Banks don't care about us, say small businesses

On the same day that the Federation of Small Business (FSB) announced that confidence among small businesses is growing, they also revealed that this sunny outlook does not stretch to cover their opinions on banks.

Over 56 per cent of respondents to an FSB survey said they don’t think banks care about small businesses, while 49 per cent said they were worried about the high salaries and profits within the sector.

Fees paid to financial institutions were also a cause for concern among those polled – a third stated that the amount they paid to banks had increased in the past year. The average amount paid is £1,075, with some paying as much as £4,000.

Although things are getting better for small business, the FSB want this "confidence gap" to close so that the recovery can really kick into gear. To do this, the banking sector needs to improve its communication and products offered to small businesses. With HSBC raising small business fees in recent weeks – as well as closing the accounts of some existing customers – this gap looks to stay wider than hoped for a little while yet.

While we wait for small businesses and banks to become more closely acquainted, the FSB said that smaller firms should be better at finding alternative forms of finance. Only 37 per cent of those polled are aware of the other lending options available to them.

Chairman of the FSB John Allan said: "Not only have they been plagued by inability to access finance and overnight changes to their lines of credit, these latest figures show they have faced increasing fees for banking services."

Check back later in the week for an overview of some of the best forms of alternative funding available.