NatWest Business Banking Review

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NatWest provide business bank accounts for start-ups and existing business of all kinds._ NatWest Business Bank Accounts

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Information written by Holly Bennett Last updated on 12 October 2022.

A NatWest business current account offers all the everyday banking services you would expect through app and online banking, as well as services in its branches and support over the phone.

You can use the account’s free accounting software to monitor cash flow, file tax returns, and send and track invoices. Networking and business events are also on offer through local enterprise managers, with coaching available and schemes to help grow your business.

But when it comes to the all-important transaction charges, ease of use and customer opinion, does NatWest have the edge over other business bank accounts? Here’s our review.

Pros and cons of NatWest business banking

To decide if a NatWest business account might suit your business, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons and considering what’s most important to you.

Pros of the NatWest business bank account

  • Accounting software is included at no extra cost.
  • There is free everyday banking for start-ups for the first 18 months.
  • You only pay for transactions you use – there is no minimum monthly charge.
  • There is access to business support and an accelerator programme for start-ups, business growth events and mentoring.
  • A relationship manager can offer help to businesses over a year old.
  • Access to borrowing (subject to status), such as a business overdraft or loan, as well as options for business savings.
  • Adapted banking services are available if you have a disability, including an accessible debit card and voice-enabled card reader on request.

Cons of the NatWest business bank account

  • There are fees for international banking, so compare these with other providers if your business needs to use this facility.
  • NatWest announced plans for branch closures in 2022, which may make banking in person less accessible for some.

What business bank accounts do NatWest offer?

NatWest offers the following types of business accounts, depending on your type of business and its turnover:

  • Start-up account:* For businesses trading for less than a year with a turnover of less than £1 million. It offers online banking, a banking app and phone banking, plus extra support to help new businesses, and a digital accounting tool at no extra cost. There is also an initial 18-month free banking offer.
  • Business account: For businesses with a turnover below £1 million trading for one year or longer, or a turnover over £1 million trading for under or over a year. This is the standard business account with access to the features above, plus a dedicated relationship manager.
  • Community account: For charities, clubs and societies to keep track of their money and carry out day-to-day banking. The account comes with a cheque book and paying-in book, and allows up to four signatories. There is also free banking as long as your annual turnover is under £100,000.
  • Mobile business account: If you are self-employed as a sole trader or have a limited company with up to two owners, there is a free e-money mobile account provided by Mettle, part of the NatWest Group. You can sync Mettle with your accounting software, make payments through Faster Payments and create invoices.

» MORE: Do you need a business bank account?

What are NatWest business account charges?

There are no minimum monthly fees with a NatWest business account. Charities and community organisations get free everyday banking as long as annual turnover is less than £100,000, and start-ups get free banking on everyday transactions for the first 18 months.

After that, and for standard business accounts, NatWest charges as follows:

Transaction type Cost per transaction
Automated payments 35p
Cash payments 70p per £100
Manual payments 70p per item

Information correct as of 07 October 2022.

For charges for specialist services, such as payments in a foreign currency, check NatWest’s business account charges brochure.

There is no charge for the digital accounting tool, FreeAgent, which is included with every account. You can use it to manage your cash flow, invoices, and create and file VAT and self-assessment tax returns.

How to open a NatWest business account

To be eligible to open a NatWest business account:

  • you must be over 18
  • you must have the right to be self-employed in the UK

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 trading for under or over a year with a turnover of over £1 million.
  • Community account: At least one of the applicants must already be a NatWest banking customer. 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, with an annual turnover of less than £100,000.
  • Mobile account: You must be a sole trader or limited company with up to two owners, with a balance of less than £100,000 (£50,000 for sole traders).

Before you open an account, you will need to complete the application process. You can click through from our comparison table to get the ball rolling and apply for the business account that suits your business.

You can apply online for a business bank account. It may take up to 10 days for the account to be set up. Having the information you need to supply, which is detailed in the 'Apply now' section, and providing clear details about your business may help speed things up.

You can check the status of your application in the online application centre.

What features does the NatWest business account offer customers?

With a NatWest business account, you can access:

  • online, mobile and banking in a branch or at a Post Office
  • a dedicated app, compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • customer support online, in the app or over the phone
  • digital accounting tools for invoicing, payroll and cash flow management, and integration with Xero or QuickBooks accounting software
  • business support for start-ups and more established businesses

» MORE: What’s good about online business accounts?

What do NatWest business account reviews say?

Reviews for NatWest’s banking service on Trustpilot were poor but included its personal banking services as well as its business accounts. Its mobile app reviews were more positive. These also included reviews from both personal and business banking customers.

Trustpilot: 1.4 out of 5, based on over 4,200 reviews, with 8% rating it ‘5-star’ and 85% rating it as ‘1-star’.

Apple Store: the NatWest Mobile Banking app scored 4.6 out of 5, based on over 76,000 reviews.

Google Play: 3.9 out of 5, based on over 242,000 reviews.

This information is correct as of 07 October 2022.

Conclusion

NatWest’s business accounts can offer a flexible way to do business banking, whether that’s online, via its app or over the phone and at a branch.

You may like the idea of going with an established high street bank that has been around since 1968 and is one of the UK’s big four banks.

Accounting software for invoicing, payroll and cash-flow management is included for free if you need it, and an initial 18 months of free banking for start-ups could be useful.

Other financial services from NatWest, such as borrowing options, business savings accounts and business insurance may also be an option for your business once you’re a customer. It makes sense to compare these products with other providers, but the convenience of having all of your accounts in one place might be appealing.

NatWest business banking FAQs

What is the NatWest business account?

It’s a current account for businesses. Depending on your structure, turnover and time trading, NatWest offers a start-up account, standard business account and community account for non-profits.

You can use the account for all the usual business transactions, plus its digital accounting tools. You also use its support and services for your business and access to other NatWest financial services, such as business insurance and borrowing options, if you need them.

How does the NatWest business account work?

You can use a NatWest business account for your everyday business banking. Once you’ve set up your account, you can access and manage your banking online or through the app. You can also get support at a branch or over the phone.

» MORE: How to manage your small business accounts

How long does it take to open a NatWest business account?

It usually takes five to 10 working days to open a new account. It may take longer if your business has more than two owners, if you take cash payments or carry out overseas transactions, or if you are a not-for-profit organisation. Answering the application questions accurately and supplying the detail needed can help speed things up.

Once you’ve applied, you may be asked to supply extra information. You can check the progress of your application via their application hub. NatWest will email you if your application is declined.

Once your account is open, you can expect your debit card and information for online banking to be with you in the next few days.

How can I make a business account switch to NatWest?

If you want to switch your current business bank to a new NatWest account, just fill in the details in the bank account application form, including your preferred switch date.

NatWest uses the Current Account Switch Service, so your account and any regular payments – including direct debits and standing orders – will be switched automatically within seven working days. The service is free and you’re covered by the switch guarantee if things go wrong with payments and you’re charged interest or fees. There is also the option of a partial switch, where you only transfer certain direct debits for example, though this isn’t covered by the switch guarantee.

Who can apply for a NatWest business account?

You must be 18 or over and have the right to be self-employed in the UK to apply for a business account. The start-up account is for businesses that have been trading for under a year, with a turnover of under £1 million. The standard account is for businesses over a year old, though businesses with a turnover over £1 million can apply when they’re less than a year old.

What do I need for my NatWest business account application?

When you apply for your account you will need to supply some personal and business information.

UK Finance has a business current account checklist of the basic information you will need that has been agreed by business bank providers. This includes documents to prove your identity and address, your business name and address, expected turnover and other capital, and details of authorised account users.

What can I use the NatWest business account for?

You can use your business account for everything you would expect when it comes to day-to-day transactions and account management.

You can:

  • check your balance
  • set up, cancel or change a standing order
  • transfer money between accounts
  • pay bills
  • make payments
  • change your contact details
  • report a stolen, lost or damaged debit card
  • order a paying in or cheque book
  • set up business alerts direct to your mobile

How does NatWest online business banking work?

You can log in to your business bank account through the NatWest website. If you are using online banking for the first time, you will need to register.

Once you’ve logged in, you can manage your account, carry out transactions and access customer support.

Does NatWest offer business credit cards?

Yes, there is a NatWest business credit card for businesses that have an annual turnover of under £2 million, subject to eligibility.

Make sure you’re clear about charges and fees before going ahead.

» MORE: How to choose a business credit card

Does NatWest have a mobile app?

Yes, NatWest offers a business banking app for mobiles and tablets that’s compatible with iOS and Android devices. As you would expect, you can use the app to check your balance, transfer money, manage direct debits and standing orders, and contact customer support.

The app offers some features that NatWest’s online banking doesn’t. This includes getting cash without a card, locking credit cards, viewing spending and setting budgets, making payments without a card reader and splitting a bill. You can also log in using fingerprint or facial recognition.

You will need to register before you can use the mobile app. Have your customer number, PIN, password and mobile number handy. You can download the app using the QR code on site or through the App Store or Google Play.

» MORE: Top small business apps

Does NatWest offer traditional support?

Yes, you can register for telephone banking, where you can use automated services to do things like check your balance and pay bills over the phone. You can also talk to someone about your account over the phone or in person at a branch.

When it comes to less traditional support, you can access it through secure messaging in the app or through WhatsApp private messaging.

Where can I find the NatWest business account login and contact number?

You can log in online from the NatWest website or through the app. You will need to set up online banking once your account is open if you don’t already have it. You can do this through the app if it’s easier.

If you’re having trouble logging in, you can use Cora, a digital assistant, for help with access and other general queries.

For business banking support, you can get in touch through secure messaging in the app or via your online account. You can also call or use Relay UK if you have hearing or speech difficulties. Otherwise, you can write to NatWest Business Banking

» COMPARE: Business bank accounts

About the author:

Holly champions clear, jargon-free writing. She’s been creating finance content for leading organisations for over 10 years. Read more

Services offered by this provider may change over time. Always check Ts&Cs.

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