UK microbusinesses need banking that works for them

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has responded to today’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report on retail banking. The report ordered Britain’s banks to “launch a technological revolution” to promote better competition and recommended more transparency around fees.

Adam Waters, Senior Policy Adviser, commented: "The CMA’s findings reflect what the UK’s freelancers are telling us: banks don’t cater for their needs. Many microbusiness owners are raising specific concerns about the lack of a suitable banking service and it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

“These freelancers will welcome the CMA’s call for "Open Banking", so customers can share their data with banks and ultimately find the best deal. But increased competition is just one element of and business owners want to see wider technological change.

“Two thirds (65%) of freelancers say more advanced internet and mobile banking facilities, like mobile cheque imaging or webcam banking, would help their business. A similar number (64%) said their business would benefit from linking their company account with other software they use to run their business. These freelancers contributed an enormous £109 billion to the economy in 2015 – and this figure could be even higher if banks became more innovative and made it easier to do business.

“Banks will also have to publish their maximum monthly charge for unarranged overdraft fees. Banks could go further by capping fees and making overdrafts repayable over a realistic period of time, instead of on demand, to account for fluctuating incomes.

“Innovation in banking will be spurred by more customers switching from accounts which aren’t best for them and the CMA is right to address this in its report. Freelancers need clear and simple information so they can find the best account for them.”

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