HSBC Business Bank Accounts

Like many of the major high street banks, HSBC offers free business banking for 18 months for start-up businesses in the UK.

However, once this initial period is over, then the standard tariff of charges and fees kick in. There are still ways to get a free account after the expiration date and this review also outlines these methods.

An Overview of the HSBC Business Banking Offer

HSBC logoHSBC offers a range of banking products for business with and most expiring after 18 months. These services most benefit new businesses as all transactions are free. You also receive a Google Adwords voucher worth £75 to advertise your business services.

Here's a summary of what's available on all business accounts:

  • Up to 18 months fee-free banking.
  • Inclusive of internet and telephone banking.
  • Fee free credit card for 12 months.
  • Google Adwords voucher worth £75.
  • Apply online or over the telephone.
  • Accounts are available for start-ups and existing businesses.
  • HSBC business banking.

An Overview of the Business Direct Bank Account

Once your 18 months free banking is complete, ask to be moved over to their Business Direct Tariff. This tariff is not widely published, and businesses are never automatically transferred to take advantage of its services. This special tariff effectively offers small businesses with a low volume of monthly transactions completely free banking for automated transactions. You should check the rates for cash deposits and cheques written as these incur charges. You'll receive:

  • Fee free banking for life within limits.
  • These include automated credits, bill payments, debit card payments, internal transfers, standing orders and other automated debit payments.
  • 20 cheques included in the package per month, then £1 per cheque written.
  • No monthly fee.

HSBC Business Current Account for Small Businesses

HSBC offer their standard current account if you don't want the Business Direct Rates outlined above. The products have two distinct groups: small businesses with turnovers less than £1million and those businesses with turnovers above this amount. The small business tariff is designed to have lower costs as follows:

  • All transactions are chargeable.
  • Monthly account fee £3.15.
  • Bill payment charge 32p.
  • Cheques paid 63p.
  • Standing order 54p.
  • Branch cash in 0.53%.

Utilising the Online Services

Online account security deviceLogging into the system takes a few seconds. You'll require a username, password and a unique numerical number from your mobile security device. You can also use the optional Trusteer Rapport security software.


HSBC account home screenOnce you have entered those details, you'll be presented with your home screen. Here you can view your account balances and manage your account.

Your current account, deposit and notice accounts are all listed together with the sort code, account number and current balances.

Options include entering new transactions, viewing statements, charges, interest payments, applying for overdrafts and setting up text alerts.

You can pay beneficiaries overseas with international payments, manage any debit and credit cards linked to the account and administer pensions.

Online chat is available if you have any questions.

Current Accounts for Larger Businesses

If you're a larger business with a turnover of more than £1 million, then it's up to you to negotiate a rate structure with the bank. There is no standard tariff that's published, and it's completely flexible. HSBC can either offer a mixture of monthly fees with a number of transactions included or a tariff that has individual pricing.

Other HSBC Business Banking Services

You'll also get access to their other services with various offers available for small businesses as well. There are also special bank accounts if you run a charity, a school or college, a community or run bank accounts on behalf of clients. Foreign currency accounts are also available under their international bank account service.

More about HSBC

HSBC claims to be "the world's local bank" and has their global headquarters based in Canary Wharf in London's new financial district. They serve over 100 million customers worldwide and make most of their profits from so-called commercial banking. They have over 8,500 offices in 86 countries around the world and consistently win various banking awards.