Half of Scotland’s smaller firms believe they get a raw deal in what they are charged by their banks.
That was one of the headline findings in a survey carried out on behalf of TSB, one of the leading high street lenders north of the border.
The study also found that across the UK more than two-thirds of SMEs (68%) believe their needs are being overlooked in favour of larger, more profitable companies.
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The findings were no surpise for north and north-east representatives at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), or SME owners in the region.
FSB north-east development manager David Groundwater said: “FSB has campaigned hard for an affordable banking service that meets the needs of small local businesses right across the land, and this report demonstrates that there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Mr Groundwater’s counterpart in the Highlands and islands, David Richardson, said TSB’s Boosting Local Business report highlighted the importance of face-to-face bank services.
“We can only hope that our big banks take this to heart and stop their closure programmes,” Mr Richardson added.
Annie Macdonald, managing director of Carloway Tweed Mill on Lewis, said: “Bank charges really matter to wee businesses like mine.
“I would certainly welcome anything that makes the system easier to understand and operate, and cheaper”.
Pearl Hamilton, who runs Pearl’s Pet care in Forres, said: “Times are tough enough for small businesses. Additional financial burdens that are put in our way are both unnecessary and unwelcome.”