Credit unions rated best by small business; Scotiabank tops list among big five

Winnipeg, October 20, 2016 – Credit unions continue to be the top performers when it comes to serving small businesses’ overall financial needs, according to the latest report from the Canadian Federation of Independence Business (CFIB). Scotiabank received the top score among big banks, with Bank of Montreal (BMO) and TD Canada Trust receiving the lowest score among the big five.




2016 Report


2016 Report


2013 Report

Credit Union 7.2 1 1
ATB Financial 5.5 2 10
Scotiabank 4.8 3 2*
National Bank 4.7 4* 7
CIBC 4.7 4* 8
Royal Bank 4.4 6 5
Bank of Montreal 4.3 7* 2*
TD Canada Trust 4.3 7* 6
Desjardins 4.3 7* 4
HSBC 3.0 10 9

*Indicates a tie.


“Access to affordable financing and banking services is essential for small business owners from start-up to success,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president. “We were encouraged to see that some of the big banks have made positive changes since our previous report, but it’s clear several have a long way to go to match the overall customer satisfaction small business owners have with credit unions. We challenge all banks to commit to bettering their small business financing and service offerings.”

The report Battle of the Banks is based on a survey of over 11,000 small business owners and focused on four key areas: financing, fees, account manager experience and service. Credit unions were rated the best institutions in all four categories. HSBC fared the worst in account manager and service, TD Canada Trust was at the bottom in financing, and RBC scored last in fees.

ATB Financial (an Alberta-only bank) saw the biggest increase in ranking from the 2013 report, jumping from last to second place overall. National Bank and CIBC also rose in the ranks since the 2013 report. Bank of Montreal saw the sharpest decline, falling from second to tied for seventh. Desjardins joined BMO and TD Canada Trust near the bottom, with HSBC in last place.

Battle of the Banks continues to show a disturbing trend: the smaller the business, the lower the overall bank score. Compared to larger businesses, smaller firms are still having a difficult time securing the financing they need from their bank at affordable terms.

As with previous banking reports, CFIB uses these data in meetings with bank CEOs and governments to encourage all parties to better support Canada’s small business community. Read the third and final installment of CFIB’s 2016 banking report series: Battle of the Banks.

This report is based on the results of a survey conducted over the period from September to November 2015 in which a total of 11,400 responses were received. The responses reflect the views of SMEs located in all regions and sectors throughout Canada. The responses are accurate within plus/minus 0.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please call (204) 982-0817, 1-888-234-2232 or email You can follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibmb.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.