Canadian SMBs want more automation, less face time with banks

Although just over half of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses say they’re satisfied with the services provided by their financial institution, they’re a lot less happy with face-to-face encounters at their local bank, according to a survey released Monday.

The Financial Post reported on a study conducted in partnership with Forum Research that compared the attitudes of SMBs with consumer retail banking customers. Although 52 per cent of SMBs said they were satisfied, they were 10 to 15 points below the ratings given by consumers. Satisfaction ratings also rose the less SMBs needed to interact with actual human beings at a bank. ATMs and online services satisfied 59 per cent of SMBs, for example, while telephone and in-person contact scores fell to 48 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively.

Mike Michell, RBC’s national director of small business, told the Post that SMBs will see increased scrutiny from banks as they grow. “The time comes when the entrepreneur wants to keep the business as a distinct entity, which means talking to banks about its sustainability,” he said. “At the point you start separating your personal and business banking activities, the way you do things changes significantly.”

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