James Daley

By James Daley

When we launched Fairer Finance last month, we needed to open a bank account. It's not a decision we took lightly.

Although our banking needs are fairly basic at the moment, we wanted a bank that would offer us good service, and be flexible around how we dealt with it.

Sadly, Nationwide, who comes top in our bank account table, does not yet offer a business current account. But second in line was Metrobank, a relatively new entrant into the market, which has so far had more traction in the business banking market than it has in the personal bank account market.

With a smattering of branches around central London, they worked well for us, and are open much longer than traditional banks, which is convenient, as it's not always easy to get to the banks between 9am and 4pm - the classic bank opening hours.

Our experience so far hasn't quite been seamless. While the face to face and call centre staff have been delightful (almost every call I've had, they've signed off by wishing me "a fantastic day"), there has been a bit too much paperwork, and things moved a little slow at first in the account opening process.

Mixed blessings being Fairer Finance's bank

Metrobank may well find that being our bank is not quite as much of a coup as it first appears. It will mean that they come under even greater scrutiny than other providers. And if we don't get the service and value that we're looking for, we'll happily move on - and will let you know on this blog.

But there's also an opportunity to demonstrate that they are as good as their ratings suggest they are.

Although Nationwide, with its thousands of branches and bigger infrastructure, may have been marginally more convenient for us, we're delighted to be giving our business to a challenger bank - playing our small part in giving them the chance to be a sustainable bank, which in time provides some real competition for the big players.

Watch this space to see how we find our experience.