PracticeConsultingNet aid to business banking

Net aid to business banking

Small businesses have received a long-awaited boost in the form of a free internet service to compare banking accounts in a move designed to provide greater transparency.

Business Account Finder, a joint venture between the British Bankers’ Association and Moneyfacts Group, a personal finance data provider, will allow companies to view account comparison tables tailored to their own particular circumstances.

Accessed through the business section of the BBA’s website potential customers can select the type of account required, and compare and contrast services from different banks.

It offers a breakdown of the features of any account listed and includes the latest charges and interest details, as well as business account introductory offers.

BBA chief executive Ian Mullen said: ‘Small business proprietors need to devote their time and effort to developing their business and time is at a premium. It was clear that banks’ small business customers wanted a quick, straightforward way of comparing the charges made by different banks.’

Business can compare 44 different current accounts available from 29 banks. It is the latest addition to the small business section of the BBA. The section also includes tips on choosing an account and applying for finance and allows businesses to rate the service they are getting from their banks.

John Woods, chief executive of Moneyfacts Group, said: ‘This is an exciting development.The fact that business banking has cooperated to provide a one-stop shop for small businesses shows that it is taking a genuine interest in addressing the concerns of the small businesses.’

The move is seen to be a response to pressure from industry groups representing small and medium-sized business.

The Federation of Small Business welcomed the service but says more needs to be done to fulfil the needs of small business.

Donald Martin, FSB UK policy chairman, said: ‘The FSB has been lobbying for a simple, user friendly, comparison to all bank charges. We are therefore delighted with this initiative.’

‘It is still open to the business owner to enter negotiations for further terms beyond those in the tables,’ added Martin.

However, the FSB will continue to put pressure on the banking industry to make it easier for businesses to switch banks.

Links The business account finder can be viewed at www.bba.org.uk.

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