It really is not a level playing field. All types of Small Businesses find it impossible to compete with the Big Guys. This is not because Smaller Businesses provide a poorer service but because of all the barriers that Small Businesses face and Large Companies (Corporates) do not.
On the face of it one might think that a Business becomes Large because it provides a better service. However, it's not as straight forward as that. Indeed, it is more about money being poured in to corner the market. Effectively systems were created that prevented Small Businesses from expanding or even surviving and enabled wealthy investors to corner the market and cut Small Businesses out.
Independent Valuation Surveyors - Conflict of Interests and Maximising Profits:
In the old days a Mortgage Institute would instruct an Independent Surveyor to provide a Valuation Report and the Buyer may ask for a Structural Survey. However, Banks and Building Societies came up with the idea of employing their own Surveyors - a 'One Stop Shop', where the Buyer could get their Mortgage and a Survey. Some Independent Surveyors were offered Jobs working for Banks, some were asked to act as Agents - selling Mortgages to Property Buyers.
Concern was expressed at the time about 'Conflict of Interests' . I.e. How could someone who was hoping to get commission on providing a mortgage on a property be trusted to provide an objective report on the condition of the property? I recall a Bank Employee asking a Surveyor I know if the Surveyor could possibly do less thorough inspections/reports because reports (by listing the property defects) were putting Buyers off buying the property and the Bank was thereby losing the sale of a mortgage/financial services. The Surveyor of course said he had to act in the Buyers best interest and report any defects he observed. The Bank counter-argued that legally the Surveyor would be covered by the 'small print' and that provided the value of the property was not affected, there was no significant problem in failing to report defects.
Independent Surveyors might only do one or two Surveys a day. When they were offered jobs working for Banks/Mortgage Institutes they were expected to cram in as many as 6 Valuation Surveys a day.
We can see therefore how standards paradoxically can be lowered by the 'Big Guys' for their financial gains/to maximise profits to the detriment of Clients: Firstly by reporting only according to the 'small print' (in order to facilitate more financial services sales) and secondly by crushing 6 Surveys in a day - wizzing round properties to maximise profits.
Banks/Building Societies also came up with the idea of 'Free Valuations'. Of course they were not really 'Free'. I.e. Banks/Building Societies were otherwise covering themselves for the costs incurred. One way or another the public always do pay. Nevertheless, public were taken in by such offers as 'Free Valuations'. In ways like this, the Big Guys were able to corner the market and cut out small Independent Surveying Companies.