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Published 18 May 2023

Santander Business Account Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Read our review of Santander’s business accounts, including pros, cons and key features.

Many or all of the products and brands we review are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and the product we choose in our ‘promotion’. However it doesn’t influence our reviews. Our opinions are our own.

Santander business account: at a glance

Santander is a multinational bank with roots going back to 1857. It is wholly owned by Banco Santander, a large bank that operates across Europe, North America and South America. 

Currently, Santander is only accepting applications for business current accounts from existing customers. 

Find out more about Santander business accounts, including the benefits and features that may suit you.

Promotion

Santander Business Current Account

  • Monthly Fee
    Free for 18 months
  • Card Purchase Fees
    From free
  • Bank Transfer Fees
    From free
  • Offer
    Free everyday banking for start-ups for 18 months
Learn More

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

Learn more about how we bring you our review.

Key features

  • Deposits protected by FSCS
    Santander is a UK bank regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); deposits may be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • Paid accounts only
    All Santander business accounts have a monthly fee and possible fees per transaction
  • Business savings and overdraft facilities
    Additional products, such as business overdrafts or business savings accounts, may be available

Santander business account pros & cons

Pros

Cons

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.

Santander business account full review

Santander has a range of services, accounts and finance options available to support smaller and larger businesses. With online, mobile and branch banking available, it could offer a business banking solution to suit your company.

We’ve collated everything you may want to know about Santander’s business account offering in the table below.

Monthly fee£7.50 (Business current account)£12.50 (1|2|3 Business current accountFree (Treasurer’s current account)
Transaction feesYes (except Treasurer’s current account)
Account managementOver the phoneVia mobile appOnlineIn a branch
FSCS protectionYes 
Potential for same day set-upYes
Cash depositsYes
Cheque depositsYes
Access to other banking services, such as overdrafts and business savings accountsYes
Integration with accounting software and toolsYes
International paymentsYes
Customer serviceOver the phoneIn a branch
Multiple user accessYes
Trustpilot rating1.3 out of 5 (as of 10 May 2023)

Santander business account features

The following sections provide some important details about the key features of Santander’s business accounts.

At present, Santander is only allowing existing customers to open business current accounts, though this could change in future.

Business account fees

By far the most important factor when comparing business accounts is the monthly cost, according to half of business owners surveyed by NerdWallet, who chose it as one of their top three criteria. 

Santander currently offers two current accounts and one treasurer’s account: 

These accounts have different pricing structures, which we’ll provide more information about below.

Monthly fee

Santander business accounts have a monthly fee, with the exception of the treasurer’s account, which is free for charities and community groups.

Start ups currently will get a discounted monthly fee on the 1|2|3 business account for the first 18 months, while businesses switching their business banking from another provider will receive a discount for 12 months. 

On its business current account, Santander currently offers free everyday banking to start ups for 18 months, charging a fee after that period.

Account typeMonthly fee
1|2|3 Business current account £12.50(£5 for first 18 months if your business is a start up; £5 for first 12 months for businesses switching to Santander)
Business current account£7.50 (after free 18 month introductory period, if applicable)
Treasurer’s current accountFree

Day-to-day business banking transaction charges 

Currently, most transactions are included in the monthly fee with Santander’s two business accounts, while its treasurer’s account offers free day-to-day banking to community groups and charities. 

Transaction type1|2|3 Business current accountBusiness current accountTreasurer’s current account
Direct debits and standing ordersFreeFreeFree
Payments in or out*FreeFreeFree
Cash paid in (in a branch or at Post Office)Free (first £1,000 per month)70p per £100 if monthly limit exceededFree (first £1,000 per month)70p per £100 if monthly limit exceededFree
ATM cash withdrawals in the UK**FreeFreeFree
Cheques paid inFreeFreeFree

* Transaction limits may apply to Faster Payments.

** Daily withdrawal limits may apply.

Non-standard transactions, such as change-giving services, may incur additional fees. A full list of charges for each type of account is available on the Santander UK website.

Other fees

There are additional fees to consider, such as for transactions in foreign currencies or cash withdrawals abroad. Some of these fees are displayed in the table below.

Transaction TypeCost
ATM cash withdrawals from Santander machines in SpainFree
Other ATM cash withdrawals in a foreign currency2.95% of the amount withdrawn
Purchases in a foreign currency2.95% of the transaction amount

Easy account access

The second most important factor when comparing business accounts, according to the business owners who NerdWallet surveyed, is how easy it is to access the account. 

Santander business account holders can manage their money online using internet banking or via its business banking mobile app.

If you would prefer to speak to someone, it’s also possible to manage the account over the phone. Alternatively, Santander has branches across the UK. You can go into a branch to carry out banking transactions or to get support about your account. 

Account set-up

A quarter of business owners felt that quick account set-up was important when searching for a business account, according to our NerdWallet survey. 

On average, it takes Santander four days to open business accounts, provided that you have submitted all required information and documents. 

That said, currently you’ll only be able to get a Santander business account if you’re an existing customer, so it won’t suit everyone’s circumstances. 

FSCS protection

According to the business owners we surveyed, deposit protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is a key feature when it comes to business accounts; it ranked third most important overall. 

Deposits with Santander of up to £85,000 are protected by the FSCS. This means that if Santander were to fail, you would be compensated for deposits held by the bank up to this amount.

It’s worth noting that this limit applies across all accounts in your name with a provider. So if you’re a sole trader with a personal and a business account with Santander, your accounts will have a combined protection limit of £85,000.  

If you run a limited company, its business account will be in its own name because it is a separate legal entity from you. This means that if you have both a personal account and a business account for your limited company with Santander, they will each have their own FSCS protection limit of £85,000.

Mobile phone app

A mobile app is also key when it comes to business accounts, according to our survey; this feature ranked fourth most important overall.

Santander provides a business banking mobile app to customers, allowing digital access to their accounts. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Customer service

You can contact Santander’s customer support:

While support is not available 24/7, this criteria was not a major consideration when choosing a business account according to our survey, ranking joint ninth alongside international banking facilities. 

Customer reviews

Santander hasn’t been rated highly on the review sites we visited. The app scores refer to Santander’s Mobile Business Banking app, while the Trustpilot reviews may come from both personal and business banking customers.

This information is correct as of 10 May 2023.

Santander business account eligibility

Currently, you must be an existing Santander customer to be eligible to apply for a business account. However, this may change in future.

Santander’s standard eligibility criteria for all its business accounts include:

If you want to open one of its two business accounts (not its treasurer’s account), the following criteria also apply.

In addition, if you are applying for a 1|2|3 business account, you must not have an existing 1|2|3 business account. Charitable organisations applying for the treasurer’s account must have an annual turnover not exceeding £250,000. 

How to choose a Santander business account

There are a number of questions that you may want to ask yourself when weighing up whether to choose a Santander business account or when comparing other providers:

How to apply for a Santander business account

To open a business account with Santander, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Start an application.
  2. Submit proof of ID.
  3. Wait for approval.

Start an application

Existing Santander customers can apply for a business account by first making an appointment over the phone or at a branch.

Santander provides an application checklist to help you figure out which documents you’ll need before you apply. You can find this on the Santander website. 

You may be required to provide information such as:

Submit proof of your identity

Whether you’re a sole trader or run a limited company or partnership, you’ll need to show Santander proof of identity when applying. Additional partners, directors, shareholders, account operators, trustees or beneficiaries will also need to provide this. 

You’ll also need to show proof of residential address, and proof of trading address if it’s different from where you live.

You can use one of the following as proof of ID, though this is not an exhaustive list:

To prove your residential address, you can use a document such as:

More information can be found in the application checklist Santander provides on its website. 

Wait for approval

After you’ve submitted your application for a Santander business account, you’ll have to wait to hear whether you’ve been approved. 

On average, it takes four days to open a business account with Santander once the bank has received all the information it needs from you.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet Ltd UK we base our reviews on the results of surveys we conduct to understand what key product features are important to those who use them, and align them to the product we review.

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 it is likely there are others available that we have not reviewed. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances.

You can view our review methodology here.

About the Authors

Dan Barraclough

Dan is an experienced writer of B2B and B2C content, having written for start-ups, small businesses and household name brands. His specialist topics include finance, insurance and business energy.

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Kristina Fox

Kristina was a writer at NerdWallet who focused on writing finance content for small businesses, as well as young people and students. A recent graduate trading French for finance, she…

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