Mid-sized manufacturers feel like a ‘small fish’ to their bank


Research from Wyelands Bank, set up to help small and medium businesses, shows UK mid-sized manufacturers don’t feel valued by their banks. They struggle to access the tailored financial services they need to grow, putting a brake on UK manufacturing growth and job creation. 

The research of UK mid-sized manufacturers turning over £10m to £300m reveals that three fifths (59%) feel their business is not a priority for their bank.  

Half (50%) say they are given the run around by their bank.  More than half (56%) say they feel like a ‘small fish’.  

Highlighting the problem, half (50%) of UK mid-sized manufacturers say their bank would not accurately be able to describe what their organisation does.

As a result, 51% of UK mid-sized manufacturers are not able to access bespoke financial solutions to unlock growth. 

Iain Hunter, CEO of Wyelands Bank, said: “Our research shows that UK mid-sized manufacturers are struggling to access the funding they need to unlock growth.  But when mid-sized businesses are responsible for so many jobs, it is important they can access the specific finance they need to survive and thrive. 

“The challenge for many established banks will always be how to deliver personal service on an industrial scale.  They try to base their service on a real understanding of their customer’s need.  But it takes time and effort to understand a firm’s specific challenges and identify how to help them.  

“Wyelands Bank was set up to take the time to get to know and understand the individual mid-sized manufacturers we support.  We help identify and tailor the bespoke finance they need to bring their plans to life now and in the future to unlock growth.”

Trouble reaching decision-makers

The research also shows that three quarters (76%) of UK mid-sized manufacturers say they have to speak to two or more people at their bank before they find the right person to help them. Nearly a third (31%) have to speak to three or more people. 

Two fifths (41%) say they cannot to talk to the people who make decisions about whether their business gets finance or not at their bank.  

The impact of a lack of finance

The research also shows that difficulties raising finance have stopped UK mid-sized manufactures from winning new contracts and stifled new job creation.

Each firm said that the difficulties raising finance meant they had missed out on an average of £20 million in revenues and an average of 11 new contracts.  These would have enabled each firm to create an average of ten new jobs.

Iain Hunter added: “UK mid-sized manufacturers are struggling to access the finance they need to grow because they are unable to speak directly to their bank’s decision maker.    

“Mid-market firms can have a disproportionate effect on growth and job creation, but they first need to be understood as individual businesses.  Wyelands Bank’s approach is innovative yet simple.  We give our customers direct access to decision makers to help them unlock growth.”  

According to BDO[i], the business advisory firm, mid-sized businesses are critical for creating jobs.

BDO research shows that in the last year mid-market firms created 534,900 new jobs compared with 191,000 by small businesses and a loss of 157,000 by the FTSE350. 

About the research 

The study was conducted by Circle Research and completed in November 2018.  The research surveyed 305 UK mid-sized manufacturers turning over £10m-£300m.  Respondents were senior financial decision makers from the following sectors: 

  • machinery and components
  • computers and electronics
  • electrical equipment
  • oil and gas
  • textiles and apparel
  • chemical and pharmaceuticals
  • wood, paper and printing
  • rubber and plastic products

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