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Published 23 May 2024
Reading Time
6 minutes

NatWest Business Account Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Read our review of NatWest’s business account, including pros, cons and key features

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

NatWest was formed in 1968 when three smaller banks merged to create National Westminster Bank (now known as NatWest). Today, it is part of the NatWest Group alongside brands such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank.

NatWest offers three accounts for businesses: an account for start ups, an account for more established businesses, and a community account for charities and societies. There is also a free mobile business account for sole traders and small businesses on NatWest’s Mettle app – read our review for full details.

NatWest Start Up Business Account

NatWest Start Up Business Account
  • Monthly Fee
    Free
  • UK Card Purchase Fees
    Free for 24 months
  • UK Bank Transfer Fees
    Free for 24 months
  • Offer
    24 months free banking

This product may be one of a range offered by this provider. Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Available to eligible customers over 18, who have the right to be self employed in the UK
  • This ‘Startup business account’ is available for businesses that have been trading for less than 1 year and have a projected or existing annual turnover of less than £1m

Learn more about how we bring you our review.

Key features

  • Fact-to-face support
    There are branches throughout England and Wales for customer service in person.
  • No monthly fee
    NatWest doesn’t charge a monthly fee for its business accounts.
  • Customer support
    Support can be accessed in a number of ways 24/7.
  • FSCS protection
    Eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

NatWest business account pros & cons

Pros

  • NatWest does not charge a monthly fee for business accounts on the standard tariff.
  • Accounts can be accessed online, via a mobile app, in a branch or Post Office or over the phone.
  • NatWest’s call centres are open 24/7 via its digital assistant for basic banking queries.
  • Eligible deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
  • Accounts come with free access to integrated accounting software from FreeAgent.
  • Accounts can potentially be opened on the same day.

Cons

  • There are no NatWest branches in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • NatWest’s start-up account is only available to businesses that have been trading for less than a year and have a turnover of less than £1 million.

The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on a combination of our expert, research-based opinions and an exclusive survey of UK business owners and decision makers. The survey was conducted on behalf of NerdWallet UK in December 2022 to identify the business bank account features that people feel are most important. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal and business circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.

NatWest business accounts full review

NatWest is a UK high street bank that provides banking services across England and Wales. Customers in Scotland and Northern Ireland can access NatWest Group services through Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank respectively.  

The NatWest Group claims to have 19 million customers across the personal, private and business banking sector, offering financial services to businesses across England and Wales.

NatWest offers three business accounts with one standard tariff. Each comes with free access to accounting software FreeAgent.

  • Start-up account: An account for businesses trading for less than a year, with an annual turnover under £1 million. New customers to this account can get free banking on everyday transactions for 24 months.
  • Business account: An account for more established businesses – those that have been trading for more than a year regardless of annual turnover or those with an annual turnover of over £1 million who have been trading for under a year.  This account also comes with a dedicated relationship manager (turnover and eligibility criteria apply).
  • Community account: An account for community groups, such as charities or clubs, it can offer free banking if you’re already a NatWest customer and your account’s annual credit turnover is less than £100,000.

Additionally, NatWest offers a mobile business account via its Mettle app. This is for sole traders or limited companies with up to two owners with a balance of less than £100,000 (£50,000 for sole traders). There are no monthly charges or transaction fees, however the account doesn’t offer access to credit, and you must have at least one monthly transaction for free access to FreeAgent software.

NatWest Start-up business account features: at a glance

Monthly fee£0
Transaction feesYes, after 24-month introductory offer
Account managementOnline
Via app
In a branch or Post Office
Over the phone
FSCS protectionYes 
Set-up time1 day
Cash depositsYes
Cheque depositsYes
Access to other banking servicesYes
International paymentsYes
Customer serviceVia its digital assistant
Secure messaging online or via the app
In a branch
X (formerly Twitter) @NatWestBusiness
WhatsApp
Over the phone
0345 711 4477 – open 24/7 for basic banking enquiries. For lending and other specialist business banking enquiries, open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Multiple user access/Joint account capabilitiesYes
Create and send invoicesYes
Integration with accounting software toolsYes

Where NatWest business account stands out

24/7 customer support: NatWest’s call centre is open 24/7 via a digital assistant for basic banking enquiries.

No monthly fees: All of NatWest’s business accounts are free to open and maintain.

Access to overdraft and credit facilities: If you’re eligible, you can apply for a business overdraft, credit card and loan through your NatWest business account.

Quick set-up: It’s possible to apply for a NatWest business account and have it opened the same day.

Where NatWest business account falls short

Regional access: NatWest only has branches in England and Wales. If your business is based in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may be directed to the closest regional brand (Ulster Bank for Northern Ireland and Royal Bank of Scotland for Scotland).

Customer reviews: NatWest has a ‘bad’ Trustpilot rating, however these are based on NatWest’s general offering, not specifically its business accounts.

Transaction fees: After the end of the 24-month introductory offer (which applies to new customers and those who have switched accounts to NatWest), there is a charge for every type of transaction.

NatWest business account customer reviews

NatWest has a ‘bad’ rating of 1.4 out of 5 based on over 6,300 reviews on Trustpilot. However, it’s important to note that these reviews are for NatWest in general, not specifically its business services. Its mobile apps score much more highly though, again, this is for both personal and business banking.

The NatWest mobile app has a rating of:

  • 4.8 out of 5 based on over 483,000 reviews on the App Store
  • 4.8 out of 5 based on over 368,000 reviews on Google Play

This information is correct as of 22 May 2024.

NatWest business account eligibility 

To be eligible to open a business account with NatWest, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have the right to be self-employed in the UK
  • not have been declared bankrupt or had a County Court Judgment (CCJ)
  • be willing to undergo a credit check as part of your application

Your company must also meet the requirements of the specific account:

  • Start up account: Your business must have been trading for less than a year with a turnover under £1 million.
  • Business account: Your business must have been trading for a year or more with a turnover of below £1 million, or any business with a turnover of over £1 million.
  • Community account: It must be a not-for-profit limited company registered at Companies House, club or society, place of worship, charity or charitable incorporated organisation or non-personal trust. You must have an annual turnover of less than £100,000 and at least one of the applicants must already be a NatWest banking customer to qualify for free banking. 

How to apply for a NatWest business account

To apply to open a Natwest business account, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose which account you’d like to apply for
  2. Apply online or in a branch
  3. Provide business and personal details.
  4. Submit proof of ID and address.
  5. Wait for approval.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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