A recent survey has found that lenders are consistently failing people by keeping information around fees unclear. But if UK’s banks are an increasingly less viable source of finance, who should small businesses turn to when they need a loan?

A recent Which? customer survey has found many banks continue to offer poor customer service. The five lowest lenders where revealed to be RBS, HSBC, NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds, but all of the big banks scored poorly for transparency of their charges and value for money.

The survey also found that fees and penalties remained a “mystery” to many people, who were also confused by costs connected to unauthorised overdrafts. The survey concluded that the UK’s biggest high-street banks have a ‘long way to go’ to stop unexpected fees and penalties.

But the poor customer service goes beyond personal accounts, business owners are also severely affected by poor customer service.

Banks failing business owners

Talking to the Financial Times, Matt Gasmer – head of global small business association SME Finance Forum – said: “Just because [SMEs] are small doesn’t mean these businesses aren’t complicated and banks just aren’t set up to understand them.

According to the forum, small companies account for 90% of the world’s businesses, and yet big banks are failing to provide the finance they need to scale. Matt estimates that there is at least a global gap of $2tn between the demands of small businesses for financing and what financial institutions are willing to pay.

Alternative finance is a viable option

Faced with this reality, more and more small businesses are turning to sources of alternative finance, like selective invoice finance offered by GapCap.

GapCap understands how customer service can impact a small business, and works closely with SME owners to ensure their organisation has the working capital they need. Every client is assigned a dedicated account manager, who can tailor their service to each company’s immediate needs as well as their long-term requirements.

This is especially advantageous in highly competitive industries, such as the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) or consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors, where cashflow issues and missed payment terms can often occur.

GapCap gives you easy access to cash by providing a flexible facility that is both fast and reliable. Above all, it’s a transparent service, which is something individuals and businesses seem to be struggling to find among the banks.

Check out our blog on how to grow your business here.