• 18 business current account providers now need the same basic set of information from customers
  • New online guide launched to help small businesses opening or switching accounts
What is happening

Small business owners preparing to open or switch to a new business current account can now do so more easily, as account providers now require the same basic set of information from new customers.

The streamlined checklist is included in a new online guide launched by UK Finance, providing the essential details and documents that most businesses will need to open an account, so those applying can be ready for their first bank meeting.

UK Finance has worked with business bank account providers to agree the basic set of information that each bank needs from new customers to help them open or to switch a business current account.

Any small businesses wanting to open or to switch a UK business current account can now search ‘Business Account Checklist’ on their chosen bank’s website to access the guide or find it on  the UK Finance site here.

Why this is happening

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) identified that the account opening process was a barrier to switching for some small and medium-sized businesses in its investigation into the retail banking market. To address this issue, UK Finance developed the new online guide which helps to standardise and simplify the information required to open or switch to a new business current account, in association with business 18 bank account providers operating in the UK.

How this will help small businesses

The new guide is not part of the application process but is a checklist to help customers prepare themselves to open a business current account. While it contains the essential questions that all banks will most likely ask, the chosen bank may ask for more information, either for regulatory purposes or if customers need other products and services (such as an overdraft).

What types of businesses this will help

The guide will be most helpful to new or existing business that:

  1. Have a turnover of less than £6.5 million per year;
  2. Have a straightforward and clearly defined ownership structure; and
  3. Are based and operate in the UK.
Which banks are involved

The 18 business current account providers are:

Allied Irish Bank (GB) Lloyds Bank
Bank of Ireland Metro Bank
Bank of Scotland NatWest
Barclays Bank Royal Bank of Scotland
Clydesdale Bank Santander UK and Cater Allen
Danske Bank The Co-operative Bank
First Trust Bank TSB Bank
Handelsbanken Ulster Bank
HSBC UK Yorkshire Bank