Co-operative Bank launches client money tool
The Co-operative Bank has launched a new online banking service to help accountancy firms manage money on behalf of clients.
The new Financial Manager package is a customer money management tool that allows accountants to access to an unlimited number of virtual accounts which can be easily grouped together, such as by individual, company or property name.
Firms will be able segregate client funds to complete reconciliations and improve the service they provide to their clients, the bank said.
A Co-operative Bank spokesperson told AccountingWEB: “It’s a completely new product and will allow the customer to have one account for all their clients with a series of virtual accounts which get pooled into one central account.
“People could have had an account with us previously, but they wouldn’t have had the control and flexibility that this new product offers.”
The package has a facility to allocate account names and references so that they can be matched to those on company records for reconciliation.
Other benefits include:
- Make and receive payments or issue cheques against each virtual account
- Potential to generate income by pooling funds held in accounts to take advantage of higher rates of credit interest available on larger balances; and an option to set varying interest rates on virtual accounts
- Facility to generate custom reports
Dave Matkin, head of Corporate Business Development, at The Co-operative Bank said: “Despite the economic uncertainty of the last few years, this is another illustration of how we continue to expand our support for businesses and offer a compelling alternative to the traditional providers.
“As part of The Co-operative Group we’re in the unique position of being able to offer business customers access to a broader range of services and expertise spanning sectors from legal services to pharmaceutical care.”
Financial Manager is also encrypted providing full security for customers along with secure login facilities, and complies with FSA money rules.
At the group level the Co-operative Bank entered exclusive talks with Lloyds for more than 600 branches at the end of last year, but negotiations ran into difficulties due to tough regulatory requirements
Added pressure came when NBNK made a revised approach to Lloyds that offered to hand a portion of the new bank to existing investors in either shares or cash.
The Co-op has until the end of June to make up its mind, although a decision is expected much sooner.