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Small business unhappy with banks

A growing number of small business owners are becoming frustrated with their banks, according to a report conducted by banking research firm East & Partners.

The survey of 850 Australian businesses with a turnover of between $5 million and $500 million per year, found that small businesses (those with a turnover of between $5 million and $25 million) are unhappy with the high cost of credit and the lack of dedicated managers assigned to look after them. Satisfaction levels fell 14 percent in the 2008/09 year.

East & Partners head of market analysis Robert Morgan said the difficulties accessing funding at decent prices reflected the economic downturn and tight credit markets; but small businesses were also unhappy with being unable to have a dedicated banking professional to handle their affairs.

To try to improve the situation, Mr Morgan said many banks, particularly Australia’s big four banks, had increased the number of relationship managers at their local branches.

Council of Small Business of Australia chief executive Jaye Radisich said that by appointing more bank staff to help small business owners it would alleviate the problem.

“We appreciate and congratulate those banks who have actually put on more small business advisers in their branches who are specialists in being able to attend to the banking needs of small businesses.”

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