For the last two years the business pages have been full of horror stories about owner-managers having loans declined, overdrafts cut or removed completely and even new accounts being denied.

So it’s surprising that, according to the latest research, almost a third of business owners say they turn to their bank first and foremost for business advice.

A study by Close Invoice Finance found that 30.4 per cent consider their bank manager the most trusted person to go to for business advice, up from just 20 per cent in 2008.

But more respondents said they put their trust in accountants and fellow business owners. According to the research, small businesses are far more likely to turn to a friendly entrepreneur for advice than medium or large ones.

David Thomson, chief executive of Close Invoice Finance, said: "Our research reveals some interesting positive changes as bank managers strive to rebuild business confidence and now it seems that business owners are turning in increasing numbers to their bank manager for counsel."

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