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Adrian Pitt

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Best business bank account?


My third and final question of the day - I promise!

Well, the money hasn't started rolling in yet, however, I'm thinking ahead and researching the "best" business bank account. WHAT a minefield! Just when I think I've cracked it and chosen the bank to go with, I'll read comments in some financial forums from folk who've had dire experiences. Are all the banks as good/bad as each other? I don't particularly want to be charged to the hilt, at least for the first couple of years of business, so, the free banking options that most banks offer seem attractive. Abbey and Alliance and Leicester offer free banking for life - so, what's the catch?!?! I can't see me having to visit a branch time and time again, I certainly don't do that with my personal account. All my personal banking is done online and over the phone.

My own bank have been really good to me over the years with my personal account, I've been with them for 23 years. However, I've read comments from people who've said avoid using your own bank for your business account. Is this true, or is this their paranoia?!

Any recommendations of banks that cut the mustard and support fledgling businesses would also be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance,


8 Responses

  1. Choosing a Bank

    Hi Adrian

    When I first went freelance I was a sole trader so just used a retail bank account. I wanted to operate it on line and my current bank (Nat West) had an on line system but it was not easy to operate so I selected Smile and I loved it, found it easy to use.

    When I then became a limited company I had to set up a company account so naturally I choose the Co-operative because I was already a Smile customer and felt aligned with their ethical statements. The Co-operative on line system is not as good as Smile but they are updating it slowly. It works well for me most of the time and I can do transfers and make on line payments to suppliers. If the on line system is down I can ring them and they either answer or do a call back system, which really works well. They are lovely to deal with on the phone.

    I used the Co-operative when I was a treasurer for a charity and I had a problem with a payment that I paid in that went missing and they resolved it easily.

    I had a free account for 18 months and now pay a small amount each month. I don’t mind that much because at least i am supporting an ethical bank based in the UK.

    My bank needs are not that challenging, I always maintain credit, I don’t need loans, I have money coming in mainly by BACS payments

    Hope this helps your consideration!


  2. banks

    Hi Adrian

    I use Abbey because it’s free.  Took nearly six months before everything was sorted out (they had put my second signatory on the account but not me….) but now it’s up and running it is very easy.  Good, easy to use online and phone banking service ( as long as you can handle 3 different passwords), and you can pay money in at cashpoints (though not over the counter) or send cheques to them.

    Good luck



  3. Free business banking

    Have been with Abbey for 3 plus years and have been trouble free except for two small incidences. Neither are major things but both relate to Abbey insisting that everything is done in writing by snail mail despite being an on-line bank. Call centre staff were extremely helpful, the problem came when the admin staff had to reply – this took 10 days plus despite it being requested as a priority by the customer services manager.

    On-line banking is fine for simple accounting and you are happy doing things over the internet or phone – you can’t use the Abbey branches for anything other than deposits or withdrawals as they have no access to business accounts.

    Hope this helps you make the decision.


  4. Thanks Christine…

    Thanks Christine, really given me something to think about. I research, research, research and just when I think I’ve got it cracked, I read a few bad reviews and comments and it puts me off! I’ll keep you posted. Ade

  5. Thanks Beverly

    Cheers for that. I was tempted by Abbey but read a number of really bad reviews. The free banking appealed. I suppose it’s all down to what you want from a bank/account. Ade

  6. Thanks Di

    Cheers for the advice, Di. Someone else in favour of Abbey. I’m not going to be a big corporate concern, or someone who will need a business advisor 24/7, just a small one-man band for now, so, I think the internet accounts may have the thumbs up from me at the moment. Thought it may pay to do some research with fellow trainers. Thanks for your help. Ade

  7. Business bank accounts
    Hi Adrian
    I have been with Abbey for the last 5 years. I started as sole trader then became a limited company. Abbey were happy to entertain both at no cost. They have been very efficient and I would recommend them to others. From what I’ve seen free banking means free banking, as long as you keep in the black and don’t exceed the number of transactions that they stipulate.
    Happy Days!
    Bryan – training delivery and loads of course materials to download

  8. Thanks again, Bryan

    I’ll have to commission you as my personal consultant, Bryan! Thanks again for the sound advice. I took out a personal loan with Abbey a few years ago and have to say they gave me the best deal and the lady I spoke to was SO lovely, I emailed her Manager to pass on my thanks. I can’t imagine me needing to pop into a branch all that often, I do most of my personal banking over the phone and net anyway. I’ll re-investigate the Abbey site now. Cheers for the advice.



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