Kyle Ferguson, CEO of Fraedom

Nearly half of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises have said that a ‘poor understanding of SME businesses’ was the biggest challenge for banks in meeting the needs of that sector.
A survey of 1,000 smaller UK business owners and senior decision-makers across a range of small to medium-sized organisations was commissioned by fintech firm Fraedom.
Fraedom said it highlighted that nearly a quarter of the survey sample (24%) believe banks ‘fail to prioritise SME needs’. In addition to this statistic, just 12% of respondents feel that banks fully deal with their business requirements.
When SME respondents were asked what actions their banks could take to be most effective in strengthening their relationship with them, nearly half of respondents (46%), said: ‘simplify lending processes’. The next most popular option recorded was ‘be more proactive in offering advice and assistance while nearly a quarter of the sample (22%) referenced ‘provide a more personal ‘consumer-focused’ approach to engagement’.
“SMEs clearly want banks to proactively engage with them, but they also want it to be easy for them to borrow money when they do,” said Kyle Ferguson, CEO of Fraedom. “The needs of an SME can often be very different to those of a large enterprise, so flexibility is key especially in terms of offering market specific advice and lending options.”
Fraedom works with banks globally to enhance their commercial card programmes and give their customers a way to manage business spend through its spend management system. The platform, said Fraedom, helps banks to differentiate their service, drive card uptake, increase card spend and improve customer retention.

by Guy Matthews