Lloyds Bank doubles its business banking current account fees
Lloyds Bank has announced that it is increasing the fees charged for its business accounts, in some cases doubling them – a move which has angered business directors.
The bank has sent letters to its customers to explain the changes to their Business Extra and Electronic Business accounts, which are available to any company that has an annual turnover of at least £3 million.
The news has sparked outrage amongst business owners who challenge the bank’s claims that it would support businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but is now raising its charges before restrictions have been fully lifted.
Lloyds announced in their letter to business owners that the monthly fee for the Business Extra account would double from £7.50 per month to £15 in June. Anyone with an Electronic Business account won’t see theirs double but it will still rise significantly, from £12.50 per month to £20 per month.
It isn’t just monthly fees that are increasing – the amount that businesses are charged when paying in money, or withdrawing it at a branch, or when paying in cheques or using some other services will also rise, by up to 60%.
Late last year, we informed our small and medium-sized enterprise customers with a turnover above £3million of a planned change to the cost for their core banking, changes we postponed introducing in 2020 because of the pandemic and this is the first increase in two years.
The average increase is £15 a month. For any customer that may encounter difficulties we have processes in place and encourage them to get in touch.
Business owners that have spoken to the media have expressed their disappointment in the rising charges, noting how it feels like another “kick in the teeth” for businesses that have already struggled so much during the Coronavirus crisis in the UK. Owners have also criticised what they view as the hypocrisy of the bank which has a pandemic motto of ‘Helping Britain Recover’.
Damien Moore, the Conservative MP for Southport, has also commented on the news, stating that it’s concerning and should not be happening when businesses need support. He also made the comment that, during the last financial crisis, the banks were the institutes that were bailed out, and so they should be helping customers more during this one.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking has also made a statement calling for Lloyds to reverse the charges.
Lloyds will be fully aware of the difficulty some businesses have in changing banks, so they know business customers are pretty much sitting ducks for these huge increases.
The Lloyds board will justifiably face charges of profiteering from the Covid crisis, and the APPG calls on the bank to reverse this decision.