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Thread: UK bank account

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    casinovegas is offline Public Member
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    Default UK bank account

    Hi guys, I'm moving from a sole trader to limited status but I'm having a nightmare trying to open a bank account. Most of the banks won't offer me an account due to it being gambling related. Any ideas?

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    JackTenSuited is offline Private Member
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    Who are you with now?
    I'm doing the exact same thing, currently have a business sole trader account with HSBC and just setup a Ltd company so was hoping to open a new account with them next week.

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    Why tell them that it's gambling? Just say "online marketing".

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    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsBets4free View Post
    Hi guys, I'm moving from a sole trader to limited status but I'm having a nightmare trying to open a bank account. Most of the banks won't offer me an account due to it being gambling related. Any ideas?
    Are you accepting bets or dealing cards/hosting games directly on your site? If not, are you a media company or a gambling company?

    "Online media", "online advertising", "online marketing", etc. - not "online gambling" or "gambling related"

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    lowrisk is offline Private Member
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    Onling Gambling and Gaming affiliation is a taboo subject, because there is so much money laundering going on. Tell them you're an internet marketer

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    casinovegas is offline Public Member
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    Good in principle but I don't want to lie and when they ask for a business plan, business proof (websites etc) I would look a fool to then say ehh well in fact I lied and it is gambling. My sole trader account is with Barclays but they won't open an affiliate account under a ltd company. I'm trying Lloyds but they are very slow. With the country being the way it is they should be jumping for your business, bot me chasing them.

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    salsero is offline Private Member
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    I have the same problem. I'd like to open a business bank account for my limited company. My websites are connected with sports betting (statistics, tools, odds comparison). I do not accept bets or host any games directly on my websites. I went to Barclays, but there was a problem - they have to check whether or not they can open a bank account for my company. I'm still waiting for their call.

    Of course, I could told them, I'm just doing "online marketing", but they wanted to see my website address. I didn't have any other website, not connected with sports betting, so it was impossible. However, maybe it's a good idea, to create one simple website about e.g. SEO, and this website provide to a bank manager. What do you think about that? What will happen, when a bank notice, than my business is different from what I told them?

    Anyway, I'd be great to here from your guys, which banks are more friendly to our industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsBets4free View Post
    Good in principle but I don't want to lie and when they ask for a business plan, business proof (websites etc) I would look a fool to then say ehh well in fact I lied and it is gambling. My sole trader account is with Barclays but they won't open an affiliate account under a ltd company. I'm trying Lloyds but they are very slow. With the country being the way it is they should be jumping for your business, bot me chasing them.
    Unless you are asking for credit terms, they shouldn't ask you for a business plan. I used to do some small time affiliate sites as part of another business and Barclays told me to remove any links to gambling websites from my company's website for them to process the application. I found that they were by far the most efficient bank at responding and actually getting the account open, rather than picking holes though. Most of the banks didn't seem to understand the concept and it's probably not worth the risk for the account manager to process anything that could result in awkward questions from their boss - Santander even asked for a copy of my Gaming Licence.
    Head of Affiliates at Digital Fuel

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    Had exactly the same problem with a couple of major banks, including HSBC who I've banked with for over 30 years.

    In the end, a rep from Lloyds TSB took the time to call and ask about the nature of the business and realised that it's not gambling, but marketing.

    Was completely honest about the revenue stream, but very clear that we don't accept payments or bets. To be fair, the rep couldn't believe that you could make money that way(!) but was happy to accept that we have.

    As I told them, if it WAS gambling, I wouldn't be so concerned about having a separate bank account as it wouldn't be earned revenue. We have to pay tax because it's NOT gambling and banks should see it the same way.

    Good luck!
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    casinovegas is offline Public Member
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    Cheers guys, Im going to persist with Lloyds I think

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    Would be interested to hear how you get on. I'm going to apply for a HSBC account mon/tues so may need a backup if they don't approve me

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    You are not telling a lie by saying it is marketing, because that is precisely what it is. I have classified my limited company as an "advertising agency" in the company house classifications. That is not a lie. That is what I do - promote and advertise companies (most of which happen to be legal and licensed betting companies).

    If they ask (because they have seen your websites) then tell them you promote betting companies but you are 'not an operator' and 'do not take bets' and so you 'do not need to be licensed'. You simply write reviews of betting companies - you are not a betting company. You are a marketing company.

    I have even resorted on occasion to saying that 'newspapers may review a betting company. That does not make the newspaper a betting company. I am that newspaper.' That was when trying to advertise somewhere and they wanted to 'see my licence!'

    Banks hate anything to do with USA and betting (for obvious and understandable reasons). If you have got into the conversation then tell them you only promote companies that are UK or White List licensed.

    I have not had a problem opening two bank accounts for my company, however I always described the company as a marketing company. There is certainly an unbelievable level of pure ignorance out there in general with "jobs worth" types (ie: 99% of all employees).

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    I'm through part of Lloyds as well and didn't have any problems opening my account. Told them exactly what I did and once I'd explained I wasn't taking bets, etc, they were fine about it.

    There really is no reason for any bank to refuse to open an account for you. It's nonsense and if it were me, I'd contact head office of the bank I wanted to open an account with. I suspect they would allow it once they understood what it is we do.

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    @deanimus Let us know, how did it go. I'm probably also go to HSBC soon.

    The biggest problem is that banks hardly ever understand our business.

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    Same thing happened to us, soon as online gambling was mentioned the bank did not like it. After making them realise we were purely advertising and online marketing they proceeded to open our business bank account, which is with HSBC. Apart from receiving hardly any interest, they have been fine

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    JackTenSuited is offline Private Member
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    After waiting a week for an appointment HSBC refused to open me an account, claiming they don't want anything to do with gambling, even suggesting what we do is illegal, eventually he agreed that although it may be legal HSBC don't want to tarnish their brand by being associated with "Gambling, Adult Entertainment and Guns"
    Anyone have any suggestions where else to try?

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    I have a business account or two with Lloyds. No problems with getting the account - I registered a company name that didn't include any mention of betting or gambling and when they asked, I told them I was a blogger and online publisher. As I wasn't asking for a loan or credit card, they didn't enquire further.

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    salsero is offline Private Member
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    I have been at HSBC branch last week and they also refused to open a bank account for my company. They don't want to deal with companies connected in any way (even indirectly) with sports betting. I have made a mistake by telling them what I really do. I think it's better to deal with it as tryme did - tell them something else or or tell about just a small part of your business, not connected with betting/gambling in any way.

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    Hi Andy,

    Good to hear there are some bankers fully understanding our industry.

    Do you mind providing me with the contact details of this rep so I can speak to him/her directly.

    Thank you!

    Regards
    Gavin

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    Hi,

    I am in the same nightmare. I was holding a business account with HSBC for nearly 2 years, all fine. I made the mistake of asking for a Euro account and in the review I mentioned we do marketing for gambling. After one month of unexplicable silence they sent us notice of termination and won't even discuss the matter.

    If somebody could in private send a contact of somebody able to help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

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