Business Account of the Year - British Small Business Awards


(James Cocker) #1

So last night was The British Small Business Awards and up for Business Account of the Year was:

  • Tide
  • Starling Bank
  • Revolut
  • Metro Bank
  • Trezeo

It appears the winner was Metro Bank.

As someone who is looking to move my business account from NatWest, just wondering if anyone has experience of Metro’s offerings, ideally their business account.

I use Starling as my personal account but am holding off switching my business account to them as I get the feeling that Starling isn’t taking business accounts seriously yet. Mainly as they’ve not even bothered to update the categories to be more relevant for businesses, as they still show Family, Gifts, Holidays, Lifestyle and Pets! Rather than things like Advertising, Software, Computer Hardware, Cost of Sales etc. Not sure how many businesses have “Pet” expenses!


(Don't Bullshirt Me, I know what the Fork is going on here!) #2

I have a Metro Bank business account for two different businesses. I am also grandfathered into their “free if your balance is over £2000” plan.

Nowadays I think Metro Bank are very expensive. They charge £5 per month unless your balance is over £5K (not unreasonable) and then a whopping 30p per transaction.

Metro Bank are very branch focused. Their online banking offering is not as good as Lloyds or Barclays but it’s stable and easy to use. If you want to CASS you’ll need to visit a branch, if you want an overdraft or a credit card you’ll also need to visit a branch.

I would recommend as a first time business account looking at Lloyds. Their application is completely online, pulls information from companies house and they offer 18 months of free banking.

Some bullet points that might help:

  • Metro Bank have great customer service (if you go in branch)
  • Lloyds have no business banking in branch
  • Starling don’t have integration with accounting packages yet and their CSV download is not a standard format
  • Lloyds offer 18 months free banking
  • Metro Bank have no free banking period.
  • Starling have the best looking business debit card
  • Starling have instant notifications (great for when you want know when you’ve received money)
  • I also prefer having a relationship manager which is something Starling and Lloyds don’t offer)

(sam) #3

I’ve been with Lloyds, HSBC, co-op and starling.
Much prefer starlings offering so far.


(Liam) #4

Building a bank so focused on its branch network seem an odd choice when a) your network is puny in comparison to the rivals in that space and b) your rivals in that space are all scaling back on their branch networks.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish them well - it just seems that their model seems to be about creating a 20th century legacy-style bank in a digital world.


(Don't Bullshirt Me, I know what the Fork is going on here!) #5

I completely agree on that point, they do seem very focused on the branch network, but I do think they excel when it comes to customer service. A lot of people in business still prefer having a face to face relationship for which you need a branch network


(Liam) #6

I can understand that. That face to face aspect I suppose is their niche.


(Don't Bullshirt Me, I know what the Fork is going on here!) #7

hopefully in the future they can back it with great technology and provide the best of both worlds :smiley:


(sam) #8

They will increasingly have to find money from somewhere to fund the branch network. Spending £100000’s a year on rent and rates is crazy.
There are also about 5-6 staff in my local branch that never seem have anything to do. It’s not sustainable when they are competing with increasingly digital competition


(James Cocker) #9

Thanks that’s very helpful.

Once Starling sort the business categories and add FreeAgent support I’ll probably switch. Definitely want a business account with instant notifications so I don’t have to regularly check my account to see if any invoices have been paid.

So it doesn’t sound like there’s a better option for me currently.


#10

Pretty funny when all the discussion on the other forum was about how Revolut is a ‘non-bank’ yet they were omitted and Revolut wasn’t.

Props to Revolut for disrupting the SME banking sector.


(Jack Bertram) #11

By the by, I use Starling with FreeAgent with their normal CSV export and it works just fine. Mildly more of a pain to have to do the upload than having the automatic feed, but I’m not in FreeAgent every day…


(James Cocker) #12

I am! :slightly_smiling_face: Yeh, currently use the CSV import. But personally couldn’t make Starling my main business account until it’s at least got an automatic daily feed. But I understand realtime feed for FreeAgent and Starling is coming in the new year.