One of the toughest issues that face the small business owner is their relationship with their bank. Bankers as a breed have never quite understood that they are suppliers in a customer/bank relationship.

The normal bank homepage facade promises humans on the other side but when you become a customer, the reality is quite different.  I write this while trying to change our company accounts over from expensive commercial online to a cheaper bulk standard online business service.

The start point suggests phoning our “relationship manager” but that was a wasted exercise.  Tony is a wonderful human being, friendly to the point of best mate but his knowledge of most things banking leaves a lot to be desired.  Although a 20 year corporate veteran, Tony has not got a clue about anything related to the internet or “online”.  His usual way is to fob you off with the telephone number of a different department.   Even after getting a phone number, virtually every time the contact given was not related to what I was after.  Why did I even bother?

Last resort; look online.  Fantastic, I found a link and a form to fill in.  As I was trying to change two business bank accounts, I filled in two forms.  Guess what?  You have to print the forms and send them to the bank by mail. Two weeks later, nothing has happened.

I phoned the bank again to follow up.  Eventually, after chatting to Tony, Kelly and Marie, I found out that you cannot have two accounts linked to one login so we will have to stay on the expensive service.

Experience tells me that as I fill in the switching forms for most new banks that it will probably be the same, but in a flush of optimism I dream of actually getting some satisfactory service from our banking brethren.