der­stands their busi­ness well.

2: Open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the ac­count man­ager.

3: Easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the bank both off­line and on­line.

4: Hav­ing fees dis­closed in ad­vance so there are no sur­prises.

5: A col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship or part­ner­ship with their bank. 6: Er­ror-free bank­ing. While small busi­ness own­ers' per­cep­tions of the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity of their bank­ing in­sti­tu­tion, their per­sonal fi­nan­cial out­look and the eco­nomic out­look have all im­proved this year com­pared to 2009, this is the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year that over­all cus­tomer sat­is­fac- tion among small busi­ness bank­ing cus­tomers has de­clined.

"De­spite a sense of op­ti­mism in the in­dus­try among small busi­ness own­ers, it ap­pears that their fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are fail­ing to keep up with their ex­pec­ta­tions," Michael Beird, di­rec­tor of bank­ing ser­vices at J.D. Power, said in an­nounc­ing the re­sults.

As a re­sult of their lessthan-stel­lar cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ences, small busi­nesses are more will­ing to switch banks. Only 19 per­cent said they "def­i­nitely will" stay with their cur­rent bank, down from 34 per­cent in 2008.

"Banks that are able to de­liver on key prac­tices and part­ner with their small busi­ness cus­tomers have an op­por­tu­nity to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves," said Beird. He the­o­rized that one rea­son for the dis­sat­is­fac­tion is that small busi­nesses have fewer sources of cap­i­tal avail­able than do big com­pa­nies, and so must rely more heav­ily on their banks.

The sur­vey of more than 6,000 small busi­ness own­ers also rated spe­cific banks' cus­tomer ser­vice. Over­all, big banks fared worse than smaller re­gional banks in the sur­vey. Mean­while, JPMor­gan Chase & Co and Bar­clays Plc dropped their op­po­si­tion to MBIA Inc's plan to re­struc­ture its busi­nesses. The banks did not give a rea­son, and they did not im­me­di­ately re­turn calls for com­ment. -PB News

BEI­JING: Chi­nese pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao vis­its res­i­dents in a low-rent home in the Chaoyang district. -Xin­hua

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