40% of SMEs switch banks due to slow COVID-19 digital support

Four in 10 UK businesses are planning to change their banking provider due to poor digital support during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new research.

The Censuswide survey of 200 leaders at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on behalf of Encompass Corporation, also found that 42 per cent of businesses had waited over two weeks for a business loan application from their current banking provider to support them through the Coronavirus outbreak; with 41 per cent looking to switch as a result.

A further 46 per cent have noticed significant delays in their bank’s onboarding process since the start of lockdown, with lenders switching account registration and document checks to digital channels.

Almost half (49 per cent) of business decision-makers revealed that their bank has yet to directly offer financial support during the COVID-19 crisis, and 40 per cent agreed that their bank’s online digital services and support around the crisis had been poor.

Further research found that 45 per cent of companies are planning to make redundancies due to a lack of revenue in the coming months.

Wayne Johnson, chief executive at Encompass Corporation, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has had a big impact on all sectors of British industry, especially financial services.

"In fact many banks are being forced to run a skeleton crew of remote workers, and a number are still operating outdated legacy IT systems, which are unable to cope with the influx in demand for banking services.”

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