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Bank of Scotland business account: at a glance
Bank of Scotland is Scotland’s oldest bank and has been providing banking services to customers for over 300 years.
The bank is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, which also includes providers such as Lloyds Bank and Halifax.
Currently, Bank of Scotland offers a range of current accounts for businesses – from start ups to larger businesses and charities.
Find out more about Bank of Scotland’s business bank account offering here, including the features and pros that might suit your business, as well as potential drawbacks.
Learn more about how we bring you our review.
Bank of Scotland Small Business Bank Account
Monthly FeeFree for 12 monthsFree for 12 months, £7 monthly thereafter. Applies to small businesses, including individuals setting up their first business bank account.
Card Purchase FeesFree
Bank Transfer FeesFree
Offer12 months’ free day-to-day business banking for new businessesApplies to small businesses, including individuals setting up their first business bank account.
Bank of Scotland business account pros & cons
- There is an introductory period of 12 months’ free banking for new customers.
- The account can be managed over the phone, via a mobile app and online.
- Deposits up to £85,000 may be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
- Both cash and cheque deposits are accepted.
- Customers in Scotland can access in-branch support.
- A monthly fee applies to the business current account after the introductory fee-free period.
- It usually takes up to six weeks to open a business account with the Bank of Scotland.
- There is only one branch outside of Scotland, in Berwick.
These pros and cons are based on a survey of UK business owners on what they found important when selecting a range of business products, conducted by NerdWallet in December 2022.
Bank of Scotland business account key features
- Bank of Scotland is a bank regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Deposits with this provider (up to £85,000) may be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
- There is a monthly fee, plus fees for some transactions with this account, though you may be eligible for free banking for the first 12 months
- Access to other products, such as business overdrafts, loans and credit cards, may be possible (subject to eligibility)
Bank of Scotland business account full review
Founded in 1695, the Bank of Scotland is Scotland’s oldest bank – and the first in the UK to start using computers to process transactions, in 1959.
Today, the Bank of Scotland offers current accounts for small businesses and start ups, as well as larger businesses, along with offering specialist accounts for schools, community groups and professional practitioners.
In the table below, we’ve put together everything you might want to know about Bank of Scotland’s business account offering.
|Monthly fee||£7 (for businesses with an annual turnover up to £3 million)|
|Transaction fees||Yes (for certain transactions, depending on tariff)|
|Account management||Via mobile app|
Online via Internet Banking
At a branch (primarily in Scotland)
|FSCS protection||Yes (up to £85,000)|
|Potential for same day set up||No|
|Access to other banking services||Yes|
|Integration with accounting software and tools||Yes|
|International payments||Yes (fees apply)|
|Customer service||0345 300 2924|
At a branch (primarily in Scotland)
On social media (for general enquiries)
Business FAQs page
|Multiple user access||Yes|
|Trustpilot rating||1.5 out of 5 (as of 6 March 2023)|
Bank of Scotland business account features
The following sections provide some important information about the key features of Bank of Scotland business accounts.
Business account fees
Far and away the most important factor for business owners when comparing business accounts is the monthly cost, according to half of those surveyed by NerdWallet who picked this as one of their top three criteria.
- If you’re a small business or start up with an annual turnover of less than £3 million, you can open a Bank of Scotland small business current account.
- Bank of Scotland also offers a separate business account for businesses with a turnover between £3 million and £25 million. This account has two tariffs to choose from: Business Extra and Electronic Business.
You can find out more about these on the Bank of Scotland website or by contacting the bank directly.
Additionally, community groups, such as charities, schools and credit unions, may be eligible for one of Bank of Scotland’s Community Accounts. Businesses that hold client funds may be eligible for a Client Account. Different criteria and pricing may apply to these accounts, and you can find more information on the Bank of Scotland website.
In the section below, we take a look at the pricing structure for the Bank of Scotland small business current account, which is available to businesses with an annual turnover less than £3 million.
For businesses with a turnover below £3 million, the Bank of Scotland small business current account costs £7 a month.
However, new Bank of Scotland business customers may be eligible for 12 months’ free day-to-day banking when they open a current account.
Day-to-day business banking transaction charges
There are fees for certain everyday banking activities with a Bank of Scotland business current account, after the introductory free banking period. This tariff applies to businesses with an annual turnover under £3 million.
|Direct debits and standing orders||Free|
|Debit card payments||Free|
|Payments via Internet Banking||Free|
|Cheques paid in or out||85p|
|Cash paid in or out (at a branch)||£1 per £100, up to £1,500 per month|
90p per £100 for anything over £1,500 per month
|ATM cash withdrawals||Free|
|Cash withdrawals at the Post Office||Free|
If you trade in other countries, you may need to consider the fees that Bank of Scotland charges for international transactions, which can be found in the table below.
|Cash withdrawals in euros, in the UK or EEA*||2.75% of the transaction value|
|Cash withdrawals in other foreign currencies||2.75% of the transaction value, plus a 1.5% non-sterling transaction fee (minimum £1.50)|
|Purchases abroad||2.75% of the transaction value|
* The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of EU member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Easy account access
Second most important for business owners searching for a business account is how easy it is to access the account, according to NerdWallet’s survey.
It’s possible to manage a Bank of Scotland business account online, using internet banking. You can digitally carry out day-to-day actions, such as viewing your balance and making payments and transfers. You can also access your account via the Bank of Scotland mobile app.
You can use the Bank of Scotland’s automated telephone banking service to manage your account by calling 0345 300 0268. This service currently operates 7am-8pm on weekdays, and 9am-2pm on Saturdays.
You can also bank at a branch in Scotland (as well as in Berwick-upon-Tweed in England), or at the Post Office, if you would prefer to manage your account face to face. It may be possible to carry out some basic transactions at a Lloyds Bank branch if you are based in England or Wales, as these banks are both part of the Lloyds Banking Group. However, for more complex requests you will need to go to a Bank of Scotland branch.
Being able to set up an account quickly was important to 25% of business owners when searching for a business account, according to our survey.
Businesses that want a same day business bank account may find that the Bank of Scotland is not an option for them. According to the bank’s website, it usually takes up to six weeks to open a business account after you have submitted all the required information and documents.
Protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the third most important criteria that business owners are looking for in a business account, according to NerdWallet’s survey.
The Bank of Scotland is a UK-authorised bank, so it’s covered by the FSCS guarantee. This means that if this bank fails, deposits up to £85,000 will be refunded to you automatically if your business is eligible.
It’s worth noting that the £85,000 limit applies jointly to all accounts a customer holds with a provider. So if you’re a sole trader with a business account and a personal current account with Bank of Scotland, you could claim up to £85,000 for both accounts combined.
If you run a limited company, however, your business is a separate entity to you. You would be able to claim up to £85,000 for your business account and up to £85,000 for your personal account with the same provider.
It’s also important to know that the claim limit applies across any banks that share a banking licence.
The Bank of Scotland shares a banking licence with Bank of Scotland Private Banking, Halifax, Intelligent Finance, Birmingham Midshires and Bank of Wales. If you hold another account with any of these providers, the £85,000 FSCS limit applies across both that account and your Bank of Scotland account. Although both banks are part of the Lloyds Banking Group, the Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank do not share a banking licence and therefore have separate FSCS limits.
Mobile phone app
Mobile money management via an app was ranked the fourth most important feature in a business account by business owners, according to NerdWallet’s survey.
For business owners who want to bank digitally, Bank of Scotland offers a mobile app to manage your account on the go, available on both Apple and Android devices.
You can access Bank of Scotland’s customer support in the following ways:
- By telephone on 0345 300 0268, from 7am-8pm on weekdays (except bank holidays) and 9am-2pm on Saturdays
- Via an automated virtual assistant on the Bank of Scotland website
- At a branch, depending on location. Primarily based in Scotland; you can see Bank of Scotland’s branch locator online for locations and opening times
Customer service opening times are mostly limited to typical working days and hours. However, this may not pose a problem for business customers. We found in our survey that 24/7 customer service was not particularly important when deciding on a business account, ranking joint ninth alongside international banking facilities.
Below, you can find Bank of Scotland reviews from several sources. Bear in mind that the Trustpilot reviews cover both personal and business accounts, while the app reviews are for the specific Bank of Scotland Business app.
- Apple App Store: 3.9 out of 5, based on over 350 reviews
- Google Play: 3.5 out of 5, based on over 650 reviews
- TrustPilot: 1.5 out of 5, based on over 500 reviews
This information is correct as of 6 March 2023.
Bank of Scotland business account eligibility
To be eligible to open a start up or small business current account with Bank of Scotland, you must:
- be a sole trader, partner or director of a limited company
- be at least 18 years old
- have an estimated annual turnover of under £3 million
- not have an existing account with Bank of Scotland for this business
Other accounts offered by Bank of Scotland, such as accounts for larger businesses or charities, may have different eligibility criteria. You can look at the Bank of Scotland website or contact the bank directly for more details.
How to choose a Bank of Scotland business account
There are a number of questions that you may want to ask yourself when deciding whether to open a Bank of Scotland business account or when looking at other providers:
- Are you looking to pay a monthly fee or pay per transaction?
- How would you prefer to manage your account (i.e. online, via an app, at a branch)?
- Do you want to bank digitally or would you like the choice of face-to-face banking in a branch?
- Are you willing for you and your business to undergo a credit check as part of your business banking application?
- Do you want protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
How to apply for a Bank of Scotland business account
To apply for a Bank of Scotland business account, you need to:
- Start your application online.
- Provide your business and personal details.
- Sign an agreement online.
- Wait for approval.
Start your application online
The first thing you need to do to open an account with the Bank of Scotland is to start an application online.
The Bank of Scotland estimates that the application process can take on average 20 minutes to complete. It’s a good idea to have all the documents and information you need with you when you start the application process.
Provide your business and personal details
You may need to give the bank details about your business on the application form, such as your business address, trading activity and annual turnover.
The Bank of Scotland may also ask for personal information, such as your mobile number, email address, date of birth and three years’ personal address history for everyone connected to the account.
Sign your agreement
After you’ve provided the information that Bank of Scotland requires, you’ll need to review, approve and sign an agreement for your business account.
Wait for approval
The Bank of Scotland will let you know if you need to supply more information. Once your application has been reviewed, you’ll hear if it has been accepted.
The bank says it generally takes up to six weeks to set up your business bank account.
If you’re looking to switch, you should know that the Bank of Scotland is backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee, meaning you can change banks quickly and easily if your current bank has signed up for the scheme. Switching accounts would then be completed in seven working days.
» MORE: How to open a business bank account in the UK
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