Investigating the scale of the interest rate challenge faced by the nation’s SMEs


Fintech company Flagstone wanted to evaluate the returns that Britain’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were achieving on their excess cash (i.e. cash not required for the day-to-day running of their businesses), establish how satisfied SMEs’ were with the level of interest income they were generating, and understand why the companies which were dissatisfied were not actively pursuing higher rates from other banks.


YouGov and Flagstone conducted the research with senior decision makers in SMEs throughout the UK. The survey was created to provide insight into the number of different accounts held by the nation’s SMEs and the average interest rate across those accounts, to measure (dis)satisfaction with that level of interest income and to identify the key drivers of inertia.


Of those respondents who expressed an opinion, 53% said that their business was receiving less than 0.10% interest income on average across all their cash, and only 8% were earning more than 0.50%.

Respondents were told that “some challenger/ non-high street banks are now offering more than 1% for instant access cash deposits”, but despite this more than a third of those who expressed an opinion (40%) said they felt that it was “too much hassle to open up new accounts”.

Flagstone used their specialist knowledge & YouGov’s research to create a press release revealing the scale of the issue and highlighting the cost of inertia for British SMEs given the availability of higher short term deposit rates from challenger banks.

About the client

Flagstone is an FCA authorised and regulated fintech company located in London and founded in 2013. Flagstone’s online cash deposit platform enables SMEs (as well as charities and individuals) to earn more interest and reduce risk through diversification of deposits across up to 450 accounts from 24 banks on completion of a single application form. Using YouGov’s Business Omnibus, they researched 615 SME senior decision makers.