Finance · 4 October 2016

Small firms promised millions in savings by HSBC

Roughly 190,000 UK business customers could benefit from new HSBC tariff changes

Britain’s largest high street lender HSBC has announced changes to banking tariffs that could save small UK firms as much as £13m a year.

Around 190,000 of HSBC’s UK business customers are expected to benefit from new tariff changes, following a review from the bank’s Electronic Banking Tariff unit.

In light of an increasing number of firms opting for online technology via digital channels to become more efficient, the lender recently marked up its electronic banking tariff turnover threshold from £5000,000 to £2m.

Commenting on the announcement, HSBC’s UK head of commercial banking Ian Stuart acknowledged the changing banking needs of smaller firms. He said: “As our customers grow, naturally their focus shifts to other parts of their business.

“In some cases this means their initial product or service doesn’t meet their existing or future needs, which is why we have proactively reviewed our business tariffs to better support their growth.”

The bank has pledged to review the accounts of all small business clients every 12 months to ensure they’re on the correct tariff, and will transfer those customers who’d benefit from the change to a new rate.

The results of a recent YouGov survey supported HSBC in its decision to review electronic banking tariffs. While 41 per cent of smaller firms recorded higher revenues in the last year, as many as 45 per cent of owners were found to be unsatisfied with their banking service.

Indicating that many small businesses were operating under the wrong electronic banking tariff, 42 per cent of owners had not made efforts to change their service agreement in the last 12 months.

Stuart went on to say: “The way smaller firms bank is changing in much the same way as they do business – it’s going digital. This review will ensure we support more UK businesses as the grow and navigate a way through the post-Brexit landscape.”

NatWest looks to boost small business confidence with new £1bn fund, read more here

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.