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Challenger bank aimed at SMEs launches

Challenger bank aimed at SMEs launches

A new challenger bank has launched, specialising in accounting services for small businesses.

Venture-capital-backed Countingup, which started in September 2017, has introduced a UK business current account for sole traders, freelancers and small limited companies, which also offers automatic book-keeping.

Countingup said an account can be opened on a smartphone in five minutes and customers using the banking service only can do so for free, if the monthly deposits are less than £750. An account combined with the book-keeping service costs £9.95 per month.

Tim Fouracre, founder and chief executive said: "Traditional high street banks have focused on big business and tend to neglect the 4.3 million self-employed and micro businesses in the UK. We are reimagining how small businesses manage their finances.

"With accounting and banking in one place, and anti-money laundering checks already performed, Countingup customers can view their business’ financial health in a snapshot - informing everyday spending decisions and providing everything a lender needs to make a quick and fair decision on a loan application."

He added: "We’re making the process as simple and as fast as possible so entrepreneurs can get back to doing what they love ─ running their business."

Alan Dick of Forty Two Wealth Management in Glasgow said: "Most small businesses despise banks. During the financial meltdown, most of them hung small businesses out to dry."

He added: "Small businesses have a long memory, so any challenger bank is probably pushing at an open door."