Understanding Business Banking Declines and Exploring Alternatives

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Searching for a business bank account following a decline? We’ve got you covered.

Have you recently faced a setback in securing a business banking account? It’s essential to recognise that each bank or building society has distinct criteria for business account applications. If your application has been declined, various factors may be at play. Let’s delve into the reasons and explore alternatives to help you navigate this situation.

Reasons for Declined Applications

Understanding why your application was rejected is the first step in finding a suitable alternative. Banks may decline applications for the following reasons:

  • Industry type considered high-risk
  • Personal or business adverse credit
  • Registered location of the company
  • Directors based overseas

Each financial institution has its unique criteria, so a rejection from one doesn’t mean all doors are closed.


Finding Alternatives

Before seeking alternatives, pinpoint the reason for the rejection. For instance, if a poor credit rating led to the decline, consider alternative banks that conduct only soft credit searches during the application process.

Exploring Alternative Costs

Concerned about increased costs with alternative business banking? While it’s a common worry, selecting a provider carefully can ensure reasonable expenses. Expect a minimum setup fee covering administration costs, monthly charges, and transaction-based costs (e.g., direct debits or standing orders).

What to Do After a Rejection

A business bank account is indispensable, and facing a rejection can be daunting. Before exploring alternatives, prepare your future applications meticulously. Gather essential documents, including ID, company registration details, director information, and specifics of any adverse credit history.

Help After Rejection:

Merchant Advice Service collaborates with partner banks to offer accounts to those declined elsewhere. Our partners can expedite the process, ensuring alternative accounts are operational within days. Consult our experts to learn more about how we can assist you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions
Can I apply for business banking with adverse credit?
Yes, alternative banks may consider your application; however, be prepared to provide detailed information about your credit history.
How long does it take to set up an alternative business account?
With our partner banks, accounts can be operational in a matter of days.
Will I have to pay more for alternative business banking?
Costs are reasonable; expect a setup fee, monthly charges, and transaction-based fees.
Can I reapply for mainstream business banking after being declined?
Yes, but take time to address the reasons for the initial rejection before reapplying.
What documents do I need to provide for a business bank account application?
Essential documents include ID, company registration details, director information, and details of any adverse credit history.
Are alternative business accounts as secure as mainstream ones?
Yes, reputable alternative providers adhere to strict security measures to protect your business finances.
Can I switch back to mainstream banking after using an alternative account?
Yes, once your financial situation improves, you can explore mainstream banking options.
Are there any restrictions on international transactions with alternative business accounts?
Some providers may have specific policies, so it’s crucial to check their terms regarding international transactions.

How Merchant Advice Service Can Help

If you’re navigating the challenges of a declined business banking application, Merchant Advice Service can be your guiding light. Our expertise and partnerships with banks specialising in alternative solutions can make the process seamless. Explore how we can assist you here.


For more advice and insights, visit our blog page!


Navigating business banking declines involves understanding the specific reasons. There are high-risk industry concerns, overseas directors, or registered company location. Preparation is key—check your credit report and ensure application forms are thorough. 


For those facing a decline, alternative banking options exist. These may include providers conducting soft credit checks, impacting your credit score less. Expect some costs, like a monthly fee, but choose wisely to avoid high expenses. Remember, using alternative services doesn’t limit future opportunities with mainstream banks. 


Services like Merchant Advice Service can offer guidance and expedited account setup. Embracing these strategies can help in securing a reliable financial foundation for your limited company.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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