UPDATED July 2023: Most banks in the UK have resumed their business bank account operations following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are still some limitations and considerations for new applications.
Currently, Santander is only accepting applications for new business bank accounts from existing customers, although this policy is under review. To find out the top offers available at the moment, you can visit the article, “What are the best business bank accounts in the UK?”
As of October 2020, many banks had stopped accepting new applications for business bank accounts due to the increased demand for government-backed emergency loans like the Bounce Back Loans and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans. These banks were prioritizing the needs of their existing customers.
Here is an overview of the current status of business bank account applications for some major banks:
HSBC: HSBC closed its applications for new business bank accounts on September 30. This decision was made to focus on fulfilling existing applications for Bounce Back Loans and to provide support to customers. Applications submitted before September 30 will continue to be processed.
Metro Bank: Metro Bank temporarily paused opening new business accounts due to a surge in demand. They are currently focusing on supporting their existing customers and processing associated Bounce Back Loan applications. Metro Bank expects to reopen for new applications in the New Year.
Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland): Lloyds Bank stopped accepting applications at the start of the pandemic to prioritize their existing customers with urgent needs. They plan to reopen business bank account applications at an appropriate time.
RBS/NatWest: RBS and NatWest are not accepting new applications for business accounts at the moment. They are prioritizing existing customers in regards to government schemes.
Santander: Santander is currently not accepting new applications for Business Current Accounts but will review this position in the coming weeks. More information will be available on their website.
TSB: TSB is only accepting Business Current Account applications from existing TSB Personal Current Account customers at this time. They are focusing on supporting existing customers and will update their website when they can open accounts for new customers.
Barclays: Barclays is still accepting business current account applications but is experiencing delays due to high demand.
In terms of digital banking platforms, Revolut, Tide, Monzo, and Starling Bank continue to offer business accounts. These platforms have gained popularity, especially among millennials seeking mobile-friendly banking apps. The Direct Line survey indicates that a significant number of young people are interested in entrepreneurship, which may present an opportunity for digital platforms to gain a larger market share. However, it remains to be seen whether business customers will remain loyal to traditional high street banks or opt for digital platforms.
For easy comparison of business bank account options, you can use the Nerdwallet platform.
If you are considering a digital banking platform or want to explore the best business bank accounts for sole traders, you can refer to the recommended articles.
Overall, these updates highlight the current status of business bank account applications and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on banking operations.