HSBC Business Account: Your Full Guide 2024

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
21 December 2022

HSBC is a huge global banking brand, with a wide range of services across the UK and in many other countries. If you’re looking for business banking products and services, and you want a bank with a physical presence in high street locations up and down the UK, HSBC may seem like an obvious choice.

The range of business accounts available from HSBC is pretty staggering, from current accounts for startups, to complex financial products for international corporations, with a broad range of ways to transact in foreign currencies, send money overseas, and more.

This guide touches on some of the most popular HSBC business account options for smaller businesses and startups, particularly those with global ambitions. We’ll also look at a few alternatives like Wise and Monzo in case a traditional bank isn’t right for you.

Read more about alternatives

Key Points

  • Trusted global brand - Safe, regulated, and with a physical presence in the UK and many other countries

  • Huge product range - HSBC has accounts and products for all business types

  • Business services - From linked credit and debit cards, insurance, loans and more

  • International payments - Send money easily overseas in the SEPA area or with Priority Global Payments

  • Foreign currency accounts - Choose from 4 different types of foreign currency accounts, in pretty much all tradable currencies

HSBC business pros:

  • Get all the business services and support you need from one provider

  • Huge bank with an international presence

  • Accounts and services for businesses of all sizes

HSBC business cons:

  • Traditional banks don’t always offer the lowest fees or the most flexible products

  • Not all services will be available to all business types

  • Smaller businesses may not be able to access all foreign currency account options, and foreign currency accounts are likely to have extra monthly fees

Overall: HSBC is huge, fully regulated and trusted in the UK and internationally. If you need a bank with a physical branch network - because you prefer a face to face service, or need to deposit cash for example - HSBC might be a good bet. However, on the whole, traditional banks like HSBC don’t offer the lowest option on fees, and may not offer as many specialist features as some modern alternatives do.

What is HSBC for business?

HSBC is a familiar name in banking, and offers business banking services for startups, small businesses, corporate customers and more. Pretty much any business banking service you can think of will be available, from loans and insurance to payment options and business development support. However, not all services will be available to all customer and business types - and the fees may not be the most attractive out there.

HSBC business accounts/plans

HSBC has a broad range of business bank accounts and services, with customers divided according to the business type and size. There’s more on the exact definitions of different customer types next - first here’s an overview of some of the features of the key HSBC business accounts for small and medium sized enterprises:

FeaturesSmall business banking accountBusiness banking accountCharitable banking account
Monthly account fee8 GBP10 GBP5 GBP
Electronic transfers to your accountFreeFreeFree
Cash and cheque deposits to your accountExact fees can vary based on deposit type - 1.5 GBP + 1.5% for cash deposits, for exampleExact fees can vary based on deposit type - 1.5 GBP + 1.5% for cash deposits, for exampleExact fees can vary based on deposit type - 0.4 GBP + 0.4% for cash deposits, for example
Internal transfers between HSBC accountsFreeFreeFree
International paymentsFees from 17 GBP + an exchange rate markupFees from 17 GBP + an exchange rate markupFees from 17 GBP + an exchange rate markup

Who is it for?

HSBC offers different account options and services for the following customer groups:

  • Small business banking customers - borrowing needs of up to 100,000 GBP, no relationship manager required

  • Business banking customers - SMEs with transactional and funding needs over 100,00 GBP/year, provided with a relationship manager

  • Corporate banking customers - annual turnover of above 10 million GBP is usually required

  • Charitable banking customers - qualifying charities which fall under either small business or business banking needs

Where is it available?

HSBC has a presence in a broad range of countries around the world. In this guide we’re looking primarily at UK accounts, which are designed for businesses registered here in the UK. For more, check out the HSBC global website in your home country.

HSBC Business Account Main Features

Let’s walk through some of the key features of HSBC business accounts, and how they work.

Cash and cheque deposits

One good reason to look for a business banking account from a traditional bank is if you’re transacting in cash and need to deposit cash or cheques to your account regularly. This service is available from HSBC, but the fees to deposit money can be fairly high - 1.5 GBP + 1.5% for cash deposits, for example.

Business loans, credit and support

Another strong point of HSBC is that it could be a one stop shop for all the financial needs your business has - from loans and credit to ideas about ways to grow the business in future. HSBC business banking customers with more established businesses benefit from a relationship manager who can help you optimise your finances and get the support you need to grow.

International payments

Once your business is up and running, you may find you need to send one off or recurring payments overseas. HSBC offers 2 different payment types - SEPA transfer within the SEPA euro area, and global transfers to other countries and currencies. Fees and exchange rates for these services can vary and may include exchange rate markups and third party fees - you’ll need to double check the details for your specific transfer before you get started.

Foreign currency accounts

HSBC business customers may be able to open one of 4 different types of foreign currency accounts:

  • Current accounts

  • Instant access savings account

  • Fixed term savings account

  • Local accounts in an overseas market

Exactly what’s available - including the features and fees offered - may depend on the size of your business. If you can’t get the international account services you need from HSBC - or if you just want to compare some alternatives - we have some different providers coming up which may be worth checking out to see if you can get a better deal.

Is HSBC regulated and safe to use?

Yes. HSBC is a large and trusted bank which is overseen by regulators like the FCA in the UK and a range of other authorities in other countries.

HSBC Business Account fees and exchange rates

The fees you pay - and the exchange rates available when you transact internationally with HSBC - may depend on the account type you hold. Let’s walk through some of the key charges you’ll want to know about for SMEs and charities.

Account Fees

All new HSBC business customers get a period of free business banking before the full range of account fees and transaction charges start to apply. Once you’re paying account fees, there’s a monthly cost of 5 GBP - 10 GBP depending on your account type, plus transaction charges for things like depositing cash or cheques and making withdrawals.

If you’re using a card to make ATM withdrawals for your business you’ll pay 0.25 GBP per withdrawal + 0.6% of the withdrawal value for example. Charity account fees are slightly lower, with just a 0.4% fee to pay.

Transfer Fees

Most HSBC business electronic transfers are fee free - but there are a few notable exceptions:

  • Sending a CHAPS payment will cost 17 GBP - 40 GBP depending on how you arrange it

  • Business customers pay 15 GBP for bill payments which are in a branch, by post or phone

  • You’ll pay a fee of 0.4 GBP for charities and 1 GBP for businesses for every cheque you write from your account

  • HSBC Kinetic (Small business banking) customers will pay fees starting at 17 GBP for international transfers - fees may vary for other account types

HSBC Exchange Rates

While HSBC does offer international payments in pretty much all tradable currencies, you’ll need to talk to a member of the HSBC team to understand the exchange rate you’ll be offered to arrange your payment. It’s worth comparing the HSBC exchange rate against a few other providers to make sure you’re getting the best available deal. We have a few to suggest, coming up later.

Some business customers can make payments online through HSBC’s business internet banking service, and there’s also dedicated phone support when you need it.

Supported Currencies

HSBC has international payments and a range of different account types in pretty much all tradable currencies. However, exactly what services and products you can access may depend on your business type. Check out the details with your HSBC relationship manager or in the internet banking service.

How to open a HSBC business account online

If you’re a small business owner you may be able to open an HSBC Kinetic account - the account type recommended for sole traders and many small businesses - online or in the HSBC app.

If you have borrowing needs of 100,000 GBP or less you can apply online or in-app. If you have a larger business with a turnover of 2 million a year or more, you’ll need to start a live chat with HSBC through their website, call the bank, or visit a branch to get started.

Documents needed to open a business account

HSBC small business customers are likely to need the following to apply for an account:

  • Full business address

  • Business contact details

  • Companies House registration number (for limited companies and partnerships)

  • Estimated business turnover

  • Personal, contact and financial details of the business owner, plus any partners or directors

Verification Process

In some cases HSBC can complete verification online with no further documents needed. If that’s not possible you’ll need to either upload or present in person a proof of ID and a proof of address.

How to Use HSBC for Business?

HSBC business customers may be able to use the HSBC business banking app or online banking service, as well as having access to phone support and a branch network in the UK. Exactly what is available for you may depend on the account type you hold, and the transaction you want to arrange. It’s also worth remembering that in branch and phone services are usually more expensive than anything set up online or through the HSBC app.

How long does it take to make a transfer?

The length of time it takes to send a payment with HSBC business will vary based on the country you’re sending to, the recipient’s own bank’s processes, and the value of the payment.

While some local payments can arrive relatively fast, international transfers may take a few days. If you’re sending a SEPA transfer the money could arrive the day after it’s debited from your account. Priority global payments are available for other countries, but regular SWIFT transfers from traditional banks may take 3 - 5 working days to settle.

Alternatives to HSBC Business

If you’re looking for a way to manage your business finances online or using an app, you may find you can get a better service with lower costs from an alternative provider or neobank. Here are a couple of popular options in the UK which are worth considering.

Wise Business

Hold and exchange 50+ currencies with the mid-market exchange rate and send payments to 80+ countries.

Get linked debit cards for you and your team members, and grant access and user permissions to your team so everyone has the tools they need to get their job done.

Get your Wise Business Account


Monzo is a fully regulated UK bank which offers online accounts for business customers. You can choose a free account or pay 5 GBP/month for more features and services. Even with the free account plan you can get a linked debit card, full UK banking details, instant UK transfers and outward international payments.


Open an account online for free, to get local bank details for several major currencies including GBP, EUR and USD. Get paid through payment gateways, marketplaces, and from customers, and use your funds to pay contractors or for withdrawals via an ATM.


HSBC has a good range of business bank accounts and services. If you need a traditional bank with a branch network, HSBC may be a good choice. However, the fees for some transactions can be on the high side, and all accounts have monthly maintenance charges to cover too. If you don’t usually transact in person and don’t need to physically deposit cash or cheques to your account, alternatives like Wise or Monzo may be cheaper with more flexibility.


Is HSBC a good business account?

HSBC has a range of business bank accounts for small businesses, sole traders and corporate customers. Whether they’re right for you will depend on the services you need and the type of business you run.

Can I use HSBC as a business bank account?

HSBC offers specific business accounts and services for all business types, which you can use to keep your company finances separate from your personal money.

How much does it cost to open a HSBC business account?

Most HSBC business accounts have a free banking period - but after that fees of 5 GBP - 8 GBP a month apply to most customers, plus transaction fees.

How can I withdraw money from my HSBC business account?

Withdraw from your HSBC business account using the linked debit card, or in a branch.

Can I transfer money from HSBC business account to personal account?

The types of payment you can make from your HSBC business account will depend on the specific account type. Ask your relationship manager if you’re unsure.