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Don’t call small businesses lazy! They are just disillusioned.

Some of you would have read in the papers this morning that the Competition and Markets Authority chief, Alex Chisholm, criticised SMEs for complaining about the way they are treated by the banks, suggesting that since SMEs did not invest the time and effort to shop around for the best bank, they had less weight to their complaints.

We think this might be wrong for two reasons.

For starters, we know that small business owners do not simply have the time to spend looking at all the different banks. Have you ever tried to take out a mortgage, credit card or bank account? It’s far from easy, and a can be a very time consuming process – time which small business owners would prefer to spend running and developing their business.

Secondly, they are disillusioned with the whole banking system. A small business is less likely to look at moving from one bank to another, because they don’t necessarily believe that any of the banks are going to have their best interests at heart. They believe that all banks are similar, and until they have the belief that banks might treat them better, they won’t want to move from one to another. (To be fair, Chisholm did add that some of the blame for the health of the market lies with the banks themselves).

What do you think?

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