Fair point about Metro Bank - it is a shame that they do not have branches Nation-wide (although they are expanding), but still worth an initial drive to get a sensible business account, rather than a cash + (or similar) business account that does not accept cheque payments (cannot think why they have such a stupid rule).
Have also heard that Santander might also be OK for those of us needing business accounts. Got a dormant business account with them, but not using at the moment as they are also one of my creditors for my personal IVA, and concerned about them setting-off.
Going off-topic here: As for PI insurance - try Hiscox. I've got Employers/Public Liability and PI insurance with them - no problem, and they were the cheapest for me.
My opinions are just that: Based on my experience and being a self-employed IVA customer.
After initially being turned down by the Barclay's i rang the local branch and arranged a meeting with their business manager. I came away with a basic business account opened, just waiting on the card etc. But I'm also nearly 2 years post IVA, i mentioned this to him and he wasn't concerned, i don't think he had even done a search. Was only there half hour
I'm sure all the above will be helpful to those wanting a business account and looks like Metro are expanding and as others say if all else fails it would be worth a drive to come away with an account if you need one.
IVA final payment left the bank on the 26th January 2013...looking forward to a debt free future.
I have started up my own business, funnily enough to sell insurance. I got approved by the FSA to do this - I disclosed everything and they said my work experience was enough. So I am directly authorised to provide financial advice.
Therefore I thought setting up a business bank account would be a breeze - I mean, if their regulator approves me, what's the problem.
In an attempt to be sensible and realistic, I applied in branch for NatWest's Foundation Business Account which is geared towards those with adverse credit. After a laborious 1 hour meeting, all my details were sent away. I received a flat declinature from their opening team within 48 hours with no reason. When I appealed, they simply sent the usual "like all banks, we check credit reference agencies....etc" response. Garbage.
I then went my current bank - Halifax. They do not do business banking but their sister Lloyd's does. Therefore I was referred to the business team. I got an appointment in branch. I was told that because I have been with them for over 3 years no credit check was required. The business current account and savings account was opening there and then.
It amazes me the banking system in this country. I would have preferred a careful assessment of my circumstances, which is what the banking regulator did with me. Instead, one bank gave a flat "computer says no" and the other just signed me up with minimal fuss!
My advice - if you have been with the same bank for over 3 years, and they were not a creditor of the IVA, they should be your first port of call.