Accenture SME banking survey results 2018
 

Accenture Ireland have recently published the results of their SME Banking Survey 2018. Whilst written from a banking perspective rather than an SME perspective, the survey contains interesting nuggets of information that are worth sharing. Here is the executive summary.

 

There are big challenges as well as opportunities for Irish banks as they try to address the needs of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector. Badly hit by the 2008 crash, SMEs are now enjoying a resurgence in activity part-fuelled by joint venture investment schemes from governments and banks. At the same time, new regulations are expected to trigger an ‘open banking’ revolution with new players coming in that may tempt SMEs out of the inertia that has stopped them switching providers in the past.

 

The scale of the disruption is uncertain, but change is inevitable. What hasn’t changed is the significance of SMEs to the banking sector. They represent nearly 70% of the active workforce across Ireland, North and South, and account for 99% of registered businesses. Economic recovery and new types of activity, like the thriving SME technology sector in the Republic of Ireland, should encourage banks to revisit relationships and make sure that they no longer take them for granted.

 

Banks have to address the needs of SMEs that increasingly want more tailored offerings at more differentiated price-points. Despite high barriers to switching, SMEs are increasingly willing to go outside their main provider and engage with new technologies to obtain the banking services they need. 76% of SMEs surveyed believe their bank fails to deliver in at least one aspect of their relationship; 25% expect to switch provider over the next 12 months. The survey offers clues on how to offset potential disruption. By offering differentiated propositions while continuing to leverage existing assets. By putting themselves at the centre of a financial ecosystem, Irish banks have an opportunity to maintain and grow their position as the primary financial services provider to SMEs.’

 

The full report can be downloaded here.

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