SMEs looking to switch banks due to lower costs, better digital offerings

New research shows more than two-thirds of businesses expect to change lender

As many as a quarter of Irish SMEs are expecting to move to a different lender over the next year as more businesses express dissatisfaction with the level of service they are being provided by their banks.

New research from Accenture Ireland shows that 76 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses surveyed are unhappy with at least one area of service offered.

Lower business banking costs, access to a dedicated relationship manager, a multiplicity of ways to interact with a bank, speed of service and the quality of an institution’s digital offering, are all cited as reasons why SMEs are considering switching lenders.

The research also indicates that customer expectations towards banks are changing with SMEs wanting to use new services that are driven by technology.


Eight out of 10 businesses surveyed expressed interest in using banking system innovations if offered, with top preferences being for fully automated banking processes, cloud services, new ways of managing payments, and digital point of sale alternatives.

“The research shows that a one-size-fits-all approach to banking doesn’t work for SME customers, and that banks need to be vigilant to the specific requirements of different types of customers,” said Mairéad Jackson, managing director, Accenture Ireland.

“Although switching has remained largely low in previous years, it would be wrong for banks to assume that this will continue,” she added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist