Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Attribute Definitions

Fair & Clear
Clear and transparent charges

Clear and transparent terms & conditions

Treats you fairly

Value for money

The level of interest rates on savings and deposit accounts

The level of charges and fees

Understands your business

Understands your industry

Understands the local economy in which you operate

Tailors products and services to your requirements

Shows that they have the interests of your business at heart

Is able to find solutions to your needs

Goes out of their way to help you

The ease of getting in touch at a time convenient to you

The ease of getting in contact with someone who can help you

Timeliness of response to queries and requests

Keeps you updated about progress towards resolving queries or requests

Keeps you informed about their products and services

Keeps you informed about matters that may affect your business

Product & Service definitions

Where a bank lends money to a business for anything other than property or leased assets
Commercial mortgage
Where a bank lends money to purchase commercial property
Asset finance
Finance to lease or rent assets such as machinery or office equipment, rather than buying them outright
Credit card
Credit cards for business rather than personal use
Invoice finance
Where a bank agrees to buy and manage a business’s unpaid invoices for a fee
Any business-related insurance product sold by a bank
Deposit or investment account
A bank account that pays interest: it’s often not possible to make withdrawals without notice or loss of interest
Merchant services
Services allowing a business to receive electronic payments: for example by credit or debit card
Interest rate hedging instruments
Products, often sold in connection with loans, which enable a business to fix interest rates or limit the impact of interest rate changes
Foreign currency services
For example, an account set up to receive dollars or euros
Payment and transaction services
Services offered by a bank in addition to standard current account services which could include payroll services or customer payment services
General business support
For example, keeping a business up to date on developments in its sector
International Trade finance and support
Providing support for businesses looking to import and/or export: such as letters of credit, export/import loans and trade credit insurance
Credit Approachability
We asked anyone who had approached a bank in the last 12 months (informally or formally) to discuss taking out a loan, overdraft or other form of credit – regardless of the outcome – how satisfied they are with the way the bank handled this. The score for any individual bank is based on a different combination of outcomes – so for example the score for Bank X may include a higher proportion of customers whose application was accepted than the equivalent for Bank Y.
Filter: Business size
We ask each respondent how many employees their business has, including any employees based outside the UK. The filter categories are based on total number of employees worldwide.
Filter: Turnover
We asked each respondent for their most recent recorded annual turnover, defined as “the money that your company brings in before tax or any costs are paid for” including any operations outside the UK.
Filter: Location
Results for England are split into Southern and Northern England. Southern England is defined as London, South East, South West, East of England.
Filter: Business Established
We asked each respondent when their business was first officially registered as a business.
Filter: Internationally Active
We asked each respondent “do you supply goods or services to customers in countries outside the UK?” and “do you purchase goods or services from suppliers in countries outside the UK?” Any respondent who answers yes to either question is classified as internationally active.
Filter: Sector
We asked each respondent which sector they operate in. We use the same 16 sector categories as the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The names of the sectors have been reduced for simplicity. The full names of each of the sectors are as follows:

  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
  • Transportation and Storage
  • Accommodation and Food Service Activities
  • Information and Communication
  • Financial and Insurance Activities
  • Real Estate Activities
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
  • Administrative and Support Service Activities
  • Education
  • Human Health and Social Work Activities
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
  • Other Service Activities

Further information about these categories can be found at

Comment definitions

Comments for each bank are put into one of three categories. These categories are defined by the overall score which each respondent gives to the bank, on a scale of 0 to 10 – where 0 is not at all satisfied and 10 is very satisfied. The categories are as follows:

  • Higher-rated = comments given by respondents who gave the bank an overall score of 9 or 10
  • Medium-rated = comments given by respondents who gave the bank an overall score between 5 and 8
  • Lower-rated = comments given by respondents who gave the bank an overall score between 0 and 4

Where a category is blank, this either means that the bank received no scores in that range, or that no usable comments were made by respondents who gave scores in that range.