Credit unions and other financial institutions may be off the mark when it comes to attracting new loans from small business owners.
According to a new survey of commercial lenders from research firm Raddon Financial Group, 92% said a business owner’s relationship with the loan officer is the number one contributor to capturing the loan.
Forty-nine percent felt that offering more favorable terms and conditions played a role in the win, and a 31% said offering a lower price was a contributing factor.
Meanwhile, small business owners disagreed, Raddon discovered.
The firm asked what would influence them to select one financial institution over another for a new business loan. Speedy approval, favorable loan terms and a financially stable financial institution issuing the loan were the top three factors. Familiarity with the loan officer ranked seven out of eight factors.
When it came to what type of financial institution small business owners are considering for their 2014 lending needs, 33% said a credit union, regional bank or community bank are their primary financial institutions.
However, the nation’s largest banks still have command of the lending space, according to Raddon. Sixty-seven percent of small businesses surveyed claimed one of the six largest banks – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, PNC Bank, or US Bank – as their PFI.
Raddon said for credit unions and other non-banks to compete for small business loans this year, they might consider becoming a one-stop shop. Eighty percent of small business owners said they are looking for that type of provider to fulfill all of their business banking needs, and 74% were looking for providers to provide custom or unique services to meet specific business banking needs.
“So perhaps this is the small business owners’ way of saying relationships are important after all. The emphasis on the relationship, however, is based more on products and services than on personal interaction,” said Marcus Rothaar, senior financial analyst at Raddon.