Most small firms do not have business savings account

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​LESS than a third of ​s​mall and ​m​edium-sized ​e​nterprises (SMEs) in the Yorkshire and the Humber region ha​ve​ a business savings account, according to research released by Aldermore.

The research​,​ ​en​titled ​Saving SMEs​,​ found that ​just 29 per cent have opened a savings account.​

​The main reason directors gave for not having an account was​ that their business didn’t have excess cash flow (43 per cent) and that they preferred to keep all off the business funds in the current account (28 per cent).

A fifth (20​ per cent​) of ​Yorkshire ​businesses said they would be interested in learning more about business savings accounts​ and ​28​ per cent​ believe an interest rate increase by the Bank of England would have a positive effect on their business​.

Over two thirds (69​ per cent)​ of ​businesses ​in the region ​said an interest rate increase over the coming 12 months would make ​“no difference​“​ to whether they save into a business savings account or not​.

Any increase in interest rates is likely to be a slow incremental build and economists believe that rates are ​unlikely to go above three to four per cent over the next few years.

Simon Healy, ​m​anaging ​d​irector of ​s​avings at Aldermore, said:​ “​It is concerning that only a minority of small and medium-sized businesses in the Yorkshire and the Humber region have a savings account, as surplus funds provide protection against unforeseen cash flow issues which can create real problems.​​

“It is important to ensure that any surplus funds are working as hard as business owners do.

​“​There are significant differences in the interest rates available on deposit accounts and it is important that businesses do not lose out on maximising the return they get on their hard-earned surplus funds.”

​The findings​ come from a YouGov poll of 1,005 decision makers in businesses of one to 49 employees.

Fieldwork was undertaken between August 26 and September 2. The survey was carried out online. Aldermore, which has around 40 staff in Yorkshire, is one of a group of so-called “challenger” banks aiming to break the dominance of Britain’s big five of Lloyds, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Santander UK, which together account for more than three-quarters of lending in Britain.

​​Aldermore cancelled plans for a stock market listing last month.

The bank, which was expected to be valued at about £800m, pulled plans for a flotation after a fall in stock markets sapped investor interest in new list- ings.

Earlier this month, the bank said its loan book rose 10 per cent to £4.4bn in the latest quarter.

Aldermore said that lending to customers rose 30 per cent since the start of the year.

Third-quarter profit almost matched the £18.6m Aldermore made in the first six months of the year.

Aldermore is headed up by former Barclays executive Phillip Monks.