Canada’s big banks have room to improve on customer service, says CFIB

“While big banks hold most of the small business market share, they’re not serving their small business clients as well as credit unions do. Banking fees remain a major cost constraint, many small businesses find it hard to contact someone at the bank directly, and they feel like their unique banking needs are not being taken seriously,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Executive Vice-President of Advocacy at CFIB.

Using metrics including financing, fees, account manager and service (such as access to online banking or easy-to-read bank statements), CFIB ranked the banks and credit unions from 0 to 10 with credit unions leading over the three year period and scoring an overall 5.97 points in the latest report and coming top in fees and account manager rankings.

Financing is one area where the big banks win, with National Bank (5.53) topping the rankings for the smallest businesses with up to four employees, and also top along with Desjardins for those businesses with 5-49 employees.

Room to improve

Desjardins and National Bank also saw their overall scores improve, jumping to second and third place respectively behind RBC in the banking rankings. CIBC and Scotiabank also improved while BMO and TD were down slightly. ATB Financial dropped the most to sit in ninth place overall.

“While there were some positive changes in the rankings, it’s still concerning that the top overall score decreased and comes in below 6.0. when the highest possible score is 10.0,” said Michelle Auger, CFIB senior policy analyst. “It shows there’s still a lot of room for improvement for all financial institutions, even the top-rated ones.”

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