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Anyone having trouble opening a business account (UK)?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by DarkTech, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. DarkTech

    DarkTech Newbie

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    I decided to form a limited company to handle all of my internet marketing work and handle the payments (mostly adsense at the moment), and expenses.

    So I incorporated my LTD, and went to the bank to open an account. Here's where it's getting annoying: They asked my what I'm doing, which is a bit hard to explain to someone who is technologically illiterate (as my banker obviously was, judging by the way she was typing on her computer). I told them I build websites to address commonly searched for topics on various niches. (Fairly honest).

    A few days later they said I was flagged as "high risk", and needed to come in and explain. They wanted me to list every website I own, with explanations, etc. I told them about a few, and one of them included a health blog. A few days later, I get a call from them asking me to explain why I'm operating a health blog if I'm an IT company. I told them I hired a doctor to write the articles, and they started asking stupid questions like "Is the name of the doctor on the site" and "How much are you paying the doctor", etc.

    I'm still waiting on them to get back to me. Has anybody else had issues like this? Am I doing something wrong? If this doesn't work out, what should I tell the next bank?
     
  2. Sunday Lunch

    Sunday Lunch Junior Member

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    Opening a bank account anywhere on the planet is becoming a pain in the arse. I recently called and asked my own bank (UK) what they would need from me for a company account and they wanted two forms of ID etc, I already have 3 account with these morons.

    Can you believe, as recently as 8 years ago I was able to walk into my branch on Fleet Street, no ID, no bank cards nothing, and on the the strength of the fact the ladies behind the counter know me I would get my money. Can you imagine that today LOL, I bet the police would be called.

    All these changes in banking requirements are US imposed stipulations, this is to combat people sheltering their money offshore and preventing terrorism. You can guarantee that people with billions are not finding it any harder to hide their money and terrorists will find a way around anything. That leaves mugs like you and me that these things really become a pain in the arse for.

    Alright I sound like Victor Meldrew, sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
     
  3. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    OP, unless you have a full written Business Plan you will find it hard to open a Business Account at one of the Big Four.

    Try a smaller bank or put together a business plan.
    The business plan can be pure bullshit but it has to look good and you will have to talk your way through it.
     
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  4. DarkTech

    DarkTech Newbie

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    Thanks mate, do you know where I can copy+paste a good business plan?
     
  5. Panther28

    Panther28 Elite Member

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    order a pay as you go debit card, one of the ones that has a sort code and bank account. take your business elsewhere.
     
  6. Sunday Lunch

    Sunday Lunch Junior Member

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    OP -

    I have seen people that will write you a business plans on oDesk.
     
  7. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    If you search google.co.uk , you should find lots.

    https://www.gov.uk/write-business-plan

    http://en.lmgtfy.com/?q=business+plan+template

    http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/nee...t/business_plans/business_plan_templates.aspx

    You should find lots of tutorials online.
    Remember make it look realistic and be ready to talk in depth about each section.
    In your profit/loss section/sheet make sure you don't show a profit straight away unless you can show real figures and back it up with evidence.

    When it is ready don't take it to your local branch but find out where your Bank has it's nearest Business Centre (usually a larger branch in a Town or City)

    You need to appear knowledgeable about your business but at the same time keep it simple.

    If you need help completing the business plan or opening an account then try to contact BusinessLink or your local chamber of commerce for help. Or do a search for small business advice and see what resources are available locally.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Link
    https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline
    http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=small+business+advice

    Good Luck
     
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  8. cocococo

    cocococo Senior Member

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    Am with lloyds bank, Since you already formed an LTD, and you have the name just head over to lloyds, if you like to bank with them.

    https://secure.form.lloydsbank.com/business/bca_apply.asp

    Also you need your name on your house (electoral name) then apply online, fill in the details, the name of your LTD. And presto it won't take more than a week before you receive account number and sort code, and probably a call for a meeting, I never got called for a meeting btw, everything was done online and received my card through the post.

    If you got called in for a meeting, and they ask what you do, just tell them you sell internet advertising services to small business.

    Goodluck
     
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  9. 4ContactUK

    4ContactUK Regular Member

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    We've tried and failed to get uk business bank account. We had a LTD company 2 years ago and successfully opened one with barclays because the actual person you went to see had the power to choose whether you got one or not and she liked our idea and passed us through. We sold the business a year ago and can we get one now that we have a new business, no! Even though we had a great record with them and that past account, the actual bank staff cannot make the decision anymore, its out of their hands. So even though we have money to give them, they basically dont want it!
    When your're a LTD company you must have a business bank account, maybe ask an accountant, they would know. Good luck!
    p.s. when i did a google search for a business account, the only ones without a credit check are prepaid cards
     
  10. trubnut

    trubnut Regular Member

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    I've come across the 'high risk' comment quite a few times, I found that choosing your words wisely when they ask about your business helps alot. I'm with Natwest at the moment.
     
  11. yensidtlaw

    yensidtlaw Power Member

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    I don't have any relevant info for opening a business account, but I just wanted to let you know that I walked into my bank (Santander) today and withdrew £4900 from my current account and my Cash ISA. I changed it to dollars, as I'm moving to the US (I'm getting married 2 weeks today... Arrrgh!).

    Anyway, nobody questioned me at all. I was expecting there to be a limit at least.
     
  12. djadstar

    djadstar Junior Member

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    Around a year a go i started a limited company and used one of the big banks for my account all i done back then was run funny picture websites and it was plain sailing. I was also only 18 at the time no business plan or anything. Things have changed i guess!

    (I'm also with natwest)
     
  13. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    The easiest place to get a uk business account is Barclays. They are also pretty good with small start up companies.

    You wont need a fully layed out business plan but you will need to go in and explain your business. Show them where you will be getting paid from and how often and why. Banks dont need hassle so you are better off explaining that you are a small online marketing company that can provide web development and design. Try and keep it simple
     
  14. seveneleven

    seveneleven Power Member

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    OP if you cant get a bank account PM me for a solution that will get you one.
     
  15. DarkTech

    DarkTech Newbie

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    Thanks for the links W130SN, I'll check them out.

    Unfortunately this is Barclays that I'm talking about. I explained it to them as simply as I could, but I can tell they don't really understand it. I think part of the problem is that I went to a faraway branch in East London because I could get a faster appointment there, and my business account manager can't speak English properly and keeps asking questions like "what is your website about?" and "why do you have more than one website?"

    If Barclays doesn't work out, I'll try Lloyds. Thanks for the tip cocococo.
     
  16. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    I have a business account with Barclays. Suprised to hear they were not much use. I suppose its down to the business manager on the day. Dont go with Lloyds they are beyond shite and I presume they will be worse now they have split the bank up. I would try Natwest next I always found they were straightforward and understood business. At your next meeting dont introduce anything like a Health blog that only complicates things, they are looking for risk free small business' with a simple explanation of what you do.
     
  17. cocococo

    cocococo Senior Member

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    Lloyds are shite? well have been with them 7 years and I can't say anything but Good with this bank, even when I get unauthorised overdraft thrice i was able to get them to remove charges without a problem.

    Had fraud charges on my account, got me refunded within 10 mins. I give lloyds for that, only downfall with them is if your going to apply for a business account with them they only give you free account for about 18 month after that you will start paying monthly.

    Or go with HSBC OP, its free banking. I can't beleive you having trouble opening an account.
     
  18. Alpha.

    Alpha. Power Member

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    Hmmm... I honestly find Barclays to be one of the easiest Banks to handle in the UK! Get yourself a cheap business plan (go to your local chamber of commerce and ask them, they usually help you with that) that says you run a consulting company, helping other companies with their IM, SEO etc... That should do the trick!

    I find the word "consultant" usually stops people asking to many things straight away. Also, visit another branch of the same bank, some offices are just run by pricks...
     
  19. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    I haven't read any of the previous replies but I'm not at all surprised why you're having issues opening a business bank account.

    You basically went unprepared. You need to be clear as to how your business works and what it does. You can obviously omit certain things that may make it sound dodgy.

    Talking about health and doctors while apparently being an IT company sounds dodgy, especially if you're unclear. It gives reason to make further questions.
     
  20. DarkTech

    DarkTech Newbie

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    Yeah I didn't really do much preparation but I had no idea they would give a shit about what I was doing. (Nobody ever asks any questions like that when I open a personal account!) I had heard about coming in with a business plan, but I thought that was for if you wanted to get "advice" from the bank.

    I'll give Barclays a few more days and if they keep asking stupid questions I'll either go to Lloyds, HSBC, or Natwest with an "IT Consultancy" business plan.

    Thanks for your advice guys, I appreciate it.