RBS Business Banking Review

Royal Bank of Scotland Business Bank Accounts logo
  • RBS provide business bank accounts for start-ups and existing business of all kinds.
See deal Browse Royal Bank of Scotland Business Bank Accounts FAQs

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    Offer
    24 months' free banking *
    Royal Bank of Scotland logo

    RBS Start Ups Business Bank Account

    • Monthly Fee
      Free
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      35p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    *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.
Information written by Kristina Fox Last updated on 16 June 2022.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was originally founded in Edinburgh in 1727, and now forms part of the NatWest banking group. It offers an online and in-branch service to personal and business customers.

Looking at business banking in particular, RBS offers three different types of business bank accounts to suit start-ups, established businesses, charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

Read on to find out more information about RBS business banking and the services that it offers to business customers.

Pros and cons of RBS Business Banking

Before deciding on a business bank account, it’s important to weigh up the positives and potential negatives to help find the right account for your circumstances.

Pros of an RBS Business Account

  • There is no monthly fee – you’re only charged for the transactions you make.
  • Staff available to support you at RBS branches.
  • You can deposit cash at RBS branches or at the Post Office.

Cons of an RBS Business Account

  • There may not be a branch near you.
  • It may be less well-suited to a business based in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Due to a large closure of branches in England and Wales, RBS may direct you to their sister companies (Natwest and Ulster Bank).

What business bank accounts does RBS offer?

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) currently offers various types of business bank accounts.

  • Start-up bank account: For businesses that have existed for less than a year and have a turnover of less than £1 million.

Also these accounts:

  • Business account: For businesses that have been trading for more than a year.
  • Community account: For those who run a not-for-profit, such as a charity or a club.

What are the RBS Business Account charges?

RBS business current accounts have no fixed monthly charge. Instead, you pay for each transaction you make according to the standard business tariff.

If you run a start-up company, you can benefit from no transaction fees for 24 months if you sign up for a Start-up bank account or a Community account (subject to status and eligibility criteria). After this, you will be moved onto the standard tariff.

The business tariff is detailed below:

Monthly fee Free
Direct debits and standing orders

35p per transaction
Faster payments (in or out)
Cash withdrawal at an ATM
Payments between your business accounts Free
Cash deposits 70p per £100 deposited
Cash withdrawal in an RBS or NatWest branch 70p per £100, plus a 70p processing fee
Cheques (paid in or out) 70p per cheque, plus a 70p processing fee
Foreign currency ATM withdrawals in the UK

2.75% non-Sterling transaction fee
Cash withdrawals outside the UK
Payments made in a foreign currency

Information correct as of 7 April 2022.

» MORE: All about business bank account charges

How to open an RBS Business Bank Account

You can open a business bank account online with RBS.

It is also possible to open an RBS business account in a branch. You will need to take a smartphone or similar device with you, as bank staff will help you to open an account on your own device.

Let RBS know if you would like to switch from a different business banking provider using the online application process. You will need to inform RBS that you are switching accounts, provide your old bank details, and choose a date for the switch to take place.

If you want to know more about applying for an account, including the documents you may need, find out how to open a business bank account.

What features do RBS Business Bank Accounts offer customers?

Each RBS business bank account has features such as:

  • a contactless debit card
  • direct debit
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay integration
  • cash withdrawals: in branch, at an ATM or at the Post Office
  • emergency cash – up to £300 from an ATM if your card is lost or stolen
  • chequebook
  • cash and cheque deposits: in branch or at the Post Office
  • 24/7 banking – online, on the RBS app or by phone
  • face-to-face banking at an RBS branch
  • free use of FreeAgent accounting software
  • no monthly fee – pay per transaction outside of any initial free banking period (if applicable)

With a standard RBS Business Account, you may also be able to apply for a business loan, credit card or overdraft. If you open a Start-up account, you may also be able to get an overdraft (subject to application and approval).

You may also be eligible to open a business savings account.

What do other RBS reviews say?

The RBS mobile banking app has received generally favourable reviews from customers, while reviews on Trustpilot were more negative for its business banking.

Trustpilot: 1.5 out of 5, based on 609 reviews, with 9% excellent and 87% bad for Royal Bank of Business. Google Play: 4.5 out of 5, based on 52,839 reviews. Apple Store: 4.4 out of 5, based on 15,800 reviews

This information was correct as of 28 April 2022.

Conclusion

RBS offers a range of business bank accounts for start-ups, established businesses and not-for-profit groups. These bank accounts can be accessed both online and in its branches, providing a hybrid approach for customers, although you should note there has been a reduction in the the branches available in England and Wales.

All three types of business account offered by RBS follow a ‘pay as you go’ system rather than charging a fixed monthly fee. This may suit your business if you do not make payments frequently. On the other hand, you may be more suited to an account which includes all transactions for one fixed price.

As with all financial decisions, you should weigh up your options and consider what is best for your circumstances.

» COMPARE: Business bank accounts

RBS Business Bank Account FAQs

What are the RBS Business Bank Accounts?

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) offers various types of business bank account:

  • Start-up bank account: for businesses that have been trading for less than a year, with a turnover under £1 million.

Also:

  • Business account: for businesses that have been trading for more than a year.
  • Community account: for not-for-profit groups, such as charities or clubs.

How do RBS Business Bank Accounts work?

You can sign up for an RBS business bank account either online or at one of its branches (though you will need a smartphone or other device to do this). Once you have opened it, your business account works in the same way as a regular current account.

Everyday banking tasks (such as sending and receiving payments) can be completed online or via the RBS app. You can go into a branch or the Post Office for other tasks, such as depositing or withdrawing cash.

How long does it take to open a RBS Business Bank Account?

If you do not already have a bank account with RBS, it can take up to 10 days to open your new account. It can be faster for existing RBS customers. If you don’t provide all the required information, it could slow the process down.

However, it can take longer to open an account during busy periods.

On the other hand, if you’re switching to an RBS business account through the Current Account Switch Service, your new account should be opened within seven working days.

How can I make a business account switch to RBS?

You may be able to switch to RBS using the Current Account Switch Service. This is a free scheme designed to make moving banks hassle-free.

When you make an application to RBS, you will need to let the bank know that you want to make a full switch from another provider. They will ask for details of your old account and ask you to choose a switch date.

Your new bank will manage the switch, moving your balance, any standing orders or direct debits and any incoming payments over to your new account.

If you choose to switch this way, you will be covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee. This means that if you are wrongly charged a fee or interest while switching, your new bank will refund you. Only full switches are covered – if you do not want to close your old account and choose a Partial Switch instead, you will not be covered by the guarantee.

Some eligibility criteria apply, and both your old bank and your new bank must be signed up to the scheme. You can find a list of participating banks on the Current Account Switch Service website.

» COMPARE: Switch business bank accounts

Who can apply for a RBS Business Bank Account?

You must be 18 years or older and have the right to be self-employed in the UK to apply for any business bank account with RBS. Additionally, different eligibility criteria apply to each of the three RBS business accounts:

  • Start-up business account: your business has been trading for less than a year, with a turnover of less than £1 million.
  • Standard business account: your business must have been trading for over a year.
  • Community bank account: at least one applicant must already have an account with RBS. You must run a not-for-profit incorporated company, a club or society, a charity or charitable incorporated organisation, a church or place of worship or a non-personal trust.

Additionally, if your business is located in England or Wales and you do not already have a Royal Bank of Scotland business account, you will be asked to apply for an account with NatWest or to contact RBS for advice. If your business is based in Northern Ireland, you should apply through Ulster Bank instead.

Alternatively, if you do have an existing business account with RBS but want to open another for a new business based in England or Wales, RBS request that you call them to talk through your options.

What do I need for my RBS Business Bank Account application?

To apply for an RBS business bank account, you will need to provide proof of:

  • personal details, such as your full name, date of birth, home address history and contact details
  • details of directors, partners, members or signatories
  • your trading address(es)
  • proof of registration at Companies House if it’s for a limited company
  • evidence of your business activity
  • how many employees you have, if applicable
  • any trading name(s) your business uses
  • where your business is registered for tax purposes
  • a cash-flow forecast or your year-end accounts
  • your company registration number, if you run a limited company

Does RBS offer online business banking services?

Yes, RBS offers a range of online business banking services.

Business customers can use Mobile Banking, accessed via the RBS mobile app. The app lets you manage your finances on the go, offering:

  • electronic cheque deposits
  • 24/7 assistance from a virtual assistant or chat via the app
  • transaction history
  • payments to others

» MORE: How to open a business account online

Is there an RBS sole trader account?

RBS does not offer a business bank account specifically designed for sole traders.

However, if you’re a sole trader, you can still apply for a business account with RBS. You are eligible for the start-up account (if you’ve been trading less than a year and have a turnover of less than £1 million) or the standard business account (if you’ve been trading for more than a year).

Does RBS offer a business credit card?

Yes, RBS offers business credit cards. You can find more detailed information on the RBS website.

Does the RBS account have an app?

Yes, RBS has a mobile app where you can manage your business banking. You can download the app from the Google Play store or the App Store.

Does RBS offer traditional support?

RBS has members of staff to support customers in high street branches and through its mobile branch service (Scotland only). You can also access digital face-to-face support by booking a video banking appointment.

Additionally, RBS offers support via:

  • telephone banking appointments
  • a 24/7 virtual assistant accessed online or via the app

How do I log in to RBS business banking online?

You can log in to RBS Digital Banking by following links to ‘Digital Banking’ on the RBS website. You may need to register to do this if you have not set up online banking before. Alternatively, you can log into your account using the RBS mobile app.

How can I contact RBS?

To get in touch with RBS, you can use the webchat service on its website.

Alternatively, you can call the business banking support helpline. Call centres are open 24/7 for everyday enquiries, though you may have to call between 9am and 5pm for specialist help and advice.

About the author:

Kristina is a writer at NerdWallet. A recent graduate trading French for finance, she has experience creating content for student newspaper Cherwell and an edtech company. Read more

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

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