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Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

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Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#89854

Postby Investor » October 21st, 2017, 10:02 pm

I need a new UK business bank account for SMEs. I've been looking at all the major high street banks as well as those that are smaller and fintech companies.

I'm looking for a bank that:

- has relatively low monthly and transaction charges
- great customer service
- a UK call centre for customer support
- a user-friendly desktop PC e-banking service
- doesn't force you to use a card reader or mobile to login to the former

Which business bank accounts would you recommend please?

Thank you very much!

FredBloggs
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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#89863

Postby FredBloggs » October 22nd, 2017, 12:32 am

I used Santander (originally Abbey business). I was a very happy customer (about 15 years) for a couple of businesses until I went back to employment mid 2016 due to lack of work. The customer service, should you need to contact them are in Bootle, Liverpool, not an overseas call centre. That is a bonus. The banking website is a bit of a noughties experience and a bit clunky, but everything is there and it is reliable. My first business account was free, my second account had a modest flat rate monthly fee. I used to regularly export my bank account to a quicken format file and import it into FreeAgent (cloud software) to keep my accounts up to date. You can automate the Santander banking feeds in FreeAgent but it involves trusting your bank log in details to a third party. I didn't want to do that. Overall, I was happy with Santander, if I ever start another small Ltd Co in the UK, I will use them again. HTH.

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#89881

Postby baldchap » October 22nd, 2017, 10:23 am

Was happy enough with HSBC until they started asking for all sorts of additional ID checks, followed by 2 months notice to quit my account.
HSBC have been highly paranoid since their U.S. fines, and you will find many such stories on the net.

Moved to Santander, and agree with everything Fred says. Great to have a UK call centre and even a small level of interest on the account.

The one point you may not like is that when making transfers from your account online, they send you an authorization code by text.

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#89907

Postby redsturgeon » October 22nd, 2017, 1:02 pm

baldchap wrote:Was happy enough with HSBC until they started asking for all sorts of additional ID checks, followed by 2 months notice to quit my account.
HSBC have been highly paranoid since their U.S. fines, and you will find many such stories on the net.

Moved to Santander, and agree with everything Fred says. Great to have a UK call centre and even a small level of interest on the account.

The one point you may not like is that when making transfers from your account online, they send you an authorization code by text.



I think the Swedish Handelsbanken is worth a look

The most satisfied customers
For the eighth year running, Handelsbanken has been rated top for customer satisfaction and loyalty, in an independent survey of British banks’ personal and business customers.



https://www.handelsbanken.co.uk/shb/ine ... 23002D9974

I'm with the HSBC and happy with it but if I was to change I'd consider them.

John

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#90007

Postby FredBloggs » October 23rd, 2017, 1:27 am

baldchap wrote:Was happy enough with HSBC until they started asking for all sorts of additional ID checks, followed by 2 months notice to quit my account.
HSBC have been highly paranoid since their U.S. fines, and you will find many such stories on the net.

Moved to Santander, and agree with everything Fred says. Great to have a UK call centre and even a small level of interest on the account.

The one point you may not like is that when making transfers from your account online, they send you an authorization code by text.

Myself, I think that is a good compromise between security and convenience though. We now usually have our mobile on us or within easy reach. Only snag I had is that we have extremely poor mobile signal at my home. So maybe only a 50% chance of getting the one time pin use number from Santander.

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#90953

Postby AndyPandy » October 26th, 2017, 5:31 pm

Another thumbs up for Santander (amazing considering they were pretty poor during the 80/90's)

Not had to use Support so can't comment on that side, but very happy with the online Banking. Recently opened another current a/c for a second Ltd Company and they are both linked to the one login, which is pretty good. interestingly, the existing one is permanently free of charges at my level of transactions, the new one is free for the first year then about £7 a month thereafter.

The one point you may not like is that when making transfers from your account online, they send you an authorization code by text.


Its a one-off when setting up a new payee and I feel reassurred with this level of security.

I've also set mine up for email alerts for any transactions over a certain limit. (I run a low volume, high transaction value business and it's nice to know when I get paid!)

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#91130

Postby neversay » October 27th, 2017, 12:48 pm

I'm happy with HSBC but interested to hear the experiences of others (so thanks for asking the question). HSBC seems to be improving its online/app services at long last and has reassuringly good security if you don't mind the multi-factor authentication.

The one annoyance with HSBC is they charge us £35 or so a year per company credit card which is annoying. I'm thinking of moving it over to American Express Blue card which is free but not accepted everywhere. Without hijacking the thread, I would be interested to hear if others can recommend any other business credit card provider that would avoid the fees?

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#91242

Postby redsturgeon » October 27th, 2017, 6:18 pm

neversay wrote:The one annoyance with HSBC is they charge us £35 or so a year per company credit card which is annoying. I'm thinking of moving it over to American Express Blue card which is free but not accepted everywhere. Without hijacking the thread, I would be interested to hear if others can recommend any other business credit card provider that would avoid the fees?



You can have the visa debit card for free with HSBC if that suits your needs.

John

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#91246

Postby neversay » October 27th, 2017, 6:26 pm

redsturgeon wrote:You can have the visa debit card for free with HSBC if that suits your needs.

John


John - all these years with HSBC Business and I never knew that. Thank you!

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#125823

Postby Investor » March 18th, 2018, 6:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts everyone. Very interesting.

If anybody has any other experiences on UK business banks that would be most useful.

Thanks!

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#125857

Postby FredBloggs » March 18th, 2018, 10:31 pm

I haven't used them myself but I hear good things about Metro Bank. Snag is you need to go into a branch to open an account which is a pain unless you live in the south east of england. Worth a look though, I think.

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Re: Best UK business bank account? Which one would you recommend...

#136109

Postby W1zard » May 1st, 2018, 9:47 pm

I have had a nightmare with Metro Bank. When opening the company bank account it took 2 months, they kept losing the paperwork - both the Chiswick branch and head office, however this was an indication of problems to come. last week I transferred deposit fund to my partners account (also Metro bank) and the deposit on a property. When she came to transfer to solicitor she was told account frozen, spend c 2 hours in branch and provided proof of source of funds (easy since I am a customer also). Almost a week later going into branch daily, both raising complaints, escalation to brach and area manager..result frustration, poor customer service, no information.
I am in the process of moving all my accounts. Could you imagine the issue if this was a company that needed to pay staff or suppliers !
My advice stay well clear. Looking at reviews on other sites customer satisfaction is very low. Given their strategy of organic growth I would start to question future expansion and also the balance sheet funding gap. The other issue is telephone authentication, I can see they have refused to refund some customers. My advise choose another bank and probably safer with a bank that uses a card reader instead of sms technology !


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