High banking charges hurt

Posted on 22 Feb 2024
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High banking charges hinder SME expansion

A study of 3,000 small business owners has found that high banking charges are a bigger obstacle to international expansion than Brexit red tape. Last year, UK small businesses lost £2.8bn to hidden fees, preventing 69% from expanding further. Business owners said they struggle to compare the market due to a "corporate opt out" that allows banks to hide their fees in the exchange rate. Wise, an international account provider, is calling on ministers to end the opt out and ban hidden fees for businesses and consumers. Two-thirds of business leaders agree that the opt out should be removed and that regulation should encourage banks to be transparent about international payment costs. Further research shows that if the cost of international banking services were reduced, 34% of SMEs would enter new markets and 27% would hire more staff.

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