Starling The Best Business Bank, New Survey Reveals

A survey conducted by the customer insight consultancy firm BVA BDRC has revealed that Starling Ban

April 21, 2022
Starling The Best Business Bank, New Survey Reveals
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A survey conducted by the customer insight consultancy firm BVA BDRC has revealed that Starling Bank was the most popular business bank based on overall service quality.

The annual survey, carried out on behalf of the Competition and Markets Authority, was made up of 17,280 small businesses and saw Starling enter in first place as a new entrant.

In second place was Handelsbanken, the prior year’s top bank.

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Full survey results

The survey asked respondents to score their business bank based on a number of criteria:

  • Overall service quality
  • Online and mobile banking services
  • Small business overdraft and loan services
  • Relationship and account management
  • Service in branches and business centres

14 banks were scored in the survey, with the full results here:

RankBank% of customers who would recommend the bank
1Starling Bank86%
2Handelsbanken75%
3Metro Bank68%
4Santander61%
5Barclays58%
6Lloyds Bank56%
7NatWest56%
8TSB53%
9Bank of Scotland53%
10Royal Bank of Scotland50%
11HSBC UK48%
12Virgin Money47%
13The Co-operative Bank45%
14Allied Irish Bank40%

The results were particularly negative for some of the largest banks in the UK, with more business customers of HSBC saying they would not recommend the bank than those who would.

Starling again came top of the pile in the specific sections for ‘Online and mobile services’ and ‘Small business overdraft and loan fees’. In the online services category, The Co-operative Bank was ranked lowest with just 1 in 3 customers saying they would recommend the bank for these services. It also came bottom of the pile for the overdraft and loan services, although it did score a higher percentage of 47%.

In the category of ‘Relationship and account management’, Starling ranked second to Handelsbanken, which scored an impressive 84% customer satisfaction. Handelsbanken won the same category last year – no surprise as it positions itself as a local relationship bank, with a direct line to an account manager provided to every business owner.

Bottom of the list again was The Co-operative Bank with just 44% of customers saying they were happy with the relationship they had with the bank. HSBC didn’t fare much better, with only 49% of customers satisfied with their banking relationship.

The final category in the survey was based on branch services and business centres. Starling Bank was excluded from this category, as it does not have any branches, with Metro Bank coming in first place. Allied Irish Bank scored just 32% in last place, contributing to its position as last in the overall scores too.

Honourable Mentions

There are a handful of challenger banks aimed at the business market that weren’t included in the survey this time around, but they may be a valuable option to small business owners looking to start or move their business account.

The biggest in the UK right now are Tide and Coconut. Tide offers a mobile-first business account with multiple price plans including a free option. Coconut is a business-only bank that lets you connect various accounts and banks to one central app, or open a new business current account.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis
Ian is an experienced writer with 15 years’ experience working in journalism and marketing. He’s worked in-house in financial institutions as well as writing freelance pieces for a variety of banking and financial trading websites.

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