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SME Banking 2020

Changing the conversation (and capturing the rewards)

Banks are ideally positioned to start providing their SME customers with the higher value services they need (and are willing to pay for), provided they can understand these needs better and deliver solutions to meet them. The alternative? Ceding relevance and revenues to other more digitally savvy providers – within the financial services industry and outside it.

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This Point of View showcases recent Accenture research that highlights the scale of the SME opportunity. We’ll be following up throughout the year with further insights into the capabilities that banks need to recalibrate their relationships with SMEs and capture these new revenues, including our perspective on the changing role of the Relationship Manager (RM), and how digital has the power to create an entirely new way of serving customers…with the RM still at the center.

SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, of the 5.4 million businesses nationwide, 99.9 percent are SMEs. They generate roughly half of all private sector turnover and employ around 60 percent of the UK workforce.

It’s a core segment for banks. 80% of Banks across Europe see the SME Market as a priority growth area, and outstanding SME loan balances currently top £120 billion. But it could be an even more valuable opportunity.

To help understand exactly how much more, in January 2016 Accenture commissioned a survey of 1,000 SMEs 5 across a number of sectors within Britain. We asked them for their views on their current bank, their opinion on what services they need to be successful businesses, and, crucially, the role they see their bank playing in providing (or not) these products and services.