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Best business bank account?

(27 Posts)
PortBlacksandResident Mon 30-Jun-08 14:04:02


I've had a business bank account with Natwest for 11 years now and during that time my income from my business has gone up and down as i've had two children in the meantime.

I'm finding the charges quite expensive and they refuse to allow me more than a £1000 overdraft. I will need more than this as i'm currently ramping the business back up again now both DSs are at school smile <<hopeful.

Can anyone recommend a good account to move to? Or are the bank charges as bad everywhere?

justtheone Mon 30-Jun-08 15:18:29

I had a business bank account with RBS for years but like you when I had children my income went down and the bank charges continued to go up.

5 years ago I swithced to Abbey and find it fantastic. The only drawback is that you must do everything online, by post or via an ATM in one of the branches (no counter service). I do everything online, so I have no problems. I also have free business banking and get a decent interest rate. I do not have an overdraft so cannot comment about that.

It was the best move I ever made.

flowerybeanbag Mon 30-Jun-08 15:20:18


Soapbox Mon 30-Jun-08 15:21:57

Lloyds TSb always seems to win the awards for best business bank at most of the award dinners I go to, if that helps?

furrycat Mon 30-Jun-08 16:20:31

Mine's with Alliance and Leicester. It's free! Took a while to set up but it's fine now

cktwo Mon 30-Jun-08 20:26:52

Every single onw of my clients bank with LLoyds TSB.
I don't know if this is coincidence........

PortBlacksandResident Mon 30-Jun-08 21:21:45

Thankyou very much for answering. I'll look into those.


Judy1234 Mon 30-Jun-08 21:26:26

Why do you need a business account at all?

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 30-Jun-08 21:37:15

Most of the high street banks, ie HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds tsb will give 'switchers' free banking for 6 or 12 months.
Whether they would give you £1000 overdraft straight away if your business has been a bit low for a while is another matter.
I am with Barclays but when my free banking period is over will be switching to HSBC and so on, reckon I can get about 5 years free banking by the time I've worked my way through them all....

Xenia you need a business bank account because most personal bank accounts don't have charges if you are in credit. The banks need to make money so most have a clause that you can't run a business from a personal bank account, and they charge businesses quite hefty charges per transaction.

If you only charge for your time though, its the same as wages and your bank would never find out.

PortBlacksandResident Mon 30-Jun-08 21:38:33

Do you know Xenia - I was wondering why I get charged for my business account but not if I opened a separate current account.

Being self employed I assumed I'd need one. What are my alternatives?

PortBlacksandResident Mon 30-Jun-08 21:40:41

I see Flibberty. Not fair really is it - but that's life i suppose.

pickie Mon 30-Jun-08 21:43:30

If you join the FSB you will get a lot off freebies/legal cover etc and included is a free for life business bank account with the Co-OP. Best £100 I ever spent for my business.

They also have a free 24 hour legal helpline

moodlumthehoodlum Mon 30-Jun-08 21:44:07

Abbey National is free business banking for life (I think).

Can't vouch for how good they are, because I haven't filled in the paperwork yet, but the people seem nice wink

TracyK Mon 30-Jun-08 21:45:25

Alliance & Leicester is free if your turnover is less than £2million (I think). I've got a personal one with them - but just use it for business stuff - but only 4 or 5 transactions a month.

Doodle2U Mon 30-Jun-08 21:46:00

Abbey is free business banking for life but it's a pita to set up the initail account. Seems to be OK now though.

Doodle2U Mon 30-Jun-08 21:46:39

initial blush

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 30-Jun-08 22:00:02

Pickie, I also opened an FSB small business account. Then i read the small print and they take something like 7 days to clear your cash and cheques. The interest they get from doing that is how they can run the accounts for free. So on principle I closed mine. How can they take 7 days to clear CASH ffs?

I only need a business bank account cos I'm on a start up thingy program in this deprived area I live in (I'm one less dole statistic I suppose!!!). I told them my current account manager said if I'm just a self employed sole trader trading under my own name, that I don't need a business bank account, and they said its a condition of my getting the start up support adviser blokes time.

More like the enterprise agency bods are on a deal with the banks imo.

PortBlacks, if you trade under your own name and clients just make payments to you as your own name, then you don't really need a business bank account. Its when you start paying wages, materials, premises etc etc the number and type of transactions gives it away and you'll be asked to open a business bank account.

Oh god I'm on mumsnet again and I've got some prep to do for a client on Thursday! Bye!!

milknosugar Mon 30-Jun-08 22:10:19

abbey have been useless, we went for the free banking but it took ages to set up for stupid reasons and every time i want something it takes at least 3 phone calls. i do not recommend them!

SpookyMadMummy Mon 30-Jun-08 22:20:21

I have a business bank account with HSBC. I got free banking for 18 months as a new business customer. Looks like its the same for switching.

pickie Tue 01-Jul-08 08:13:38

Flibber- never had that, cash and cheques are done through post office and are usually in the account the next working day. They are okayish (they lost 2 cheques in the beginning and it was a nightmare)on average. Bookkeeper prefers it above Abbey/HSBC due to website easier to navigate and download info

Agree that if you are self employed to open a personal account. I had this for 2 and a half years with Lloyds and they were ok about it as long as I didnt turn over more then £65K

sophiewd Tue 01-Jul-08 08:20:06

We have a turnover of approx £30k per anum and do all our banking through our peraonal joint account, the bank has never queried this.

Judy1234 Tue 01-Jul-08 09:47:27

Depends on your business. My bank do know I pay business cheques into a personal account. They have never done anything about it. It would be pretty hard for them to know but you're probably right there may be some clause somewhere that says I'm not supposed to.

twofalls Wed 02-Jul-08 10:45:07

It depends on how many cheques/cash you are paying in. DH is a guitar teacher so has to have a business account because he has lots of cheques to process. I could probably get away with not having one because I only get 3 or 4 payments a month and they are paid directly into my account. However, I have gone with Abbey which is free and have been good so far.

amidaiwish Wed 02-Jul-08 11:40:18


Flibbertyjibbet Wed 02-Jul-08 21:36:21

Ok, if you trade under your own name you can probably get away with having a personal account.
But a payment has to be made to the same name as the bank account.
So for Miss flibbertyjibbet I can use a personal bank account.
For flibbertyjibbet and associates, or limited, or FlibJib and Sons Corp, etc etc you have to have a bank account in that name to accept payments made out to that name, and I should think its pretty easy for the bank to spot that its not a personal account, and charge you accordingly.

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