TORONTO (4/15/10)--Credit unions are favored by owners of Canada's smallest businesses, according to a study released Tuesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). CFIB surveyed 12,124 owners of Canadian businesses with fewer than 50 employees. It found that credit unions and Scotiabank have doubled their market share over the past two decades, while large banks such as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada and National Bank lost one-fourth of their small business clients in tht period (CBC News April 13). The report, Banking on Better Service, singled out the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as "far and away the worst bank when it comes to servicing Canada's smallest businesses." On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being best, credit unions scored tops in two categories--micro businesses or those zero to four employees, and small businesses with five to 49 employees. They also were ranked on financing, fees and service. In the zero-four employees group, credit unions ranked the highest in overall scores at 7.5 and in three service categories--financing, 6.8; fees, 8.8; and service, 7.6. In the five-49 employees category, credit unions topped others in the overall score ( 8), fees (9.9), and service (7.5). Their rank dropped to the middle for mid-sized businesses with 50-499 employees, although these businesses scored credit unions a perfect 10 on fees. In almost all the fees categories, credit unions' scores nearly doubled the scores of the closest bank.