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Friday, October 15, 2004
Big Banks Getting Bigger Share of Small Businesses
Today's Kiplinger Letter (subscription required) says U.S. national and regional banks are going after small businesses:
"Small businesses are being wooed by national and regional banks seeking a bigger piece of a market once ruled by community banks. Already, nearly half of smalls' loans are held by the 58 largest banks. And the bigger banks are pushing corporate credit cards for small firms. Card numbers will top 12 million by year end, up from 4 million in 2000."
About six months ago I wrote here that big banks were actually better for small business than small community banks. Mostly it is because big banks can offer services that community banks do not have the resources or mindset to offer, such as free online banking.
So, I am not at all surprised by Kiplinger's trend forecast. I'd like to think that smaller banks with personalized service can compensate for limited technology and the kind of economies of scale that big banks can offer -- but I'm afraid it isn't so.