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Plug the leak in business banking fees

4 September 2012


Plug the leak in business banking fees

CANSTAR announces Small Business Banking award.

Tough economic times mean that small business need to pay closer attention to their costs and their cashflow. In this environment business owners cannot afford to ignore even small savings in their day to day running costs. The old adage 'take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves' has never been more appropriate.

One of those areas where small business can save is with their banking fees. CANSTAR research shows that the small business operator could be saving over $400 per year by looking for a better business transaction account.

CANSTAR today released its latest report into business banking which identified monthly fees on a transaction account as one way business owners could make some savings.

“Our research found that if your business does around 120 transactions per month, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive acount was $34 per month. That’s $408 per year,” CANSTAR National Manager, Derek Bonnar said.

“That may not appear to be a lot of money but if you could save that much on a number of aspects of your business then the “pounds” will take care of themselves.”

These days business banking is done through a mix of online and branch with various payment and deposit options that range from direct debit to good, old fashioned cheques. Identifying how you transact and the current cost of your banking is the first step towards identifying if your current account is best suited to your business needs.

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Look for an account that charges no, or low, fees for the type of transactions your business uses the most and don’t be put off by the hassle of changing accounts. Banks rely on small business customers being too busy to find the time to switch.

“However you may not have to go to a new bank. You should ask your bank or small business manager if your account is the best one they can offer for your particular business needs,” Mr Bonnar said.

“Many banks offer specialist small business managers and call centres who should be more than happy to review your current banking arrangements.”

With the majority of small business concentrating on keeping their collective heads above water at the moment, CANSTAR suggests there’s never been a better time to evaluate your current business practices with a view to getting a better deal.

Comparing business banking products is complicated and is something small business has neither the idle staff nor the inclination to do. That’s why CANSTAR stepped in with an annual comparison of products and services of real value to small business.

The suite of business banking products compared and rated included 27 term loans, 80 credit cards, 21 overdrafts and 25 deposit accounts.

BNZ proved last year was no fluke when it was again named as providing the best value in the area of small business banking.

“One small business is very different from another and our research highlighted how tuned in to business needs BNZ was,” Mr Bonnar said.

“BNZ has a full suite of products and services for small business. This ranges from outstanding banking products to value added services that are as valuable as having extra staff on board.”

According to CANSTAR, BNZ’s “package” takes business banking to a whole new level. Its star attractions are its products MyMoney and TotalMoney, tailored to small business with a turnover of less than a million dollars.

MyMoney is a transaction account with unlimited transactions for a flat fee of $5 a month.

Reducing borrowing costs has been addressed by BNZ with its TotalMoney which offsets all credit balances against business loans, meaning less interest and more cash for the business.

“BNZ has also gone to the trouble of providing helpful extras. Their small business banking managers are available 7 days a week. Video conferencing hook ups are regularly used for communication and BNZ also has The Edge, a newly opened office facility in central Auckland which small business clients can use for free,” Mr Bonnar said.

CANSTAR congratulates BNZ for its dedicated focus to the small business sector.

CANSTAR’s business banking star ratings report assesses business credit cards, deposit accounts and loans covering residential and commercial lending for both term loan and overdraft categories.

It will help you make an informed choice of suitable banking products, even if it is just to see how your current bank stacks up.

The report can be downloaded on www.canstar.co.nz


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