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The impact of Open Banking and changing attitudes among UK SMEs – survey

Thursday 1 August 2019 11:19 CET | News

Finastra has unveiled the results of a survey with YouGov exploring the attitudes of more than 450 UK SMEs to banking, and their appetite for new products and services.

The research found that some 29% of SME finance managers are likely to switch their main bank account in the next five years. The full findings, summarized in a report: ‘SME Opportunities for Digital Banks’, reveal some interesting insights and opportunities for challenger banks. With some 5.7 million SMEs, making up 99% of businesses in the UK, this is a potentially lucrative sector of the banking market, and one that many challenger banks are keen to address.

While the vast majority of respondents (86%) are either fairly happy, or very happy with their bank, a significant proportion of all respondents (29%) are likely to switch bank accounts in the next five years. This number rises significantly among a younger demographic with some 49% of respondents under 45 years of age saying they would be very or fairly likely to switch banks in the next five years. Among the most popular reasons given for switching were factors such as: a better overall service; an incentive or recommendation to switch; and a better digital or mobile banking experience.

Other findings from the report include:

  • 32% of recent switchers now hold their main bank account with a challenger bank;

  • 53% of those that switched in the last three years said they are likely to switch banks again;

  • 40% of finance managers under 45 years old would consider banking with a digital giant like Google, Amazon or Facebook. In contrast, just 13% of over 55s feel the same way;

  • Just 11% of SME finance managers overall were familiar with the term Open Banking;

  • Familiarity with Open Banking rose to 17% for under 45s and to 24% for firms that had recently switched accounts.

While many respondents aren’t familiar with the term Open Banking, many would value the opportunities it presents. Some 24% would like to see bank data synced to accounting systems for easier tax returns, and 19% see the appeal of automating their invoicing and/or payment payables processes.

When it comes to the idea of sharing the company’s data so that third parties can offer additional products and services relevant to their business, just 27% of respondents said they would be happy do so. This rose to 44% for under 45s and 43% of companies who have recently switched their main bank account.


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Keywords: Finstra, survey, UK, SMEs, banking, digital banking, Open Banking, challenger banks, payments
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Countries: World