Yorkshire could be £5.2bn richer with better small business banking, says TSB

The Yorkshire economy could be £5.2 billion better off with a new and improved approach to small business banking, says TSB.

The bank has recently published research in Parliament on the impact of better banking and business services on the productivity of British SMEs.

Based on research from Oxford Economics and YouGov, Boosting Local Business reveals that giving small businesses access to the products, tools and advice they need could deliver a 10% increase in their productivity and boost UK GDP by up to £70 billion.

In Yorkshire this would equate to a £5.2 billion increase to GDP.

Boosting SME productivity rates is crucial to the UK economy, but SME productivity is flatlining and is now just half that of the UK’s largest companies.

In Yorkshire, 38% of SMEs say their key concern with their business banking provider is that the fees and charges are too high. Just over half of them, meanwhile, believe that their bank understands their needs.

The research also found that 44% of small businesses in Yorkshire believe that they pay an unfair amount in business banking charges, while only a quarter say they have access to advice, tools and services that give their business the confidence to be more digital.

Worryingly, 65% of Yorkshire SMEs say they have no idea what services their bank can offer to help them become more productive.

Overall, this is resulting in low take up of services that can help small businesses across the UK to start, run and grow their businesses.

TSB argue that giving SMEs new options of improved banking and business support services could unlock productivity; creating time savings for business owners, as well as opportunities for growth.

If all small businesses realised these productivity gains it could deliver a boost of up to £5.2 billion to Yorkshire’s GVA and up to £70 billion to UK GVA.

Even if only one in ten small businesses were to benefit from better banking and business support, the impact on our economy would be significant.

Richard Davies, TSB’s SME Banking Director, says: “Small businesses are the beating heart of our local communities, but as our research shows, more needs to be done to help them start, run and grow.

“At TSB, we hope that by unveiling key opportunities to help small businesses and committing to rolling out a new business banking offer over the coming months, we will be able to play our part in unlocking this huge potential for the UK.”