Independents are receiving "shockingly bad service" from their banks, claims Booker chief executive Charles Wilson.

Pouring scorn on claims by banks that they were looking to support small businesses and lend them money, he accused the banks of making matters worse by charging more and more for their services.

The independent retailers and caterers that were succeeding were doing so despite the lack of support from the banks, he said.

However, retailers should not expect any major improvements under the new government, he warned. "Over the past 20 years, has any legislation been brought in which actually helped small business? I think not."

Booker would continue to plough ahead with as many initiatives as it could, he added, citing a 7,000 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions last year.