Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) across the country are most concerned about the looming economic impact of Brexit (30%) and potential for their operating costs to increase (19%), according to research from The Co-operative Bank.
The study, which asked SMEs to consider their biggest concerns across a range of business issues also found that rising costs are a key worry, with business owners considering the potential for both their own operating costs to rise but also for their supplier costs to increase (14%).
As UK SMEs count their costs, The Co-operative Bank has announced it will be extending its free introductory period for SME customers by a year. New Business Directplus customers will benefit from 30 months of free everyday banking, subject to certain transaction limits and a minimum credit balance of £1,000, making it the best-in-market introductory deal for the nation’s small businesses. The Bank has also chosen to extend this offer to existing customers who are still in their introductory period.
Donald Kerr, managing director of SME banking at The Co-operative Bank, said: “It’s understandable that SMEs are concerned about the potential for rising costs, particularly when there remains so much uncertainty about the impact that an exit from European Union will have.
“Small businesses can prepare to adapt to these changes, the first step they need to take is understanding the potential impact on their own suppliers and customers.
“As the only UK high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy we want to support businesses during this period of uncertainty. By extending our free introductory offer for SMEs, we are giving businesses who choose to switch to us 30 months of free banking.”