Borrowers Love Nonbank Lenders — But Still Want Banks in Their Lives

  • Philip Ryan
  • October 27, 2016
  • 1

lobbyAmericans are quite happy to look at nonbank lenders for their borrowing needs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they distrust banks.

A recent J.D. Power survey of small business owners released some startling figures — startling to banks, that is. Most borrowers, specifically small-business borrowers, consider nonbank lending options for their financing needs. From the survey results:

Among small business banking customers who applied for a loan during the past 12 months, 60% considered a non-bank alternative for the loan, such as Kabbage, OnDeck, Fundbox, or Smartbiz.  Among the fastest-growing small businesses, that number jumps to 74% who considered non-bank alternatives.

These fast-growing businesses, though they are more likely to consider nonbank options, are actually happier in their banking relationships:

Small businesses that are growing sales 20% or more annually are considerably more satisfied overall with their banking experience than their counterparts at small businesses with lower or no annual growth (844 vs. 781, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale), but they are also far more likely to switch banks. A full 25% of owners of fast-growing small businesses indicated that they plan to switch banks within the next year, compared with just 7% among other small businesses.

The size of the banks in question made less difference. Survey respondents scored the large, midsize, and small banks all about the same.

Consumers are highly ambivalent about banks and fintechs, per a recent Blumberg Capital survey of more than 2,000 consumers:

  • 24% — I want a traditional bank when it comes to my finances
  • 49% — There needs to be a mix of traditional banking services and new technologies
  • 20% — it is important that I have access to the latest technology and newest solutions for my banking
  • 7% — Not at all sure

Banks may face increasing competition in their core competency of lending, but most borrowers still want them around.


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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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