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Business bank accounts to help you secure finance

Business bank accounts to help you secure finance

Category: Business

Updated: 11/08/2010
First Published: 11/08/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The banks have started turning a profit once again yet many small businesses are still struggling to secure the finance they need to function.

Last week, HSBC reported half year profits of £7 billion, while Barclays made £3.9 billion. The part nationalised Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland posted profits of £1.6 billion and £1.14 billion respectively.

The supposed 'bad' half of Northern Rock also somehow turned disaster into triumph with a profit of £349.7 million.

It is little wonder, then, that David Cameron has cranked up the pressure on banks to lend.

To be fair, the UK's six largest banks have agreed to set up a taskforce aimed at breaking down the barriers that businesses are having to climb to secure loans.

The taskforce intends to have its recommendations ready to present to the Chancellor in October, but exactly what it will find remains to be seen.

Their stance is that money is ready and able to be lent to businesses, but the firms do not want it.

It is an opinion not shared by the Government, or by those in business.

In the meantime, firms will have to beg, steal and borrow as best they can.

Businesses which have been turned down in their quest for finance might be well advised to take a step back and consider the reasons why they were rejected.

Banks are more likely to lend to a business if it can demonstrate an ability to meet its commitments and service debts.

While a clear plan to turn a profit is also likely to be required, cash flow will be key in the eyes of the lender too.

A well managed business bank account could also be the difference between receiving a 'yea or a nay' from lenders.

Having a business bank account which suits a firm's needs and provides a competitive rate of return should help persuade a lender their money will be in safe hands.

The Santander Business Reward Saver Account is ideal for businesses which know they require instant access to their money.

It pays a rate of 1.84% gross/AER (variable) if one withdrawal is made in the first 12 months, or 2.00% gross/AER (variable) if none are made.

These rates include a 1% gross/AER variable rate bonus for the first 12 months, while a reduced rate of 0.10% gross/AER will be paid on the full balance on the account for the month in which a withdrawal is made.

A minimum balance of £30,000 is required, but there are no monthly fees.

For firms which will not require immediate access to their funds, a rate of interest of 1.96% gross/AER is currently available through Investec's Business High 5 Account.

The account has a minimum £50,000 deposit, while three months notice is required to make a withdrawal.

Alternatively, firms which can afford to spare at least £50,000 for a minimum period of one year could achieve an interest rate of 2.50% gross/AER (fixed) with Santander's One Year Fixed Rate Business Bond.

This particular business account provides the certainty of a guaranteed interest rate on a firms' surplus cash.

However, no withdrawals or early closure of the account is allowed prior to the maturity date of 1 September 2011.

As the withdrawal restrictions attached to the Santander business bond demonstrate, knowing which type of business account best suits a firm's needs but makes their cash work hardest for them is essential.

Show the banks you can properly look after the money you have got, and they are more likely to agree to lend you the money you need to thrive in the future.

Compare Business savings accounts

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.