The main aims of the BBI programme is to help increase competition in business banking in the UK and to enhance the trust and transparency between the UK’s business banking institutions and the owners of small and medium-sized businesses who use them. So we set up the first survey of its kind to look at how these people perceive the performance of their business banking provider.
By encouraging them to rate their business banking provider in this way, we can look to provide greater competition among business banking providers, drive them to create better products and services, and help foster an improved environment for British businesses to operate in.
Armed with this information, business owners are empowered to make better decisions about their business banking requirements, and if necessary, switch providers to those that are best placed to provide the support, products and services they need.
ICM Unlimited regularly runs large-scale surveys specifically aimed at Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses. They use a database specially provided by Dun & Bradstreet in order to make contact with these businesses, ensuring a good spread of opinion is collected across different sizes of business, sectors, and regions. No business is interviewed more than once and all results are aggregated to protect their anonymity. Throughout the course of the year, more and more interviews are added to the total. This means users can make better, more informed decisions based on increasingly wide-ranging opinions and ratings.
To qualify for the survey, businesses have to meet the following criteria:
• Between 0 and 249 employees (including employees outside the UK, if any)
• Turnover below £25m
• Use at least one business current account (not just a personal account)
• Free to make decisions about which bank to use (if majority-owned by another company)
• Not a social enterprise or not-for-profit business
It’s important that this website shows rating scores for as many banks and institutions as possible, not just banks with a large market share. Our aim is to represent the views of the many small and medium-sized businesses around the UK and the business banking providers they actually use.
For a business banking provider with a small market share, there will of course be fewer people that have been able to rate it. For business banking providers with a large market share, the number of ratings will be much higher meaning greater confidence in the service and quality they provide. However, this can all even out as the higher the percentage score, the further up they appear on the ratings, so irrespective of size, the smaller institutions can still compete with the bigger ones in terms of visibility.
Of course, a percentage score is just a number. Sometimes it helps to get a deeper understanding of what business owners truly think about their business banking provider, which is why we have a comments section. Written by the business owners themselves, this provides users with further insight into the experiences they’ve had, as well as the reasons behind the rating they’ve given their business banking institution.
We aggregate the results of all of the business owners that provide a rating to create an overall score for each business banking provider. It enables us to provide a clear, easy-to-use and transparent rating system of their performance. Here are the main things we analyse:
This is based on a recommendation question, e.g. ‘How willing would you be to recommend [business banking provider] to other businesses like yours?’ The rating is measured on a scale of 0-10. We then aggregate all ratings of 9 and 10 across all respondents into a ‘strongly recommend’ category. This provides an overall score which we then calculate as a percentage of overall respondents for that business banking provider. So in all instances we can say that X% of business current account customers who use a specific business banking provider would ‘strongly recommend’ it.
In a similar way, we ask the business owner to rate their business banking provider on the products that they use, e.g. current account. We then ask whether they would recommend that product to other businesses.
Business owners are asked to rate their business banking provider in terms of satisfaction across twelve attributes including ‘value for money’, ‘fair treatment’ and ‘competitive interest rates’. Each attribute is measured on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘not at all satisfied’ and 10 is ‘very satisfied’. We then take the average of all these scores across all respondents to arrive at a single number, e.g. 9. This gives users a clear indication of how satisfied business owners are with their business banking provider relating to a particular attribute.