The Co-operative Business Banking Review

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The Co-Operative Bank provides a number of business current account solutions to meet the needs of different business types._You can compare features of the Co-Operative Bank's business accounts in the table below.

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Information written by Rhiannon Philps Last updated on 18 October 2022.

The Co-operative Bank, also known as the Co-op Bank, was founded 150 years ago and is known for its ethical stance, which is guided by customers’ views. However, it still offers a wide range of banking services for personal and business customers, including current accounts, savings accounts, lending facilities and more.

Founded in 1872, The Co-operative Bank aims to be sustainable and promote ethical values. The bank incorporates the principles of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in its business and launched an Ethical Policy in 1992.

The Co-operative Bank has a range of business accounts available to cater to different kinds of businesses. As well as a standard business current account, it offers accounts specifically for charitable organisations and businesses with a high cash turnover. This can help businesses choose an account that is best suited to their situation.

Read on to find out more about the different business accounts offered by The Co-operative Bank, including their main features and the fees they charge.

Pros and cons of The Co-operative Bank business account

The Co-operative Bank business account has a number of advantages and disadvantages to be aware of, which could help you decide whether it is the right option for your business.

Pros of The Co-operative Bank business account

  • It is an ethical and carbon-neutral bank that cares about social responsibility.
  • It offers services in person, as well as online and mobile banking.
  • There is no monthly charge for the first 30 months for some of the account options.
  • Account holders can access further business support and services – for example, free webinars.

Cons of The Co-operative Bank business account

  • The bank charges fees for cash and cheque deposits.
  • There is a monthly account fee after the first 30 months.
  • It doesn’t have as many branches as some other high street banks.
  • The bank doesn’t offer as many features as some other business accounts – for example, Co-op banking has no tool on its app to create and send invoices.

What business bank accounts does The Co-operative Bank offer?

There are several business accounts to choose from at The Co-operative Bank, each designed for different kinds of businesses.

  • Business Current Account: A standard account that is suitable for sole traders and limited companies with a single director.
  • Business Directplus: For new customers, including start-ups and established small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • FSB Business Banking Account: For members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). You can also apply for an overdraft with this account.
  • Community Directplus: For registered charities, cooperatives, credit unions, community interest companies.
  • Cash Tariff Account: For businesses that handle a lot of cash and have a high cash turnover. This account has a low cash depositing fee.
  • Standard Tariff Account: For businesses that want an account with a straightforward charging structure, where fees stay the same whatever your balance. There are no limits on transactions or balance with this account.

How to open a Co-operative Bank business account

When you apply for a Co-operative business account, you will need to supply information including:

  • details about your business taxes
  • your business’s predicted turnover
  • any funds your business has received
  • your Companies House registration number
  • your existing business bank account details, if you have one

You will also need to show some ID, such as your passport or photo driving licence, and upload a selfie to confirm your identity.

To get a business current account from The Co-operative Bank, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Work as a sole trader or run a limited company that is owned or controlled by one person.
  • Be aged at least 18 years or over.
  • Live in the UK and have a UK business address.
  • You won’t have any County Court Judgments (CCJs) or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) from the last six years.
  • You won’t have missed any payments on your personal credit file over the last six months.

Other business accounts from The Co-operative Bank may have a different set of eligibility requirements.

For example, you need to be a member of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to get an FSB account.

And any charities or organisations that want to open a Community Directplus account will need to meet further criteria:

  • They will have a credit turnover of no more than £1 million.
  • They won’t deposit more than £100,000 in cash or more than 5,000 cheques to their account.

» COMPARE: Business bank accounts

What features does The Co-operative Bank business account offer?

Some of the main features of a Co-operative Bank business current account include:

  • a debit card
  • free ATM cash withdrawals
  • ability to make and receive bank transfers
  • standing orders and direct debits
  • deposit and withdraw cash (for a fee)
  • pay in and send cheques (for a fee)
  • a mobile app
  • online banking and support by staff in branches
  • access to other business-related perks, including business insurance and free business webinars

What do other reviews say?

Customer reviews for The Co-operative Bank are mixed. However, bear in mind that there are not many reviews for its business app and Trustpilot’s ratings include its personal banking services as well as its business accounts.

Trustpilot: 1.3 stars out of 5, based on over 2,800 reviews, with 9% rating it as ‘5-star’ and 80% as ‘1-star’.

The Co-operative Bank business app has a rating of 1.7 stars based on 187 reviews on Google Play Store, and a 1.8 star rating based on 129 reviews on the Apple App Store.

Information correct as of 07 October 2022.

Conclusion

Ethical and sustainable practices are central to The Co-operative Bank and it gets involved in a variety of social and economic campaigns. So if these issues are important to your business, you may want to consider one of its accounts.

Business accounts from The Co-operative Bank provide many of the basic functions you need to manage your business finances, including making online transfers and card payments, depositing and withdrawing cash, and more. With several types of accounts to choose from, The Co-operative Bank could be a suitable option for many different types of businesses.

Because it has branches you can visit, The Co-operative Bank may be particularly appealing if you prefer to do some, or all, of your banking in person. However, it doesn’t have as many branches as some other banks, so it’s worth checking where your nearest one is if this is an important factor for you. If you prefer to do your banking online, The Co-operative does offer online banking and a mobile app.

Before opening an account, make sure you are fully aware of all the charges you could face. There are fees for certain transactions, and you may need to pay a monthly fee depending on the account you choose and how long you have the account for. Think about how your business will use the account to work out what option is best for your situation.

» MORE: Do I need a business bank account?

The Co-operative Bank Business Current Account FAQs

What is The Co-operative Bank business current account?

The Co-operative Bank is a high street bank that offers personal and business banking services. Its business accounts allow you to perform many of the standard activities you need to run your business, including making and receiving payments, depositing and withdrawing cash, and more. You may need to pay fees for certain accounts and transactions.

How does The Co-operative Bank business current account work?

The Co-operative business bank account works just like any other business account. You can open an account online and then start using it for your business transactions. For example, you can send and receive payments, deposit and withdraw cash, manage your accounts, and more.

Depending on the account you get, you may need to pay a monthly charge and fees for certain activities. Your account may also come with limits, such as the amount you can deposit each month.

How long does it take to open a Co-operative Bank business current account?

The Co-operative states it should only take between 20 and 60 minutes to apply for a Co-operative business bank account online and that it could then take up to five working days to receive a decision on your application.

How can I make a business account switch to The Co-operative Bank?

If you already have an existing business account with another bank, you can switch to The Co-operative Bank.

As long as your existing bank is part of the Current Account Switch Service, it should only take seven business days to switch providers. The Co-operative Bank will arrange the switch, including moving across your balance and payments and closing your old account.

If, for some reason, you can’t change providers through the Current Account Switch Service, you can still open an account with The Co-operative Bank and switch. However, it may not be as quick or seamless as through the Current Account Switch Service and you won’t be covered by its guarantee.

Who can apply for a Co-operative Bank business current account?

To qualify for a business account from The Co-operative bank, you will need to be a UK resident aged 18 years or above. Your business address will need to be registered in the UK.

Accounts are available to sole traders and limited companies with a single director.

What do I need for my Co-operative Bank business Current account application?

To apply for this business account from The Co-operative Bank, you’ll need to supply some key personal details, such as your name and date of birth, as well as information about your business.

In your application you will be asked for tax details, your expected turnover and information about any funds your business has received.

You will be asked for ID, such as your passport or driving licence, and you will also need to take a selfie as part of the application process.

» MORE: How to open a business bank account

Does The Co-operative Bank offer online business banking services?

Yes, as well as physical branches, The Co-operative Bank also offers online banking services.

Does The Co-operative Bank have a business banking app?

Yes, The Co-operative Bank has a mobile app that you can use to manage your business account. On the app you can see your account balance and your transactions, as well as make payments. It is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Does The Co-operative Bank offer traditional support?

If you need help with your business account, you can visit a Co-operative Bank branch. For support with digital banking or for general enquiries, you can also call or even write to them.

On its website, The Co-operative Bank has an online support centre with FAQs that may answer your query.

About the author:

Rhiannon is a financial writer for NerdWallet, with a particular interest in personal finance and insurance guides for consumers. Read more

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