The Big 4 say they want small businesses as customers - but do they really?
SMEs need to be looking for the providers who are going to provide them with the flexibility that they need. This is not always the Big 4 banks.
The thing that really seems to get missed in the post GFC world is speed to market and flexibility for SMEs. There are a lot of great bankers working with the Big 4 who are absolutely committed to their clients however they are absolutely hamstrung through the overly bureaucratic approach taken through the Credit and Sales environment that they are subject to.
Specialist providers and the approach taken by "Second Tier" banks are really finding niches within the SME market and this will continue to be a factor in the future. I rarely refer clients to the Big 4 these days mainly because the time that it takes to finalise a transaction is too slow. This is a particular issue when dealing with growing businesses. The flexibility to turn a transaction around quickly in a way that meets the clients needs is critical to success in the current environment.
Here is a great article by Neil Slonim in the Age on this topic: It's time for a Better Banking Deal for SME's
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