FAQs

Below is a helpful list of frequently asked questions which should provide you with everything you need to know about the Select Account for SMEs. If you have any further questions or would like to speak to us about your requirements please call us on 0345 155 3355.

 

Who are Unity Trust Bank?

Unity was established in 1984, operating mainly in the 'not for profit' sector in the UK but have also provided banking services to UK Small Medium Enterprises. in 2009, Unity’s retail deposit balances exceeded £1/2 billion and its asset / liability ratio was only 36% which is very low. Through 2010, the Bank’s liquidity position has remained strong. 

Do you offer a full range of banking services?

Yes, we offer a full range of day-to-day banking services which are suitable for the needs of most UK businesses and a range of other services provided through our third party partners including merchant services, commercial insurance, asset and cash flow finance etc.

How are you geared up to understand my business?

We already bank a large number of SMEs and organisations with a clear business focus and we have a team of dedicated staff with wide experience within the UK economy available to service your banking and business needs.

What makes you better or different than the high street banks?

A Select Account from Unity Trust can save you time, money and hassle; time – calls are always answered by an adviser, not a machine, and 80% of calls are answered in less than 10 seconds; money – there’s the potential to save hundreds of pounds in benefits; and hassle – accounts can be open and ready to use in 10 days.  

Our products and services have been designed with you in mind so you know that with Unity there is a good mix of flexibility and convenience matched with cost-effective, transparent pricing and no hidden extras. And we offer an award winning personalised service to all our customers, not just a select few. 

How safe is my money with you?

Very safe. We have our own full banking licence, we are registered with the FSA and we are covered by the same safeguards and Government guarantees of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as available with the high street banks. 

Who is the Select Account for and why should I open one?

The Select Account is available to new or existing small and medium sized businesses with an annual turnover up to £500,000. Not only will you receive a current account which pays interest and enjoy Unity's award winning customer service, but the Select Account offers access to hundreds of pounds worth of savings for your business and your directors and employees. All this for a small monthly charge, which is discounted until November 2011.

If your turnover is more than £500,000, we can offer you a different account but still provide you with the benefits of the Select offering. Call us on 0345 155 3355 for details.

Does the account receive interest?

Yes, net credit interest is payable quarterly in March, June, September and December and is paid on the whole balance. Further details.

Does the account come with a cheque book and a cheque guarantee card?

Yes, a cheque book is provided with the account, as well as a paying in book. But account holders aren’t issued with a cheque guarantee card. The Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme closes on 30 June 2011 so these will be phased out by all banks. Instead, we will supply two free ALTO MasterCard® prepaid cards for each account. You can use the ALTO card to make purchases online, over the phone, by mail order and face-to-face. Plus, because it’s a prepaid card, you can only spend the amount you load onto the card so there’s no loss of spending control and you can track and monitor everything you spend online. This removes the need to write cheques for your purchases. 

Does the account come with an overdraft?

Not at this time. This is an in-credit account only. Additionally, as we understand that your income stream can sometimes be delayed, causing disruption to your cash flow, we can put you in touch with our specialist providers of asset finance who can help finance large capital purchases funding in a range of ways such as leasing or HP. 

How can I pay funds into the account?

To pay in cash and cheques, we can arrange for you to use the counter service of a nominated branch of a high street bank and you can pay in cash at a Post Office® that is convenient to you. Alternatively we provide prepaid envelopes addressed to our clearing centre for you to deposit any cheques into the account. The postal option is very popular with our SME customers as it saves you going to the bank during your busy day.

Additionally, we can introduce you to a merchant payment facilities provider which will enable you to take payments for your goods and services from your customers via debit or credit cards. Ask us about this service if you would like to know more.

Can I manage my account online, using Internet Banking?

Yes, many of our SME customers like to take care of their banking ‘on the go’ without the restriction of traditional banking opening hours and our Internet Banking facility is one of the many benefits provided with your account(s). It gives you access 24 hours a day to view your transactions, statements, Direct Debits, standing orders or to transfer funds or make bill payments. See full details of the functionality, accessibility and security of our Internet Banking.  

Does the account allow Direct Debits and standing orders?

Yes, you can set up unlimited Direct Debits and standing orders and this is free of charge. And, for your convenience, if you switch to us from another bank we will handle the smooth transfer of your existing Direct Debits and standing orders for you, removing the need for you to have to take the time to change these arrangements. It usually takes up to four weeks to complete this process.

How do I pay my staff their wages / salaries each week or month?

There are several ways of paying staff using Bacs facilities (such as Unity e-Payment), Internet Banking or traditional cheque payments. Call us on 0345 155 3355 and we can provide full details of the options available and advise you of any charges.

What are your opening hours?

For telephone enquiries, our opening hours are 8.30am - 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Internet Banking give you access to your account and allows you to view your transactions, statements, Direct Debits, standing orders or to transfer funds or make bill payments 24 hours a day.  

How often will I receive statements?

Your statement will be emailed to you on a monthly basis on a date of your choice. 

How do I apply for a Select Account and how long does it take to open an account?

With the Select Account, applying is easy. Simply call us on 0345 155 3355 to discuss your needs and we will send you an application pack, tailored for your organisation. Or you can download an application form.

We usually get accounts open and ready to use within 10 working days. We use electronic searches of the electoral Register to confirm the identity and address of all signatories on the account to comply with regulations. In most cases this eliminates the need to provide photographic proof of identity such as your passport or driving licence. Upon activation of your account, we will send you an exclusive access card (one per business) and details of how you can access the Select Account website.

Are there any account charges?

Yes, a £10 fee is charged to the account on the first working day of each month to cover the day-to-day transactions. Please note that for a limited period, the monthly charge has been reduced to £5. This introductory offer is available until June 2012.

We do not charge for day-to-day banking services such as cheques issued and paid in. But there will be additional charges for any non standard services provided on the account from time to time under advice. See details of the charges for our non standard services

Do you offer a deposit account linked to my current account?

Yes, we can provide a Tailored Deposit Account should you require one. See the interest rate payable on the Tailored Deposit Account.

How do I make my initial minimum deposit to open an account?

When you complete your application form, simply write a cheque payable to the name of your business and we will credit your new account. There is a minimum deposit of £10 to open your account.   

My husband/wife or partner does my banking. Can they have access to my account?

Yes, just add their details to the appropriate section on the application form.

We are a new business. Can I still open an account? 

Yes, we can open an account regardless of how long you have been trading. As a minimum we require a business plan and/or your last three months’ bank statements.

I have been declared bankrupt or have had a CCJ in the past. Can I still open an account?

Yes, although we will require proof that you have been discharged from bankruptcy or cleared the CCJ as necessary.

When can I access the full list of benefits available to me as a Select Account holder?

Once you have received your Access card, visit www.unity.co.uk/selectsme and click on the Log on button. At the log in page, simply complete the fields by typing in your access code (which is the number found on your access card) and the name of your business. This will take you to the Select Account website which has the full list of benefits. Your access code is valid for all users within your business.

Can I change my existing Unity account to a Select Account?

Yes, we just require a letter signed in accordance with your bank mandate to authorise the transfer. This is subject to a maximum turnover of £500,000. Switching to the Select Account is easy and takes no more than five working days. You’ll then have access to the full banking you’re used to receiving plus the extra benefits which are only available to Select Account holders.

What are the banking benefits available to Select Account holders?

When you open your Select Account you are entitled to up to two free ALTO MasterCard® prepaid cards, free copy statements and you will not be charged for unpaid cheques in. These banking benefits are exclusive to Select Account holders.

How can the ALTO MasterCard® prepaid card help me to manage my business finances?

Managing day-to-day expenses is just one of the benefits of providing ALTO cards to your directors or employees. It allows you to carry out day-to-day activities without the need to manage petty cash or encashment facilities. It can also assist in reducing back office administration by tracking expenses through detailed transactional spend, available online. Within the Other services page of our website you can learn more about ALTO cards. The minimum age for an ALTO cardholder is 18 years old.

Do I have to pay if I require additional ALTO cards?

Yes, each additional ALTO card will be charged at the standard tariff. See a full breakdown of the charges associated with the card(s).

What happens if I have forgotten my access code or lose my access card?

If you have forgotten your access code, call us on 0345 140 1000 and, after answering a few security questions about you and your account, we will supply you with the access code. If you lose your access card you can request a replacement by calling us. As there is a £5 charge for a replacement card we will need to speak to a signatory on the account to authorise this request. 

Who do I contact if the Select Account website is unavailable?

Please call our partner providers, Parliament Hill, on 0845 072 7828.

What's the minimum contract period for the Select Account?

Once your account is opened, there is a minimum contract term of 12 months. You can cancel the account after this time however you will not be entitled to any refund in fees and your access to the banking offers and Select Account website will cease with immediate effect.

If you choose to close your account before the end of the minimum contract term then you may be liable for an early closure charge. Unfortunately, the benefits are unique to the Select Account and are not transferable to any of our other accounts.

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