Business Banking Insight surveyed thousands of business current account customers to find out how likely they would be to recommend their business bank account.
They were asked to rate and review their current account on a variety of factors, including the transparency of charges, how well their business banking provider understands their business, and how competitive their interest rates are.
Finally, Shop Q asked customers to provide an overall score for their current account, which we turned into a percentage, based on their willingness to recommend their current account to other businesses.
A thorough testing for business banking providers big and small
Over 19,900 SMEs were interviewed by independent research company ICM to rate their business account provider against the following ten criteria. Covering service, cost and transparency, the research paints a more complete picture of banks’ overall performance.
To see how your provider compares
High-scoring names you may not have heard of (yet)
In all, customers of 80 business account providers, were interviewed. While the big names scored well in some criteria, they only occasionally featured in the top ten for a given area.
Below, you’ll find the five providers whose SMEs scored the highest across four criteria or more.
- Handelsbanken. With 200 branches in the UK, the Swedish-owned bank prides itself on strong customer relationships. It received the highest scores for an impressive seven out of ten of the criteria (understanding your business, treating you fairly, timeliness of response, ease of getting help, going out of their way to help and having the interests of SMEs’ businesses at heart).
- Nationwide. Britain’s biggest building society scored highest in two categories (level of fees and charges and value for money). They also came second in three others (understanding your business, treating you fairly and having clear and transparent charges) – and third in four more.
- Cater Allen. This private bank was ranked first by SMEs (for clear and transparent charges) and second for four other categories (level of fees and charges, timeliness of response, clear terms and conditions and value for money). To bank with Cater Allen you need to work with a financial professional such as an accountant or financial adviser.
- Coutts & Co. Coutts offers SMEs current accounts through phone banking and a network of hubs based in cities and larger towns. They came second in four criteria, including having the best interest of your business at heart and going out of their way to help.
- Metro Bank. This fast-growing challenger bank scored well in most categories. They were ranked fourth in four categories including value for money, level of fees and charges and having clear and transparent terms and charges.
You’ll find full details of how these and many more providers scored on our site
Find out how your business banking provider was rated by other SMEs
You can see for yourself exactly how your provider compares on the independent site This unique site was recently set up by HM Treasury, the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chambers of Commerce to help Britain’s small businesses make more informed decisions when purchasing and switching financial products.
What do I do if I want to switch providers?
Today switching is both quick, safe and thorough. The Current Account Switch Service ensures all your transactions and direct debits are securely transferred to your new provider within seven days. The scheme is backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee and promises that if there any problems with payments as a result of the switch your new bank or building society will correct them