Which Business Bank Account?

Business banking can be a minefield so which business bank accounts do you review when selecting your business current account.  Business accounts vary from bank to bank so we have put together our thoughts on what you should you look for when asking which business bank account?  Don’t be bamboozled by the bank manager as these days they tend to be no more than a glorified salesman for other banking products.

Which Business Bank Acccount?
Business Banking Relationship Manager
Business Banking Postcode Lottery
Free Business Current Accounts
Business Current Account questions you need to ask

Which Business Bank Account?

Bank

Offering

Charges

Online

NatWest
  • Free business banking for 24 months
  • Business Relationship Manager – Direct access email/phone
  • £500 fee-free overdraft
  • Free business start up courses even if not a customer
  • Free business planning software
  • Free business guides even if not a customer
  • Free online business review even if not a customer
Business Banking Online Business Accounts
HSBC
  • Free business banking for 18 months
  • Regular business reviews from your local business specialist
  • £75 free Google advertising
  • Help and guidance 8am to 10pm
  • Free business planning interactive tools, plus support and resources
Business Banking Online Business Accounts
Bank of Scotland
  • Free business banking for 18 months
  • Support & guidance from your own dedicated relationship manager
  • Free Sage Planning for Business
Business Banking Online Business Accounts
Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Free business banking for 24 months
  • Business Relationship Manager – Direct access email/phone
  • £500 fee-free overdraft
  • Free business start up courses even if not a customer
  • Free business planning software
  • Free business guides even if not a customer
  • Free online business review even if not a customer
Business Banking Online Business Accounts
Barclays
  • Free business banking for 12 months (T&C’s)
  • Free automated business transactions when 12 month period ends
  • Free data backup services
  • Debt recovery help
  • Access to business seminars
Business Banking Online Business Accounts
Lloyds TSB
  • 18 months free day-to-day banking
  • Free ‘Sage Planning for Business’ software
  • Free book ‘Getting started in business’
  • Start up support & resources
  • Relationship Manager
Business Banking Online Business Accounts
Santander
  • 12 months’ free banking or 18 months free with the Santander Business Start-up Extra if you have a personal Santander Bank Account
  • Free online start-up advice and business guidance
  • Access to a Local Business Manager who can offer expert advice to help make your business a success
Business Banking Online Business Accounts

Business Banking Relationship Manager

It is true that your business banking relationship manager no longer has as much control and flexibility over your business current account decisions but it does not mean that they are not a good ally.  Having your business banking relationship manager on side could make sure your business accounts run smoothly and you avoid unnecessary bank charges or embarrassments.

Make sure that whoever you decide to set up your business current account with that your business account will come with a business banking relationship manager and that you will have their mobile phone number and email address.  Do not take it for granted that this is the case with all business banking because its not and finding out to late can be a pain in the backside.  Find out who will be looking after your business accounts and make contact with them – find out how easy it is to get hold of them.  Don’t be fooled though as they will be eager to please to begin with.  Remember that if you are taking the banks offer of free business banking then you will be sold everything including the kitchen sick but your new best friend.  It is OK to say no – if you did not know you needed it then you may not and especially at the price your business banking relationship manager may want to sell it.

Ask your business banking relationship manager if they manage any other branches and which days they are in your local branch.

Do not ever set up an account through the online business current accounts process.  You will get lost in the system never be assigned a business banking relationship manager and have to deal with the bank call centre whenever you need anything prompting you to decide not to call or ask for help as you like your hair to much.

To keep your business current accounts ticking over keep in touch with your business banking relationship manager.  You do not have to tell them everything that is going on but keep them up to date with any big developments as you will want them on side when you need an overdraft or loan.  This is more likely to happen if they know you.

Business Banking Postcode Lottery

As stated above getting the right business banking relationship manager is key but choosing the right business current accounts in the first instance is more important.  I would urge you to speak to fellow business owners to gauge how they feel about business accounts in your area as they will vary by postcode.

Just because a bank is great in one area does not mean it will be so in another post code area.  For this reason if you use forums and reviews to make a decision make sure they are recent and that they are from banks in your area.  You would assume that organisations that are so procedure and systems driven would have a consistent approach to how you are treated but you need to factor in a vital ingredient which is people.  No two business banking relationship managers will be the same try and get one that others have used and were happy with.

Free Business Bank Accounts

Beware anything that is free.  Only kidding when it comes to business current accounts free is the norm particularly for start up businesses.  If you are moving from another bank then you could expect 6 months free business banking to be the norm.  Your free business current account is being subsidised by the larger corporate clients which is why your business banking relationship manager has been tasked with selling you everything including the kitchen sink – just say no.  Take your time and weigh up your options, don’t feel guilty because your  business accounts are free that is the banks choice.

Be mindful of the business banking tariffs that exist after you free business current accounts period comes to an end as this can often be a shock to the system and make you question your decision.  There may also be certain types of transactions that may not be included so make sure you ask your business banking relationship manager if there are any exclusions from the free business current accounts.  Where possible try to get this in writing.

Free business current accounts can also mean that you do not get a dedicated business banking relationship manager so make sure you are happy with the set up and you will have access to someone at the right level for your needs.

Business Current Account questions you need to ask

  • Who will be my business banking relationship manager?
  • Will I have direct contact details for my business banking relationship manager?
  • What branches does my business banking relationship manager work?
  • What experience of my industry/sector does my business banking relationship manager have?
  • How many years experience does my business banking relationship manager have?
  • When my business banking relationship manager is not available who do I deal with?
  • What are the expected query turnaround times?

Business banking can be a minefield so which business bank accounts do you review when selecting your business current account.  Business accounts vary from bank to bank so we have put together our thoughts on what you should you look for when asking which business bank account?  Don’t be bamboozled by the bank manager as these days they tend to be no more than a glorified salesman for other banking products.

Which Business Bank Acccount?
Business Banking Relationship Manager
Business Banking Postcode Lottery
Free Business Current Accounts
Business Current Account questions you need to ask

Which Business Bank Account?
Bank
Offering
Charges
Online
NatWest
Free business banking for 24 months
Business Relationship Manager – Direct access email/phone
£500 fee-free overdraft
Free business start up courses even if not a customer
Free business planning software
Free business guides even if not a customer
Free online business review even if not a customer
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
HSBC
Free business banking for 18 months
Regular business reviews from your local business specialist
£75 free Google advertising
Help and guidance 8am to 10pm
Free business planning interactive tools, plus support and resources
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
Bank of Scotland
Free business banking for 18 months
Support & guidance from your own dedicated relationship manager
Free Sage Planning for Business
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
Royal Bank of Scotland
Free business banking for 24 months
Business Relationship Manager – Direct access email/phone
£500 fee-free overdraft
Free business start up courses even if not a customer
Free business planning software
Free business guides even if not a customer
Free online business review even if not a customer
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
Barclays
Free business banking for 12 months (T&C’s)
Free automated business transactions when 12 month period ends
Free data backup services
Debt recovery help
Access to business seminars
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
Lloyds TSB
18 months free day-to-day banking
Free ‘Sage Planning for Business’ software
Free book ‘Getting started in business’
Start up support & resources
Relationship Manager
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
Santander
12 months’ free banking or 18 months free with the Santander Business Start-up Extra if you have a personal Santander Bank Account
Free online start-up advice and business guidance
Access to a Local Business Manager who can offer expert advice to help make your business a success
Business Banking
Online Business Accounts
Business Banking Relationship Manager
It is true that your business banking relationship manager no longer has as much control and flexibility over your business current account decisions but it does not mean that they are not a good ally.  Having your business banking relationship manager on side could make sure your business accounts run smoothly and you avoid unnecessary bank charges or embarrassments.

Make sure that whoever you decide to set up your business current account with that your business account will come with a business banking relationship manager and that you will have their mobile phone number and email address.  Do not take it for granted that this is the case with all business banking because its not and finding out to late can be a pain in the backside.  Find out who will be looking after your business accounts and make contact with them – find out how easy it is to get hold of them.  Don’t be fooled though as they will be eager to please to begin with.  Remember that if you are taking the banks offer of free business banking then you will be sold everything including the kitchen sick but your new best friend.  It is OK to say no – if you did not know you needed it then you may not and especially at the price your business banking relationship manager may want to sell it.

Ask your business banking relationship manager if they manage any other branches and which days they are in your local branch.

Do not ever set up an account through the online business current accounts process.  You will get lost in the system never be assigned a business banking relationship manager and have to deal with the bank call centre whenever you need anything prompting you to decide not to call or ask for help as you like your hair to much.

To keep your business current accounts ticking over keep in touch with your business banking relationship manager.  You do not have to tell them everything that is going on but keep them up to date with any big developments as you will want them on side when you need an overdraft or loan.  This is more likely to happen if they know you.

Business Banking Postcode Lottery
As stated above getting the right business banking relationship manager is key but choosing the right business current accounts in the first instance is more important.  I would urge you to speak to fellow business owners to gauge how they feel about business accounts in your area as they will vary by postcode.

Just because a bank is great in one area does not mean it will be so in another post code area.  For this reason if you use forums and reviews to make a decision make sure they are recent and that they are from banks in your area.  You would assume that organisations that are so procedure and systems driven would have a consistent approach to how you are treated but you need to factor in a vital ingredient which is people.  No two business banking relationship managers will be the same try and get one that others have used and were happy with.

Free Business Bank Accounts
Beware anything that is free.  Only kidding when it comes to business current accounts free is the norm particularly for start up businesses.  If you are moving from another bank then you could expect 6 months free business banking to be the norm.  Your free business current account is being subsidised by the larger corporate clients which is why your business banking relationship manager has been tasked with selling you everything including the kitchen sink – just say no.  Take your time and weigh up your options, don’t feel guilty because your  business accounts are free that is the banks choice.

Be mindful of the business banking tariffs that exist after you free business current accounts period comes to an end as this can often be a shock to the system and make you question your decision.  There may also be certain types of transactions that may not be included so make sure you ask your business banking relationship manager if there are any exclusions from the free business current accounts.  Where possible try to get this in writing.

Free business current accounts can also mean that you do not get a dedicated business banking relationship manager so make sure you are happy with the set up and you will have access to someone at the right level for your needs.

Business Current Account questions you need to ask
Who will be my business banking relationship manager?
Will I have direct contact details for my business banking relationship manager?
What branches does my business banking relationship manager work?
What experience of my industry/sector does my business banking relationship manager have?
How many years experience does my business banking relationship manager have?
When my business banking relationship manager is not available who do I deal with?
What are the expected query turnaround times?

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