Starling Bank boosts offering for business account customers

Posted: 13 January 2020 5:31 pm
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New loans, overdraft limits and cash flow tool unveiled: Free access for the first 500 to sign up.

Digital bank Starling has announced that it is extending the features available to its business and sole trader account holders.

The bank said that its new “supercharged” range of features will include unsecured loans of up to £250,000, an increase in its overdraft limits from £10,000 to £150,000, more competitive overdraft rates, and a custom-built tax and financial management Business Toolkit.

Read our review of the Starling Bank business account

The Toolkit has the ability to track invoices, monitor cash-flow, and keep track of how much tax and VAT is owed. Users can also submit VAT returns through the tool’s HMRC-compliant software.

Although Starling Bank’s business bank accounts will remain free of charge, the new Business Toolkit will cost £7 a month for sole traders and £12 a month for limited companies.

Starling Bank added that it will be operating a waiting list for the service – but that the first 500 business account holders to sign up will be offered free access to the Toolkit for five years.

Companies that have been trading for at least 18 months can also apply for the new unsecured business loans being operated by the bank, which range from £5,000 to £250,000 over a term of one to five years.

The interest rate offered will be based on an assessment of the business applying and the amount being borrowed, with a representative APR of 7% (fixed) for loans of up to £25,000.

Starling Bank has also raised its maximum overdraft limit for eligible limited companies from £10,000 to £150,000. Its flat rate of 15% EAR (variable) is being replaced with rates of 5%, 10% or 15% EAR (variable), assessed separately for each business.

The representative EAR is 10% (variable), and customers will pay an annual fee of 1.5% (with a minimum fee of £50) of any agreed overdraft limit, which is charged at the initial overdraft set-up.

Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, said: “Life as a small business owner can be a bit of a balancing act and time is often in short supply. We’ve built a range of new features in the Business Toolkit to help save entrepreneurs time and money, while at the same time cutting down on paperwork and hassle.”

She added: “Our loans and overdrafts will be particularly helpful for businesses that rely on working capital, but may have gaps in their cash flow across the month or for a period of months.”

Digital challenger bank Starling, founded in 2014, currently has more than one million customer accounts, including nearly 100,000 sole trader and business accounts.

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