Free Banking for Small Business

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks have announced that they are to significantly increase their support for small businesses across the UK with free banking offers for start-ups and switchers, and a new small business service.

The move will expand the services and products on offer to businesses, whose turnovers are typically less than £1million or borrowing of less than £250k, and create a real choice in the market.

The estimated 5 million small businesses in the UK are a key driver of the economy.  Collectively, they represent 35% of the turnover of all UK businesses and 55% of all business current accounts.  In addition, an estimated 400,000 new businesses start trading each year.

Local Service for Local Business

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ new small business service brings customer-focussed approach that combines innovation with the Banks’ traditional values and service-led approach: a model built on local support for local businesses.

The Banks are already on track to achieve their 2-year pledge to provide £10bn of new lending by the end of 2011.  This new move will support that target and see levels of lending to small businesses increase significantly by 2014.

Rather than eschew “the high street”, the Banks believe that many businesses will welcome the return of local, relationship-based banking that enables swift lending decisions and creates networking opportunities.  These local business managers will be supported and supplemented by online banking and telephone-based business advisors.

Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks believe that by offering alternatives to small business customers they can choose the type of banking relationship that is most appropriate for their needs.   The new Small Business Managers will concentrate on building and supporting relationships with businesses such as shopkeepers, family businesses, tradesmen, small manufacturing and engineering firms, and professionals; accountants or architects, for example.

Small Business Managers and Business Development Managers will be located in either high street branches or Financial Solutions Centres. Initial sites for the new Business Managers stretch as far north as Inverness or as far south as Exeter and Truro, and include Glasgow, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Leeds Nottingham, Liverpool, and Manchester.

Market Leading Offers

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks are also offering two “best buy” deals for small businesses.  The first is for start-up small businesses; these businesses can benefit from 24 months of free banking, giving them the opportunity to grow without the burden of day-to-day business banking fees.

The other deal is for those small businesses that are unhappy with the service they are receiving from their existing bank.  It is estimated that up to 250,000 businesses are in this position. Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks are offering a switching service plus 18 months free day-to-day business banking.

Gary Lumby, Director for Small Business, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said:

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and economy.  We’ve been listening to small businesses and have developed our business to help them develop theirs.  We see a real opportunity to offer a credible alternative; establishing local relationships to help small businesses flourish, with local knowledge and services that suit their needs; in branch, online or by phone.”

“The evidence suggests that the small business market is underserved by the ‘Big Banks’.  We see this as a great time to correct that and build on our already successful business banking approach.  Today’s move underlines our commitment to UK businesses.”

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