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Switching business bank accounts

Switching business bank accounts might seem like a huge headache but if you’re not completely satisfied with yours and feel that you can get a better deal or service elsewhere then you shouldn’t feel tied to it. Most banks offer a good incentive for you to switch to them and the process is easier than ever.

How to switch business bank accounts

Switching business bank accounts can be beneficial for:

  • Saving money with lower fees and taking advantage of introductory offers.
  • Managing your money better with apps and support.
  • Getting exclusive products and rewards.

Take these three initial steps to change business bank accounts:

  1. Check with your bank that you’re allowed to leave.
  2. Find the best new account for your business.
  3. Check that your eligible for the account.

Spend a little while researching new bank accounts and thinking about what it is you want from them and what it is that you’re not happy with your current business bank account. Don’t just switch on a whim or without finding out all the details about the new bank.

When you’re ready, talk to the new bank to find out if you are eligible for an account and any deals. You’ll probably have to be a new customer but also there might be a limit on how long you’ve been trading, your number of employees and your turnover. Check everything the account offers and for how long, and what the bank’s process is for helping you switch including how long it will take (normally within seven days) and what you’ll need to do.

What to do before switching?

Most banks are signed up to the Current Account Switch Guarantee meaning the switch should be straight forward and include the following:  

  • It’s free.
  • A switch date within seven days.
  • You can choose the switch date.
  • Your balance is transferred.
  • Your incoming and outgoing payments are automatically moved.
  • Your old bank account is closed.
  • Any interest lost is reimbursed.

Check if a bank is on the Current Account Switch Guarantee website.

Read the Current Account Switch Guarantee to be clear on all your rights before you switch.

Before you switch business bank accounts:

  • If you’re overdrawn, check if you can transfer the negative balance or if you need to clear it with your old bank.
  • Review the payments on your old bank account and cancel any that aren’t needed anymore.
  • Download your bank statements.
  • Get your documentation ready for the switch including two proofs of name and address and the details of your old bank account with the account number, sort code and card number.
  • Choose the date you’d like to switch.

Choosing your next bank account

Look at reviews, get recommendations and read the small print. Scout out great offers but remember these are normally for a limited time. Check out what the rates are for all the different transactions and work out which ones you do the most and least of and how much can you roughly expect to be paying.

There may be different transaction charges for the following:

  • E-payments
  • Depositing cash
  • Debit card payments
  • Cheque payments
  • Standing orders
  • Direct debits
  • Getting change
  • CHAPS
  • Foreign currency transfers

What else do you want from your bank account? Consider what’s important to you and the business. For example:

  • A good app
  • Card terminals for payments in person
  • Financial borrowing options – loans, overdrafts, credit cards
  • A Business Manager
  • 24-hour support
  • 24-hour online and telephone banking
  • Access to a nearby branch (with opening hours that suit you)
  • Business insurance

You should also check on the bank’s service quality score and where they’re ranked compared to other banks based on the latest report from the Competition and Markets Authority.

The best business account switch offers

These are the best business bank account switch offers available on the market at the moment. 

Bank

Headline switching features

Switching service

Monthly fees

E-Payment fees

Additional notes

Lloyd’s Business Current Account

6 months free business banking.

Yes

£6.50

Free

Simple pricing and access to lots of financial and digital tools and business guides.

Santander Business Banking  

Check with the bank.

Yes

Choose £7.50-£40 tariff after the free period.

Free within limits.

Monthly interest on in-credit at 0.10%. The app isn’t rated well.     

Natwest Business Banking

Check with the bank.

Yes

Minimum monthly charge of £5.

35p

Award-winning app. Free banking for charities and non-profits.

TSB Business Banking

18 months free day-to-day banking.

Yes

Choose a tariff from £5 a month.

Free to 20p depending on tariff.

Free card payment reader and first £1,000 payments free. Also, access via Post Office.

HSBC Business Banking

12 months free business banking.

Yes

£5.50

23p (small business) or free e-banking.

Best Tariff Promise for businesses with turnover up to £2 million.

Barclays Business Banking

Check with the bank.

Yes

£6 (mixed) or £6.50 (e-payments).

35p (mixed) or free (e-payments).

Top rated online and mobile banking services for SMEs.

Coop Business Banking

Check with the bank.

Yes

£10

10p-20p

Ethical bank. Also, access via Post Office.

Metro Bank Business Account

Check with the bank.

Yes

£5 or free with a balance over £5,000.

30p each or 50 free transactions if balance over £5,000.

Branches open 7 days a week and dog-friendly.

Tide Business Account

No monthly or annual fees.

No – but you can use alongside your old account until you’re fully switched.

Free

20p

Free card use abroad. Fast account set up.

The table in this article gives an overview of the main offers and charges. Check each bank account for specifics on all details and charges and the most up to date information.

If you need more features or higher levels of assistance with your banking then you will have to look at the next level of business banking with these or other banks but they will come with more fees.

It’s also worth trying to negotiate the best offer you can – don’t assume what’s written down is all they can give you and remember they will be keen for you to switch to them.

What happens to your old business bank account?

Once you’ve chosen which bank you want to switch to you’ll need to tell them that you’d like to switch and apply for an account as normal. When the new account is open you’ll also need to complete:

  • A Current Account Switch Agreement form
  • A Current Account Switch Service Account Closure form

Your old bank will be obliged to pass on any payments that go into your old account by mistake for 13 months after the transfer.

Double check with your new bank whether they will inform those who you make payments to about the switch or if you need to. Monitor your payments carefully to make sure everything is working correctly and don’t forget to update your bank details on your invoices.

Checklist: What to think about when switching accounts

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