An ode to diversity

You and I. Or is it a mirror? Imagine we look the same, we think the same, we talk the same way, we like the same things, and we both hate cucumbers. There is power and beauty in differences…


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What I Considered When I Open a Bank Account for My Startup

Should you go for a traditional bank or one of new offerings?

To operate a business, you would need to have a bank account these days, as you won’t be using cash all the time. What are the choices out there?


These banks have a long history of over 100 years (e.g. HSBC was founded in 1865, Barclays was found in 1690). They have physical branches on the high steet, if you like the face-to-face interaction.


Usually they give 12 or 18 months free business banking at the beginning, but after that monthly charges start. Apart from that, other services are often more expensive than the challenger banks below.

Secondly, account opening procedure can be complex. It took me more than an hour at one of these banks (I won’t name it here) and they called me a week later saying they lost one of my documents…

They are a number of new app-only challenger banks in the UK. They can be divided into two groups: those with an actual banking license and those with other licenses (e-money licence and credit broker license).


Account opening procedure is very simple. A lot of it is via their mobile app, although you might have to send them some documents. You can have an account in minutes, rather than days or weeks.

Some work on a freemium model and premium features are competitively priced compare to high street banks. Some banks provide multiple currency account or provide the ability to deal with payments in foreign currency at competitive rates and/ or zero fees. For some situations, you might actually want to use a combination of services to get the best rate or the currency involved, such as when you run a UK company but need an Euro or an US Dollar IBAN number to take in payment.

Some of these new banks are very much business customer focus. They have some good accouting features built-in, or integration with accounting systems like Xeros.


They might lack of some basic features, as they are still quite new. You need to consider which features you need and do not assume they offer all the ‘normal’ things provided by high street banks. For example, some banks cannot handle direct debits and some charge for interbank transfers when most of the others don’t. Also, there maybe charges for cash deposits and ATM withdrawls.

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