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  • Big banks’ service disappoints business customers, but challengers and alternatives deliver

Views from the flipside

In September, the BDRC published the results of an independent survey on service quality in business banking. The survey, which was carried out between September 2017 and June 2018 measured a number of high street banks and challengers.

In September, the BDRC published the results of an independent survey on service quality in business banking. The survey, which was carried out between September 2017 and June 2018 measured a number of high street banks and challengers.

Smaller business current account holders were asked to rate a series of areas offered by their funding providers, including:

  • Likelihood to recommend
  • Online and mobile banking services
  • Services in branch
  • Overdraft and loan services
  • Relationship/account management services

The results may prove to be a wake-up call for the more traditional providers:

  Overall Service Quality Overdraft & Loan Services Quality
Handelsbanken 84% 84%
Metro Bank 73% N/A
Santander 66% 64%
Barclays 62% 58%
Lloyds Bank 61% 63%
Natwest 57% 58%
Bank of Scotland 54% 54%
Yorkshire Bank 53% 60%
TSB 51% 45%
The Co-Operative Bank 51% 50%
Clydesdale Bank 50% 58%
Royal Bank of Scotland 47% 51%


Challenger banks Metro and Handelsbanken both fare well with overall service quality, but the traditional big 4 banks only average 55% and these results are mostly mirrored in their overdraft and loan services scores.

As the big banks continue to close local branches, the outlook for small business for an improvement in the service they receive does not look good. A recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of local branches have fallen by a third with 6,000 branches closing since 2010.

And there was more bad news for traditional banks, when on 26th October, the Treasury select committee called for a drastic overhaul of Britain’s approach to small business lending after the “scandalous” treatment of companies at the hands of big banks.

Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury committee, said a “regulatory black hole” had contributed to “poor treatment of many small businesses”.

The Alternatives

The good news is that there are viable alternatives for the UKs SMEs when it comes to both finance and service. However, more work is required to make them aware of the finance providers available to them.

As Peter Alderson, Managing Director at White Oak UK explained, “With almost half of first-time applications for business bank loans and overdrafts still being declined, more work is necessary to raise awareness amongst smaller businesses on the increasing number of finance options they have available outside of the traditional banks, and to give them confidence in using this finance to fund their growth ambitions.”

One thousand Feefo reviews can’t be wrong

Meanwhile here at White Oak UK we've recently received our thousandth Feefo review since we started asking our customers for feedback in 2015 and we are still maintaining an overall score of 4.9 out of 5 for our service to the UK’s small and medium sized businesses.

Our Gold Trusted Service status with Feefo, the leading online review platform, is something we are extremely proud of and reflects our commitment to not only providing the best finance solutions, but also the best service to UK smaller business. In fact, 9 out of 10 of our customers would recommend our service to other business users.

As a business based on developing lasting and trusted partnerships with our customers, we appreciate the importance of customer advocacy and believe this recent study only serves to strengthen the need for providers, of all sizes, to be leading with service. To us, providing a first-class experience is a key to customer loyalty and so we're happy that our customers are happy.

Find out how White Oak UK can make money work for your business, call us on 0330 058 0836 or complete this short form.

Business loans from the flipside

By Ian Cushion
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Why choose White Oak UK?

  • No red tape, so you can receive funds in as little as 24 hours
  • We accept 4 out of every 5 applications
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  • You’ll always speak to the same person
  • Free up cash flow for other areas of your business
  • Tailored finance agreements to suit your specific needs
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Views from the flipside

What our customers say

We could not have been happier. Banks as usual were a nightmare - they took over six weeks to eventually refuse for vague reasons unexplained. White Oak UK were professional, helpful, friendly, and best of all, fast.

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