OneSavingsBank plans to launch small business accounts

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OneSavingsBank hopes to offer savings accounts for small businesses early next year and is considering a move into asset finance.

The move comes as part of a larger plan to expand into underserved sectors.

The lender is aiming to provide small business accounts with similar rates to those offered on their range for retail customers, the Financial Times reported.

“At the moment, we are working on account functionality, to allow businesses to transfer money from their primary account,” said chief executive Andy Golding. “But we are not looking to enter the current account market — it’s a scale game, they cost a lot of money to run and it’s very competitive.”

OneSavingsBank is considering entering the asset finance market, which might include an acquisition if the right business and team arose, Golding added, since small businesses currently lack access to such services, a shortfall challenger banks such as OakNorth and CivilisedBank are also trying to take advantage of.

“We can give businesses decisions on loans within three weeks — much faster than the time it takes with incumbent banks, which can be up to six months,” he said.

The bank’s private equity backer JC Flowers, which owns 58.5 per cent of the bank, is rumoured to be looking to offload more stock to meet strong demand from shareholders.

The lender reported a high return on equity of 31 per cent last year.

The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating the lack of competition in the personal current account and business banking market, since so-called ‘challenger’ banks still only account for a small proportion of a sector dominated by Britain’s Big Five banks.

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