The 6th Edition ath Power Small Business Banking Study™

The-6th-Edition-ath-Power-Small-Business-Banking-Study-New-Thumbnail-SmallSmall Business Banking remains the most robust growth segment in today’s financial services markets. Banking institutions of every size are scrambling to create strategies to make the Small Business market a top strategic priority. And, while highly profitable Small Business customers expect more from their banking relationships, there are huge gaps in the service experiences banks provide their business customers.

The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™ is a unique account that ranks the Small Business Banking practices and benchmarking profiles, detailing the current marketplace. Our in-depth view of the industry provides the information needed to target strategic sales and service initiatives aimed at growing Small Business Banking revenues while increasing retention rates, profitability and shareholder value.

Purpose of the Small Business Banking Study

The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™ is a one-of-a-kind detailed assessment of the sales and service processes, product and service offerings, delivery methods and customer experiences of the nation’s premier institutions within the Small Business banking target market. Each year, ath Power conducts extensive audits on the Small Business Banking efforts at banks across the United States to determine how they are performing within this crucial market segment and what needs to be done to deliver the customer experiences that will ultimately increase acquisition, improve retention and drive revenue.

  • Discover what small business clients expect from their banking relationship and whether or not they are satisfied with their current experience.
  • Find out what gaps in the service experience would deter a potential SBO from bringing their business to a bank.
  • Learn how individual banks are performing within the competitive landscape of small business banking compared to the previous year.
  • Obtain valuable information that can help target strategic sales and service initiatives within the small business banking arena.
  • Gain the strategic insight needed to achieve a dominant position in the highly profitable Small Business Banking market.


During Q3 and Q4 of 2013, a total of 839 in-person audits were performed by Small Business Owners at 38 leading banks across the U.S. in an effort to understand the competitive customer experience environment associated with front-line sales and servicing protocols regarding Small Business Banking products and services. Evaluations were completed in metropolitan areas within 5 different regions throughout the United States – Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest and West. Banks of national, regional and local scope are included in this study. Some banks were audited in multiple regions. Findings are segmented by Bank, Region and Small Business Revenue Size. A comparative view of previous studies is also presented to trend consumer behavior year-to-year.

Banking relationships for businesses with $400k to $4M in revenue were used for individual banking center visits of potential small business clients. An Overall Evaluation Score was calculated based upon the in-branch experience and banker behaviors in four categories:

  • Product and Services Information Sharing
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Knowledge of Products and Services
  • Closing Elements

Institutions Evaluated

The banks evaluated in this year’s Small Business Banking Study are:

Associated Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris Bank, Capital One Bank, Chase, Chemical Bank, Citibank, RBS Citizens/Charter One, Comerica, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens, First Niagara, First Tennessee, FirstMerit, Frost Bank, Huntington Bank, Iberiabank, M&T Bank, MB Financial, New York Community Banks, People’s United Bank, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, Sovereign Bank/Santander, SunTrust Bank, Synovus, TCF Bank, TD Bank, Union Bank of California, US Bank, Washington Federal, Webster Bank, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank and Zions Bank.

* Previous versions of each ath Power study are also available. Please email with your request and a team member will assist you.

ideal-graph-imageath Power Custom Research

If you are interested in obtaining a customized competitive analysis for your own institution, please contact us by phone or email:

 +1.978.474.6464 Ext. 103