Niall’s virtual diary archives – Sunday 16th December 2018

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Sunday 16th December 2018: 11.37pm. Link shared: https://www.fire.com/services/

Received a letter today from Ulster Bank informing me that my business account's maintenance fee is to be trebled next year. Fuckers. I hand them over a hundred euro a year in fees as it is. That's going to rise by a fair bit next year now. And what do I get for my hundred euro a year? Certainly not value for money. I do a few bank transfers a month, everything is online, and they get to retain significant amounts of money (to me at least) between VAT payment deadlines on which they earn interest, yet they pay me none of that. And they still have the cheek to charge me fees at all, and then to treble those? Fuck you Ulster Bank.

Unfortunately, none of the three other major Irish banks are any better, and in fact are worse. They've all been doubling or trebling their fees in fact. I guess it's our buoyant economy growing at ~7% per annum, they think they can get away with it, so all four are milking the cow strangely all doing so at the same time time. There's no cartel there my ass. Yet no action will occur from the government, as usual. They'll fleece everybody without nothing to stop them, as banks always do.

There is, at least, some competition this economic cycle, for once. There are the pan-eurozone challenger banks Revolut and N26 which operate online only banking across the eurozone. Revolut may be free for individuals, but charges £25/month for business accounts, which is far worse than Ulster Bank. N26 doesn't do limited company business accounts.

Out of eurozone and not UK challengers, that leaves me with fire.com, who interestingly are actually Irish, but they are not a bank, but more like a bank-like Paypal complete with IBAN numbers, debit cards etc but without the deposit guarantee. This being the EU, you get instead ring fenced tier one deposit backing, which means you'll probably get back some majority of your money if they go bust, depending on whether they went bust from fraud (potentially zero recovery) or ordinary business failure (probably > 80% recovery). That isn't ideal, but I'm not seeing much better out there from google searching. If Brexit wasn't happening, then I could do much better, but excluding Britain leaves a paucity of choice for limited company capable business accounts.

The real issue is the VAT payments, as generally my business bank account gets emptied as soon as possible apart from the VAT which accumulates over six months. VAT payments are around 10k, so the average is 5k per six months. So do I risk up to 5k in exchange for dropping banking fees to zero, in the (probably) unlikely scenario that http://fire.com folds?

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