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Lloyds Bank is one of the biggest UK banks and has been on the market for more than 200 years. The logo has a characteristic dark horse. The bank has prepared an offer for both small and big enterprises. Apart from basic bank accounts, they also offer loans and funds for the businesses, as well as financial advisors and experts help.
The bank has prepared different types of accounts and features depending on the size of your business. A new startup can benefit from a free initial period of Lloyds business banking to get things started. Bigger companies with a turnover of million of dollars per year can negotiate better rates and lower fees for handling their business finances through Lloyds Bank Business Account.
As an advantage acts the fact that Lloyds provides you with a variety of financial experts and business advisors. There are also guides and tools to help you run your business and manage your finances better.
They can also help you fund your business operations, as Lloyds writes:
“We offer all kinds of financial support, from business loans and hire purchase to overdrafts, invoice finance and credit cards. We approve 8 out of 10 lending applications.”
To begin with, there is a fixed fee of 6.50GBP per month for maintaining your account. All of the domestic transfers made online are free of charge. For withdrawing or depositing cash in bank’s branch, you need to pay 1GBP fee per 100GBP of your money.
The standard markup on the exchange rate for smaller businesses is set at 2%. If you regularly convert more significant amounts of money, you can negotiate individual rates for your company.
If you have customers all over the world, Lloyds can offer you Dynamic Currency Conversion. That way, your customers can pay for your company’s services and good with their currency and have it transparently exchanged with best bank rates.
Any international transfers may be subjected to the regular international transfer fees and can cost up to 30GBP plus potential markup on the exchange rate, depending on the currency pairs.
There is no information about any potential daily or monthly transfer limits. Therefore, you can assume that you will be able to easily handle large business transfers and numerous sales on a daily basis.
Compared to other banks, Lloyds' account seems quite attractive because of the low operational fees, loan opportunities, and the financial experts ready to help in handling your finances. The markup and costs of exchange rates may be quite pricey, and there are better online alternatives if you regularly deal with international customers. Your account is accessible online, so you can have control over your business finances 24/7.
The overall comments and Lloyds Bank reviews show mixed opinions on their business accounts:
“Lloyds have been very supportive through good times and bad. Great for helping manufacturing in the uk.” ~ Dandy on SmartMoneyPeople
“Had a business account with Lloyds to gain higher interest on a lump sum. There were monthly charges I was not expecting. It was very hard to communicate - call one number, wait 5 minutes, speak to an operator for a while, passed to another number, wait another 5 minutes!” ~ Anthony in his Lloyds Business Account review on SmartMoneyPeople
While the bank doesn’t offer payment gateways themselves, they can help you connect online payments and credit card transfers to your e-commerce platform through their partners and 3rd party apps. You can then easily keep track of all of the online sales and purchases and manage earned money on your bank account.
They can also help to set up cash registers and card terminals in your physical store. There are different types of machines you can order, which offer various features. There are also mobile devices to let you take your customers payments on the go and at events. They also provide dynamic currency conversion if you deal with international customers.
It’s best to visit your local branch of Lloyds Bank or contact their representatives directly to get information about the latest offers and requirements for opening an account for your company. However, you can also fill out the form online on their website.
During the registration process, apart from providing your basic information like your full name, address, scans of ID, and so on, you need to give them also your business information such as the number of employees, the field of activity, expected turnover, tax status, and sources of income. It’s also important to remember that your business needs to be registered in the UK. Otherwise, you can't benefit from all of the features and discounts for startups.
Some of the customers report that it’s rather inconvenient to set up the account online. The verification process may take a long time and the customer service is not helpful when trying to solve your account issue remotely:
“If you need a business account quick keep away!! Applied for a business account online at the beginning of December. I thought nice and easy, upload the documents and will be done in no time. How wrong I was! As of 12-Feb-more than 2 months later- still don't have an account! I can't even count how many times I called them as they kept moving the goal post and despite of every time I provided everything they asked for they came up with new things they need.” ~ writes one of the users on SmartMoneyPeople review site
Lloyds Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. It is also a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, UK Payments Administration, and the British Bankers' Association, which assures they will comply with the best banking practises available. They educate their customers on how to avoid online scams and phishing attempts.
You can reach the customer support through a phone call or set up an appointment at the bank’s branch.
Judging by the reviews and comments available online, it may be quite tough to solve your problem through customer support, and with bigger issues, it seems better to set up a meeting at the bank’s branch.
“Banking services reasonably decent, however their customer service is appalling, long waits for answers to incoming calls and never call back when they say they will, if they actually give you a time.” ~ Jamie on SmartMoneyPeople review site
Lloyds Bank has been on the market for many years and has millions of customers. Therefore, the services can be considered somewhat reliable. There is quite a significant amount of people who criticize the quality of customer service and bank’s approach towards small businesses. They claim that the bank is unhelpful and quickly adds a lot of charges. However, judging by the pricing charts and comparing the costs to other banks, Lloyds offers a rather affordable business account. You can also get a payment gateway for your online e-commerce store or set up card machines at your physical store. The exchange rate margin may be quite high, and there are better online alternatives to handle your international transfers.
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