Companies should take a leaf out of a newspaper's book if they want to impress financial giants, finds a report.

Missed deadlines, grammatical gaffes, typos and getting someone's name repeatedly wrong not only make an editor see red but also annoy financial institutions. And it is costing UK firms up to £2bn a year in lost business.

According to the Corporate Carelessness report from Royal Mail Special Delivery, only 10% cite price as the main reason for giving their supplier the boot.

Top of the list is missed deadlines – with nearly half of finance companies that had fired suppliers stating this was the cause. One in ten blame unhelpful staff and one in five are unhappy with impersonal service.

“Presentation is a key factor,” said David Hands, from the Federation of Small Businesses. “More than half of all finance companies strongly agreed that the way information was presented influenced their opinion of its content and thus their overall impression of the company that produced it.”

Tony Boyle, from Royal Mail Special Delivery, who commissioned the report, said clients were clearly iritated by small mistakes.