"A new relationship between banks and businesses is not only possible but profitable too."
TSB has launched a report to Parliament which reveals that giving small businesses better access to products and advice could deliver a 10% increase in their productivity and boost UK GDP by up to £70bn.
At an event hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, TSB argued that boosting SME productivity rates is crucial to the UK economy, but said SME productivity is flatlining.
TSB's research found that under half (49%) of SMEs believe that their bank understands their needs and 42% think that the performance of their bank is holding their business back.
47% of small businesses believe that they pay an unfair amount in business banking charges and 68% believe that their needs are being overlooked in favour of larger, more profitable companies.
Additionally, just 24% of small businesses say they have access to advice, tools and services that give their business the confidence to be more digital.
TSB is now urging banks to improve their SME offering, providing access to local advice and support and 'coming clean' on fees and charges by offering greater transparency and fairer pricing practices.
The Bank believes that improved banking and business support services could unlock productivity, creating time savings for business owners as well as opportunities for growth.
TSB concluded that "if all small businesses in Britain realised these productivity gains it could deliver up to £70bn boost to UK GVA".
TSB’s SME banking director, Richard Davies, said: “Small businesses are the beating heart of our local communities, but as our research shows, more needs to be done to help them start, run and grow.
“At TSB, we hope that by unveiling key opportunities to help small businesses, and committing to rolling out a new business banking offer over the coming months, we will be able to play our part in unlocking this huge potential for the UK.”
Martin Whitfield MP, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, added: “This is an important report which shines a light on the worryingly low levels of confidence amongst the SME community and the regional disparities in SME productivity. It shows that a new relationship between banks and businesses is not only possible but profitable too. A relationship which focuses on giving SMEs the local support and guidance they need to grow and which offers them the financial services they require to exploit the digital age.”