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HSBC increasing charges, suggestions for an alternative?

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HSBC increasing charges, suggestions for an alternative?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
100 replies 15.8K views
mf78mf78 Forumite
117 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
Hi everyone

Just got the letter from HSBC saying their business account charges are going up in September. I'm looking for a cheap alternative. Turnover under 20kpa, most deposits are by cheque and I tend to manage the outgoings by internet payments. Any recommendations?
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Replies

  • InsideInsuranceInsideInsurance Forumite
    22.5K posts
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    How many cheques a month do you get? I personally use HSBC Direct and so no monthly fee and all internet transactions (exc international) are free but its only 5 cheques a month over the counter and then $1 a chq after that so may not be suitable if you do a fair amount of counter services
  • edited 28 June 2013 at 2:15PM
    WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K posts
    edited 28 June 2013 at 2:15PM
    mf78 wrote: »
    Hi everyone

    Just got the letter from HSBC saying their business account charges are going up in September. I'm looking for a cheap alternative. Turnover under 20kpa, most deposits are by cheque and I tend to manage the outgoings by internet payments. Any recommendations?

    RBS Business Banking Direct appears a comparative service to the HSBC one you currently have ... and no fees as far as I can see (for usual day to day banking)

    Edit: Cash in/out through branch is charged at £2 per £100 which is less than the 2.5% you would be currently be charged by HSBC (but more than the 1% you will be charged from September) ... but you never mentioned you used this service :)
  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K posts
    How many cheques a month do you get? I personally use HSBC Direct and so no monthly fee and all internet transactions (exc international) are free but its only 5 cheques a month over the counter and then $1 a chq after that so may not be suitable if you do a fair amount of counter services

    Be prepared for £5.50 per month charge, and 80p per cheque in charge wef September!
  • mf78mf78 Forumite
    117 posts
    I may be limited in choice as we only have 3 or 4 banks still operating in our local town - Barclays, HSBC, possibly a Natwest (though I have a suspicion its closed) and a Yorkshire Bank. I think I'll have to go and have a chat with some of the business managers and see what they'll do for me.

    Its quite a change from HSBC. Before all I was paying for was per cheque above 5 per month. Cash was already being paid into a separate account to avoid charges (as setup by their previous business manager). They are also touting a "Small Business Tarif" that they claim is more suitable if you prefer to bank by cash and cheque - well that's true as long as you don't have any direct debits or bill payments at all!

    Atleast they have given us a bit of warning to make other arrangements.
  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K posts
    mf78 wrote: »
    I may be limited in choice as we only have 3 or 4 banks still operating in our local town - Barclays, HSBC, possibly a Natwest (though I have a suspicion its closed) and a Yorkshire Bank. I think I'll have to go and have a chat with some of the business managers and see what they'll do for me.

    Its quite a change from HSBC. Before all I was paying for was per cheque above 5 per month. Cash was already being paid into a separate account to avoid charges (as setup by their previous business manager). They are also touting a "Small Business Tarif" that they claim is more suitable if you prefer to bank by cash and cheque - well that's true as long as you don't have any direct debits or bill payments at all!

    Atleast they have given us a bit of warning to make other arrangements.

    Well that does kind of limit your choice if you want a local branch.
    The RBS account I mentioned is designed for those who don't have a local branch nor want hassle from their 'Business Relationship Manager'. It allows operation by post.

    Barclays will probably offer you a year or 2 free banking to entice you ... but then expect similar charges to HSBC to kick in.
  • rubble2rubble2 Forumite
    355 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
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    I got this letter informing me of increases to charges as well. I found that by switching to the 'Electronic Banking Tariff' as suggested in the letter I will actually be paying lower charges than at present (try to get all your customers to pay electronically rather than by cheque).

    I also found that I had been paying £6.00 per month for a 'Business International payment' facility - this was something that was included foc when I opened the account but which they started charging for in May 2012 - my fault I should have checked the charges more carefully , I have stopped that with immediate effect so all in all I should be a bit better off
  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K posts
    rubble2 wrote: »
    I got this letter informing me of increases to charges as well. I found that by switching to the 'Electronic Banking Tariff' as suggested in the letter I will actually be paying lower charges than at present (try to get all your customers to pay electronically rather than by cheque).

    I also found that I had been paying £6.00 per month for a 'Business International payment' facility - this was something that was included foc when I opened the account but which they started charging for in May 2012 - my fault I should have checked the charges more carefully , I have stopped that with immediate effect so all in all I should be a bit better off

    I'm a bit confused by your post. Could you explain further please?

    Do you currently have an HSBC Business Direct Account?
    If so, there will be no switching, it is just being renamed to the Electronic Banking Tariff. Plus they are changing the fees and adding lots of new ones.

    I'm not sure how you will be saving money unless you are not currently using the HSBC Business Direct Account for what it was designed. In that case you would probably be better off on their small business tariff both today and in the future.
  • edited 28 June 2013 at 7:15PM
    AtidiAtidi Forumite
    943 posts
    edited 28 June 2013 at 7:15PM
    Wywth wrote: »
    RBS Business Banking Direct appears a comparative service to the HSBC one you currently have ... and no fees as far as I can see (for usual day to day banking)

    Edit: Cash in/out through branch is charged at £2 per £100 which is less than the 2.5% you would be currently be charged by HSBC (but more than the 1% you will be charged from September) ... but you never mentioned you used this service :)

    I liked that RBS suggestion, Wywth, so I thought I'd give them a try.
    Although it's essentially an online account, you cannot apply online, so I thought I'd give them a call if only to obtain an application form I could fill in and take along with me to a local branch together with the required documents.

    Unfortunately it was not a pleasant experience :(

    First time I called I ended up in a queue, and seem to have got lost in it somehow. After 5 minutes, I left the phone to return about 30 minutes later to find I was still in the queue!

    So I gave up and tried calling back about an hour later
    This time I soon got through to someone and explained I might be interested in moving my business banking to them, in particular to their Business Banking Direct.

    First of all she asked if I was interested in RBS or NatWest as apparently she said she handled both. I said RBS as I had not read about the NatWest offering.

    Then she wanted to know if I was moving from an existing RBS or Natwest business account. I said no.

    So she wanted to know why I was wanting to move my bank account.
    So I came clean and explained I currently have an HSBC account, and that they have just announced big price changes in their tariff.

    Next she oddly said to me that her division were going to be sold off very soon, within the next 2-3 years but was not permitted to say to whom. I asked if she meant RBS or NatWest. She said neither, just the direct business arm.

    I hesitated and said if they were going to be sold to HSBC anyway, what was the point in moving. Thinking further, I asked if she could perhaps send me an application form anyway, so that if I do decide to go ahead, I could complete it and take it to the local branch.

    Then she said she could do that for me, but she needed some information and that would take 30-45 minutes! :eek:

    I asked what sort of information, other than my name and address, did she need to send me an application form. She said she would first need to run through some statements that I would need to agree on the phone. I asked if she could not simply me send me those in the post too, so that I could read them and digest them at my leisure and, if I agreed, I could call her back with my agreement.

    She said no. I had to listen to them on the phone and agree to them. If I didn't agree to the verbal statements, she could not progress. I politely explained I would not be agreeing to anything given verbally over the phone. She said it was a mandatory requirement just to send me an application form.
    I politely declined, said I needed more time to think things over and left it at that. I thought if that is the way they treat someone asking to became a customer, I wondered how they would treat me if I ever agreed to bank with them.

    I'm now tempted to try Metro Bank. I don't really need branch access, but you need to go to a branch to open an account, and so far their 40 branches are in and around London only. They are hoping for 400 branches by 2020, so they must be expanding to other locations soon, but in the meantime, I do make the odd trip down to London anyway. The only other disadvantage is they require a minimum £2k balance to be maintained after the first year (else they will charge £15 a month) but I could live with that.

    I'll check them out anyway next time I'm down London way - they can't be any worse than RBS.
  • phill99phill99 Forumite
    9.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    Santander have a business account with as ingle £7.50 a month charge that overs everything. No additional fees for cheque/cash deposits or withdrawal etc. it's a postal account and you can pay cheques in via freepost envelopes or via their card machines. Cash is paid in via their cash machines. You can do Internet banking to do payments etc or you can call a UK call centre. Have been with them 10 years now and very pleased.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K posts
    phill99 wrote: »
    Santander have a business account with as ingle £7.50 a month charge that overs everything. No additional fees for cheque/cash deposits or withdrawal etc. it's a postal account and you can pay cheques in via freepost envelopes or via their card machines. Cash is paid in via their cash machines. You can do Internet banking to do payments etc or you can call a UK call centre. Have been with them 10 years now and very pleased.

    Are you sure? According to their website, Santander only started in the UK in November 2004.
    http://www.aboutsantander.co.uk/about-us/history.aspx
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