Who's good for business banking accounts?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by okonaut, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. okonaut

    okonaut UKBF Newcomer Full Member - Verified Business

    23 2
    I need to set up accounts for a new venture. My main business is with Lloyds, who's online interface is now pretty good, generally runs without too much fuss, but hammer us on charges. I could just go with lloyds again, but thought it might be a good opportunity to see if there anyone better out there.

    Requirements are fairly simple at this time:
    • 12-18 months free business banking for startups
    • Online interface that won't drive me mad (and allows me to deal with day to day stuff without carrying another 2fa calculator around everywhere)
    • Aren't horrifically painful in other ways
    • Ideally also good with foreign currency accounts, although I could have that seperate
    Any recommendations? (either to go with or to avoid!)? Thanks
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: okonaut Member since: Sep 26, 2013
  2. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,520 770
    I am with Lloyds, who don't hammer me with charges, so I was going to say them.

    I bet there is not much to choose between the main players, so why not try some of the newer players on the market? Santander? Metro Bank? I have no experience of them, but you will get people to say nice things, and nasty things, about every player in this market.
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,847 1,886
    Santander, low fixed monthly charge after initial 12 months free.
    Online I'm looking at transactions, balance and paying some bills - they are fine for that.
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  4. heidi hine

    heidi hine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0
    Most of the high street banks offer ‘free business banking’ to new companies, for periods of up to 24 months in some cases. It is important to find out what costs will be applied once your initial banking period expires, as most day-to-day business accounts charge per transaction, or apply a monthly standing charge.

    In my opinion Satander is one of the best options out there, you can apply online and should have it up and running with 10 working days.

    If you are looking for a SUPER quick turnaround, go with TIDE.

    Hope this helps!
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: heidi hine Member since: Aug 19, 2018
  5. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,069 139
    Seconded. Came to them through their take over of Alliance & Leicester and have had no reason to complain.
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  6. dotcomdude

    dotcomdude UKBF Regular Full Member

    253 31
    We just switched our existing business to Yorkshire Bank to get away from the TSB banking issues and to be 'rewarded' with 2 years free banking.

    The whole process turned out to be a real headache, because their online application process didn't work properly and they couldn't get online banking to work for us.

    In the end they switched the account and left us unable to make any payments, see any transactions in/out or even our balances for about a week - which should be unheard of in this day and age!

    I've come to the conclusion that the IT in some of these large organisations isn't up to the job...
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: dotcomdude Member since: Jul 27, 2018
  7. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,847 1,886
    Yes, some of the comments on a thread months ago regarding the banks IT suggested its trying to fit 60s / 70s / 80s legacy computer system elements into modern systems. Wasn't that long back that we had to wait for a cheque to clear in a few days before could spend the money - that was still being done with procedures from decades ago this century.
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  8. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    7,114 1,309
    As others have already said, try Santander.

    I have been with them since they bought out Abbey National (which was where my account was originally) and have been almost completely happy.

    I say "almost" because they did close my local branch which has made it harder when it comes to paying in the occasional cheque we still receive, but otherwise have never really had a problem.
    Posted: Aug 25, 2018 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
  9. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,991 3,511
    Santander - but not for foreign currencies.

    Go to a Luxembourg or Irish on-line bank for foreign currencies.
    Posted: Aug 25, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  10. Bob Morgan

    Bob Morgan UKBF Regular Free Member

    210 47
    Far longer than that Mr D! It goes back to the Bills of Exchange Act of 1882, and the 3 Day Clearance Period goes back even further! – The allowance of three Days was made for a Cheque to be 'Walked' across London (Payee's Bank to Drawer's Bank and Back again), in the days when a Bank Head Office was a Coffee Shop! – Try doing that in Starbucks today! It also gave rise to that time honoured expression 'Refer to Drawer!'

    Although now regarded as rather ‘Old Hat’ in the UK and Europe, Cheques are still a way of life in the Middle East and SE Asia. The GCC Gulf States also use Post-Dated Cheques as a form of Sharia Compliant Credit – A Two Year Car loan still requires writing 24 Cheques, some banks will use 24 Direct Debits, but DDs are purely for Internal Bank Transactions. ‘Bouncing a Cheque’ in the Gulf Countries will earn you ‘Jail Time’ and it is enforced across GCC Borders! - It does however, tend to ‘Concentrate Minds’ when Cheques are presented for payment, and is used extensively as ‘Leverage’ for payment.
    Posted: Aug 26, 2018 By: Bob Morgan Member since: Apr 15, 2018
  11. Socio South West

    Socio South West UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    870 214
    After many years with **** West, I found they have caught the 'computer says no' syndrome - even when a simple admin error had been made that they refused to acknowledge. I also felt all their staff were becoming salesman and not people employed to help businesses with their banking, and they were armed with instructions to hide behind a 'its all part of the service that we have to go through with you' to expose you to each product they wish to sell.

    I recently set up a new account with Santander which has been a bit of a tree killing exercise in terms of mail received and pages of gobbledigook, but straighforward online banking seems to be working fine for me.
    Posted: Aug 26, 2018 By: Socio South West Member since: Mar 24, 2013
  12. Socio South West

    Socio South West UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    870 214
    Cheques are still extremely good currency in France, where the laws on bouncing cheques and associated penalties are far less favourable than they are in the UK
    Posted: Aug 26, 2018 By: Socio South West Member since: Mar 24, 2013
  13. okonaut

    okonaut UKBF Newcomer Full Member - Verified Business

    23 2
    Thanks all - much appreciated. Sounds like I should be looking a Santander then. I'll give them a shot.
    Posted: Aug 28, 2018 By: okonaut Member since: Sep 26, 2013
  14. UrbanRetail

    UrbanRetail UKBF Regular Free Member

    187 51
    Has no one used any of the new online banks?
    Posted: Aug 28, 2018 By: UrbanRetail Member since: Mar 3, 2012
  15. okonaut

    okonaut UKBF Newcomer Full Member - Verified Business

    23 2
    Not bowled over by Santander so far, but we'll see if they improve after the application process. Particularly unimpressed by being asked to send scans of confidential documents by plain, insecure email (privacy and GDPR be damned!)

    I'd be interested to hear experiences of these too.
    Posted: Aug 29, 2018 By: okonaut Member since: Sep 26, 2013
  16. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,880 874
    I have online accounts with the Coop who provide free business banking for FSB members. They use UK based phone centres with friendly Skemersdale accents.
    Posted: Aug 29, 2018 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
  17. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,965 981
    The thing I like about Santander is the on-line system. So much more friendly and easier to use than Barclays - no gizmo and codes. Always been helpful on the phone.
    Posted: Aug 29, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  18. tasmanialtd

    tasmanialtd UKBF Contributor Free Member

    26 0
    @UrbanRetail..which "new online banks do you mean"?
    Please elaborate.
    Posted: Aug 30, 2018 By: tasmanialtd Member since: May 30, 2012
  19. Supercoach

    Supercoach UKBF Regular Free Member

    310 56
    Starling Bank now offer a business account via smartphone app - super easy to operate.
    Every payment in and out of the account gets you an immediate text message - love it :)
    Posted: Aug 30, 2018 By: Supercoach Member since: Feb 10, 2015
  20. Diesel

    Diesel UKBF Contributor Free Member

    91 5
    Counting Up is getting its product ready and will also be an accounting package as well as a bank account - why should we need two separate ones.... Its about £15 a month which seems better value than old fashioned banks + an accounting app. I am a little wary of 'pay forever' models though as they can hike the charges at any time once they have locked you in.
    Posted: Aug 31, 2018 By: Diesel Member since: Apr 8, 2008