So you know what’s available, but who can provide it? Banks that offer business accounts in the UK can generally be split into three categories:
Who are they?
The Cooperative Bank, Fleming Premier, Cater Allen
What they offer
These banks offer a direct business banking service. Most transactions are made electronically or by post and you manage your account by telephone or on the internet (although in some cases the bank will have an agreement with a high-street bank to allow customers to use its counters).
The smaller banks offer higher rates of interest on their business current accounts and lower charges than the high-street banks. They may even offer free banking, but again, check for a limit on the number of transactions you can make per month to see if you’re likely to exceed it.
The absence of branches means that these banks are not an option if you need to drop in every day to deposit or withdraw cash. They are also unsuitable if you’re looking to your bank for advice, support or funding – it is strictly a banking service that they offer.
Who are they suited to?
Smaller banks offer a real alternative to businesses that run in credit, that receive direct payment from clients into their bank accounts and are not looking for funding or advice from their bank. Self-employed consultants or freelancers who work for just one or two clients, for example, should definitely investigate this option.