Small Businesses Urged to Stop Being Bullied by Banks

UK’s only Independent Banking Advisers issues 8 steps for small businesses to take command of their banking.

Somerset, United Kingdom, July 30, 2009 --( Attfield James, the UK’s only Independent Banking Advisers is urging small businesses to make banking work for them by taking control of what happens to their bank accounts using Attfield James’ 8 Step Guide to Banking Success.

Banks are raising charges and levying ever higher service fees but businesses often do not feel confident enough to challenge their banks about the rising costs. The actions of these greedy banks are causing serious financial problems for UK businesses which depend on them for credit.

Jim Willis, Director at Attfield James, comments, “Every pound small businesses save on their banking arrangements equals a pound on their profit line.

“As times have got tougher banks have been looking for other ways to raise money and are turning to their loyal customers to fill the revenue gap. Unfortunately it’s not like they are offering new and improved products and services for which they can charge a premium. More often than not they are charging more money for the same (or lower) quality of service. Name me another industry where that happens?”

The 8 Step Guide to Banking Success is the first in a series of advisories from Attfield James, designed to provide businesses with practical, easy-to-follow steps to getting a better deal from their bank. The 8 steps are:

1. Sort out any critical borrowing or overdraft facility renewals and extensions first as this is where you’ll be paying the highest charges.

2. Identify any banking relationships and service issues - ie embarrassment factors, interest errors and overcharging of charges. Point these out in writing to the bank and ask the bank to rectify them.

3. Research and identify interest paid and received and your charge tariff targets. Make sure you review these on a monthly basis.

4. Start and end your negotiations by letter. Having everything in writing keeps the relationship on a business-like footing and ensures you remember everything that happened.

5. Never admit to your bank that you have no intention of changing banks. Keep this in mind as it gives you the upper hand. Banks simply do not want to lose customers.

6. Negotiate your business strengths and turn your apparent negotiating weaknesses in to strengths. Strengths may be strong cash flow, good profit history, saleable business, while weaknesses could be a need for additional borrowing facilities and a weak balance sheet.

7. Use other banks to quote for your business. Give your current bank the opportunity to match the quote and be prepared to use another provider as a second bank for part of your business.

8. Be confident. Do not accept excuses that are attributed to ‘the credit crunch’ or ‘a financial crisis’ – be positive and move on. Remember that your bank is just another supplier so don’t be afraid to treat them as one.

Tailored banking advice and off-the-peg small business banking advice is available from Attfield James. More information on the 8 steps to can be found in the Banking Marketplace and Negotiations off-the-peg guide which is available for small businesses to purchase online for £75 +VAT at

About Attfield James
Attfield James is a firm of Independent Banking Advisers. Their role over the last 15 years has been solely to give their clients advice on how best to deal with their bank - their knowledge of the market is as up-to-date as yesterday. If there is anything that concerns small and mid-size businesses about their banking arrangements then Attfield James helps by providing tailored banking advice. A successful resolution is almost always achieved without a change in bank and mostly Attfield James remains invisible when negotiating with the bank, to protect the relationship clients have with their bank.

The Small Business Banking Advice Guide gives small businesses access to the extensive knowledge of Attfield James that has traditionally been for the benefit of larger organisations - so that they too can get a better deal from their banks. It’s off-the-peg advice covering a range of topics and includes guidance on: bank negotiations, reducing bank charges, borrowing and offsetting, invoice discounting and factoring, how to make credit work harder, identifying and remediating interest calculation errors and domestic, international and electronic transactions fees - to name just a few.

Delivered as a modular report with the topics a small business needs, it is an easy-to-follow guide to getting the best out of banking relationships.

Attfield James Limited
Jim Willis, Director
01963 470031