There's no such thing as a free lunch, or free banking, apparently. A year ago Karim Mawji, who runs Young's Newsagents in Pinner in Middlesex, recommended Nationwide Building Society's Business Investor account which, although restrictive, did allow him to achieve permanent free banking.

"As you can see from the enclosed letter," he writes, "the rules have now changed and I need a good deal elsewhere."

The letter from Nationwide says it is making the changes because its Investor account is not intended to be a business current account used for regular transactions and payments.

So now you can carry out only two transactions in a branch in any one calendar month. A transaction is cashing a cheque, a withdrawal, and internal or external transfer to another account and a deposit.

"Just to clarify," adds the letter, "a deposit of up to 10 cheques and up to £5,000 cash at a counter visit will be treated as one transaction. All other withdrawals and transfers will be treated as separate transactions, even if carried out during one visit to a branch counter." It points out that, on the bright side, queues will be shorter.

Karim has requested that C-Store writes a feature on banking for small business. I pass this on to the editor via this copy!

He adds that an examination of debit/credit card processing, ATM or cashback and the relevant costs in banking charges might bring enlightenment, "or even ways of utilising cash for a profit rather than banking it at a cost." (Might I suggest going into money lending?)

As a start, I recommend you check out what deals may be on offer if you belong to a group or association. And then there is the other fount of knowledge: readers. So timely tips everyone, please.