WHEN Simon Rose opened an account for his business he was promised ‘free banking forever’.
But now bank Santander has told Mr Rose they’ll be charging him to look after his money.
Mr Rose, who runs Holmfirth Fabric Mill Shop, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, is one of thousands of business owners who opened free accounts with Abbey National and Alliance and Leicester banks.
Both banks were taken over by Santander in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
But the Spanish banking giant stopped offering its free business accounts in October 2011.
Now customers like Mr Rose have been told they will be switched to accounts which cost at least £7.50 per month to run from November.
For £7.50 per month Santander customers can bank up to £1,000 but will be charged 50p for every £100 banked over the first £1,000.
The bank says that it is no longer ‘economically viable’ to offer free business accounts.
Mr Rose feels he was mis-sold the account he opened 12 years ago and has written to Santander and plans to write to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
He said: “It feels like one step forward and two steps back. I thought I had the business running OK.
“I don’t want more products. I want to stay as I am. I feel like pulling all my money out of the account and putting it under the bed.
“It’s like the banks are trying to squeeze more money out of people one way or another.
“I’ll be closing both my personal and business accounts with Santander.
“It’s just another nail in the coffin for small businesses.”
A spokesman for Santander said: “We appreciate that some will be disappointed but it is simply not viable to keep offering business customers free accounts and the services they want.
“Our business customers have told us they require more – more access to local business support, more transparency, more competitive, fixed costs, more interest on their current account and easy access to funding for their businesses.
“We have listened and we have built our new offering around this.
“The majority of our customers will see that this account is highly competitive and gives them the all-round service they demand so that they can concentrate on growing their businesses.”