Santander Reinstates Free Business Accounts for Existing Customers

Posted on 11 September, 2012 by MOVEHUT

In August, Movehut reported that Santander had announced that it was revoking its ‘free forever’ business bank accounts later this year. But due to receiving a mass uproar from its customers, the bank has decided to reinstate its original terms.

The ‘free forever’ business bank accounts, will now be ‘free forever’ as businesses that originally took out the bank account thought they were. The 230,000 customers that were affected would have had to pay between £7.50 and £12.50 for the use of the bank account that they were already using. This may not sound a lot, but for a small business, struggling to pay rent on a commercial property, the charges could have been crippling.

Speaking of the decision to reinstate the free account, a spokesperson for the bank said: “After listening to feedback from our existing customers, a small number of whom do not feel their businesses would benefit from these changes, we will be retaining the fee-free option for existing customers.”

It is thought that the reason Santander retracted its decision to charge existing customers was the fact that every affected customer (230,000 of them) could have complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which would have cost the bank £500 for each complaint. If every business account holder had raised a complaint, the bank would have been looking at a £115 million bill.

The free business accounts are only available to existing customers and offer very little in terms of support from the bank.

“Our free offer allowed no access to branches or additional support for business customers,” a spokesperson said.

But for a fee, new and existing customers can take advantage of, “local business support; more transparency; more competitive and fixed costs; more interest on their current account and easy access to funding for their businesses.”

Are you a Santander business customer? Were you prepared to take the bank to court over charges to your account? Or were you happy to pay them, to receive extra services?

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