Ten years have passed since the financial crisis of 2008 and in that time traditional patterns of British banking have undergone a sea change.
Although the changes have been seen across the whole banking community, the latest challengers to established institutions are poised to revolutionise business banking.
Since newcomers are appearing on the scene all the time, the picture is subject to still further change, but here are thumbnail sketches of some of the leading challengers:
The table below presents a synopsis of the key features of the services offered by these so-called “challenger” banks for businesses.
|Bank name||Account fee||Available to||Overdraft facility||Notes|
|Acorn||From £21.50 a month||Small enterprises||None||Confirmation of address and identity required, but no credit check required|
|Atom Bank||No fee for opening an account||SMEs||None – secured loans only||No physical branches – just smartphone and tablet apps|
|Card One Banking||Application fee £55 + £12.50 monthly||UK-registered small businesses – sole trader, LLP, or partnership||None – prepayment Corporate MasterCard only||Confirmation of address and identity required, but no credit check required.Restricted accounts for businesses with less than £2 million annual turnover|
|CashPlus||£65 annual account fee||Any UK-registered small businesses – sole trader, LLP, partnership, or charity||iDraft – subject to approval||After payment of £65 annual fee, no monthly fees.Branch facilities via the Post Office|
|Metro Bank||No fees on business account balances over £5,000||Small businesses, medium-sized businesses (annual turnover of more than £2 million) to international corporates||Yes||Long and short-term business loans and invoice financing|
|Revolut||None – free receipt and exchange services on up to 25 foreign currencies||Particular focus on small and medium-sized businesses involved in cross-border trading||No||Revolut does not currently have a banking licence, but offers its banking services on the basis of an e-money licence|
|Starling Bank||No fees for “micro enterprises” (with an annual turnover less than £1.7 million)||Small businesses and sole traders (“micro enterprises” employing fewer than 10 people) – and upwards||Yes||Digital app and online banking services, plus accounting and invoicing services|
|Tide||No monthly fees – transfers at 20p a time||Small – and growing – enterprises and freelancers||No||Completely online, not able to pay in cheques or make international payments|