How to get a Business Bank Account when your credit is shot
February 7, 2011 9:42 AM   Subscribe

I need a UK Business Bank Account, but I have a terrible credit rating. Anyone managed to open one with a High Street Bank?

My younger self was a far less responsible being than I am today. Luckily, in most aspects, this has had little in the way of permanent repercussions.

Unfortunately one area that has been significantly dented is my credit rating. It is probably fair to say that there are small insects out there that the banks would consider a better financial prospect than myself.

Now over the years, and as time develops, I'm gradually correcting for this. I've learnt my lesson, I've paid off the worst of my debts (and am paying off the rest) and I've never walked away from any of it (or the responsibility). It's a long journey, however, that has taken over five years so far and one that will continue for some time yet.

The trouble is, I'm now in the position where I need to open a business bank account for a new Limited company I'm part of. This, so far, is proving to be impossible because although I do not want any startup finance, credit cards, or overdraft both High Street banks I've approached so far (Barclays and HSBC, the latter of which I've been banking personally with since I got my first account at the age of 14) have insisted on credit checking me personally before they'll consider opening an account for the company - in HSBC's case it didn't even apparently matter that I already had two accounts with them either.

Obviously the inevitable then happens and I fail the credit check.

So what can I do here?

Do any UK Mefites have any experience of this situation? Are there high street banks out there that offer some kind of basic service for people like me, or am I going to be forced to use some kind of online, less reliable and more expensive banking solution? If so, does anyone have any experience or recommendations for these?
posted by garius to Work & Money (4 answers total)
If it were me, I'd be having a long hard talk with my bank manager about this. What's the point of spending x years providing a track record of fiscal responsibility if some feckless robot still in short pants says no?
posted by MuffinMan at 10:32 AM on February 7, 2011

You won't escape this, because you'll be making financial decisions on the company's behalf. Even if you're a large business, if it's privately owned (eg directors are the shareholders), you and your company are effectively the same thing.

I'd agree that you need to talk with your bank manager, although less because of feckless robots in short pants (who don't have authority to make decisions anyway) and more because the banks need to manage risk, which is high for a business, and some face to face time might get you to a decision-maker who can take a real look at you, as it were.

In which case try your bank again, or try Natwest or RBS. The linked article agrees with what I've heard anecdotally.
posted by dowcrag at 10:55 AM on February 7, 2011

Best answer: Here's the Nat West Foundation Account you need.
Good luck, BTW.
posted by dowcrag at 10:56 AM on February 7, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all - going to try the Natwest account dowcrag highlighted.
posted by garius at 4:30 AM on February 9, 2011

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