Small business owners now have more options than ever for choosing a bank and can select one which caters for their particular needs. However, notwithstanding the recent work of the Competition and Markets Authority which tried to improve competition between banks for the benefit of business owners, it still takes considerable time and effort to move bank accounts so it is important to make the right decision.
I would always advise people to start with what is important to them and work from that. In my case, the most important thing was to have the best linkage between my business and personal accounts to allow for the most efficient dividend and salary flows out and investment flows in which means my banking relationship is with HSBC, where I have held my personal accounts for thirty years.
However, if what is important to you is a banking relationship with a traditional branch presence and a branch manager with the ability to make autonomous decisions on issues such as lending, you would look to banks like Metro or Handelsbanken. Whereas, if online is important, you would perhaps look to go to one of the internet-only banks such as Starling, once they have moved from their pre-launch phase to actual operations, as they are able to invest heavily in systems and feature-rich apps.
From my perspective, what is not so important is pricing. Most small business owners do not run with large cash balances so whether accounts pay interest or not and, if so, at what rate, does not really make a significant difference.