Reviewing Your Business Banking May Save You Money !

September 5, 2023

When I set up my business banking account over 12 years ago; I was able to make an appointment with the branch’s business manager. I waited for my appointment in the branch 5 minutes’ walk from home, and left with my account number and sort code; the cheque book and other items arrived about 3 days later in the post.

About 5 years ago, the local staff began telling us that the branch was being refurbished to allow people to handle their accounts from self-serve machines as the cashiers’ desks were being phased out. I can remember saying that I was concerned that they would be losing their jobs and how sorry I was that we would no longer be able to chat with them, but was assured that they would all remain in branch and be available to chat and help customers. Out of the 7 or 8 staff that I recognised, 2 remained.

Last November, the branch itself closed and as a result of this plus other banks such as Barclays having done the same beforehand, the only cash withdrawal system in our town (population nearing 11,500 based on the last census in 2021) is outside a building society in a pedestrianised area of the town, away from any main road (yes you will have to park and walk), somewhere that can a bit creepy later on in the evening as it’s outside a kebab house and near a few pubs.

With the withdrawal of paying in books making it impossible to pay in cheques at the Post Office earlier this year, the only option was to drive 15-20 minutes to a larger town, park (at cost); thus, adding an hour to your working day as a minimum.

According to an article in the business press, a quarter of SMEs are considering switching accounts to a Challenger bank or Fintech this year.

The main reasons given for considering this move are lower fees, better online services and higher interest rates; some even offer cash back. Given I am no longer to easily have a face to face with a bank’s member of staff, it’s something I will certainly be considering.

Even if you have a long standing account, there is no reason why you cannot move it, so it’s worth shopping around or asking fellow business owners.

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