The keen Chamber-watchers amongst you will be well aware we are on a mission to lift the lid on the challenges that local businesses face in accessing business banking.
Why? What’s the problem?
We hear Deputies talk about how we need to diversify industries and attract new business to the Island, yet it seems there are more barriers for those businesses not in the finance industry.
It takes over 16 weeks to open a business account, there is only one bank that offers credit cards and open banking (the sharing of financial data across banks and third-party suppliers) is a product simply not offered by many banks.
To gain an understanding of the challenges faced by local businesses in the banking sector, the Chamber of Commerce surveyed businesses to identify pain points and areas for improvement.
What did our members say?
When looking at the data provided by our members, a picture emerges of a banking sector that is failing to meet the needs of the business community in multiple ways.
- 98.7% of local business have experienced challenges or barriers when using banks for their on-island business needs.
- A majority of businesses (69%) believe the quality of banking services to be “Low quality” or “Very low quality”.
- Only 4.9% rate the banking services as “High quality,” and none rate them as “Very high quality.”
- A combined 81.4% of respondents are either “Dissatisfied” (46.9% ) or “Very dissatisfied” (34.6%) with the range of banking solutions available to businesses on the island.
The near unanimity of the responses is a strong indicator of systemic issues in the banking sector which suggests that problems are widespread. This is a cause for concern, and to us signals a critical need for change – and an big opportunity.
What are we going to do?
We’re meeting with the relevant bodies, Government committee’s to understand the bigger picture, and calling on financial institutions to improve their products and services to better meet the needs of businesses on the island.
As we champion for business banking change, let us remember that a thriving small business ecosystem benefits us all. It’s not just about supporting businesses; it’s about nurturing the very fabric of our communities and ensuring a brighter future for everyone.
Watch this space….