UK SMEs set to save £13M a year with digital banking

HSBC has announced a review of its banking tariffs for UK business customers with a turnover of up to £2 million. The review will ensure that businesses are on the most appropriate and efficient tariff, saving SMEs across the UK over £13 million a year in charges.

The review has been driven by changes to HSBC’s Electronic Banking Tariff (EBT), which is now available to customers with a turnover of up to £2 million. The EBT tariff is designed for customers who prefer to manage their banking via digital channels, and was previously only available to businesses with a turnover of £500,000 or less.

To ensure customers take advantage of the change, HSBC is also reviewing its small business customer accounts to confirm their current tariff best suits their banking behaviour. In cases where customers would benefit from a change, HSBC will automatically move them to a new tariff. An estimated 190,000 HSBC customers are set to benefit from the revised tariff threshold and account review, with no business worse off.

HSBC’s UK Head of Commercial Banking, Ian Stuart, comments: “The way that SMEs bank is changing in much the same way as they do business – it’s going digital. We continuously speak to and listen to our customers to find ways for us to improve our Business Current Account proposition, this review will ensure that we support more UK businesses as they grow and navigate their way through the post-Brexit landscape. While this comes at a cost to the bank, we believe it’s the right thing to do for our customers.”

The tariff review is supported by new online SME research findings from YouGov which reveal that businesses across the UK are turning to digital technologies to ensure the sustainability of future growth. Forty one per cent of SMEs say that efficiencies created by digital technologies are an important part of their businesses future and 36 per cent will become more reliant on technology in the next year.

The YouGov research also revealed that while over forty per cent of SMEs have grown total revenue in the last year, almost half say that their current service suppliers have failed to support their business as their requirements change. Forty two per cent also say they have not changed their service agreements in the last year, suggesting that a significant proportion of British businesses are not operating in the most effective manner.

Stuart adds: “As our customers grow, naturally their focus shifts to other parts of their business and they don’t always have the time to prioritise reviews of existing supplier contracts. In some cases this means their initial product or service doesn’t meet their existing or future needs. We understand that business needs change over time, which is why we have proactively reviewed our business customers’ tariffs to better support their growth.”

Existing customers identified in the review will be moved to their best tariff on 12th December 2016, while start-ups or switchers with a turnover of up to £2 million can take advantage of the new Electronic Banking Tariff (EBT) now. Moving forward, HSBC will review customer accounts every 12 months to make sure they are on the best tariff for their business.