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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Monday, January 05, 2004
Small Business Loyalty to Banks
Banks have to work at retaining the trust of small businesses as those businesses mature and grow. Otherwise, small business owners will take their higher-profit banking business elsewhere, leaving the banks to handle low-margin transactions.

That's according to a study by Financial Insights, a research firm for the financial services industry.

The research states that in order to succeed with small businesses, banks must understand how to retain their trust and their loyalty. Small business customers are often forced to work with banks across many different departments and silos. Successful banks, however, overcome this to present an integrated consistent face to customers.

Also, the age of the business often determines the type of services a small business requires, and banks need to be responsive to this. Small businesses between 2 - 5 years old are the most likely to use Internet banking and online bill payment. Older businesses are not as easily wooed away from their existing, established business practices.

    "We found small businesses to be loyal to their banks, but that loyalty only goes so far," said Jeanne Capachin, research director, Corporate Banking Group at Financial Insights. "Although they may turn to their primary bank for basic advice, more mature small businesses will choose specialists for services such as investment planning. This leaves the banks providing low margin transactional services as the more profitable business is siphoned away."

Here at Small Business Trends we've been asked why we frequently post on banking trends. The answer is simple: virtually all small businesses need a bank. And with the number of small businesses in the United States ranging between 5 million and 10 million (depending of whose statistics you use), and the number worldwide being far greater, banks are working overtime to figure out how to get a bigger piece of this segment. And that's an important trend in the small business market.

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