Written by Karen Bryan
When I was informed that I’d have to start paying a £7.50 a month charge on my Santander business banking current account, I looked into free business banking accounts. It looked as though the HSBC Business Direct account was the best option. I only require a very basic business account, as most of my transactions are online bill payments and transfers. I don’t pay in or take out cash from either a branch or even an ATM. The HSBC Business Direct Account offers internet and phone banking, which should suffice for my needs.
I receive an occasional cheque, so I’ll need to post it to a branch, as there’s no HSBC presence where we live (in Berwick upon Tweed). With the Business Direct Account from HSBC I will be able to pay in and write up to five cheques a month with no charge. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded if cheques had been abolished. It’s a pain having to wait for them to arrive in the post and then either have to post them or take them into your bank; online faster payments are much more convenient.
I thought that HSBC would be getting a flood of new business account applications, as it’s currently one of the few banks which offer free business banking beyond an introductory period, as long as your turnover is below £500,000. However, after quite a lot of protest from holiders of the supposedly forever free Santander business account, Santander announced that they were withdrawing the forthcoming charges.
I did open HSBC Business Direct Account over the phone but I’ve haven’t yet received the paperwork to sign. Now I’m not sure if I’ll proceed with the final stages of opening the HSBC account. I’ve was very happy with the Santander account until I was informed of the charges. I have some concerns that Santander may try to re-introduce charges at some point, so maybe I’ll keep the HSBC Business Direct account as a back up option.