Compare Business Accounts for Switchers

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Available for UK based limited companies, sole traders or side hustlers with up to two owners that are UK residents. Maximum balance of £100k for limited companies and £50k for sole traders.

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Information written by Kristina Fox Last updated on 06 May 2022.

It’s easier than ever to switch your business bank account

Switching business bank accounts has never been easier thanks to support from the UK government and banking industry. Back in 2013, the government launched the Current Account Switch Service to encourage customers to shop around. The service aims to make switching your current account easy and stress-free and includes bank accounts for small businesses.

The switching service boosts healthy competition in UK banking. For customers, this means lower prices, fairer terms and better service. For many business owners, the benefits of switching can outweigh staying with a provider you’ve been with for years.

Pros and cons of switching your business banking

Should you switch? Some common reasons people switch their business banking include:

  • To match what your business needs
    If your business has changed, the way you bank might benefit from changing too. For example, if you no longer need a branch service, or to pay in cash or cheques regularly, then a digital-only account might now be an option for you.

  • To get a better deal
    You could save money or pick up an attractive incentive to switch.

  • To integrate your account with your accountancy software
    You might want to switch if you or your accountant is using a software system such as QuickBooks, Sage or Xero but your existing account isn’t compatible.

  • To use services not offered by your current provider
    Providers are offering more features to make your finance admin quicker and easier. You might want to switch to get features like invoicing, receipt logging or sub-accounts you can use to put money aside for tax or wages. Or perhaps you’d like access to customer service via an app or by email.

And here are some common reasons why people decide not to switch:

  • You have to learn how to use a new system
    A new account with a new provider means learning new processes and a new online banking system.

  • You need to tell customers to use your new details
    You’ll need to update your invoice template and give your new details to everyone who makes transfers to you.

If you use the Current Account Switch Scheme, your existing provider will redirect payments from your old account to your new one indefinitely and contact anyone who makes a transfer into your old account to give them your new account details. But in terms of your relationship with your customers, it’s best if you let them know the new details.

  • You have to update your web payments
    Web browsers, mobile systems and shopping sites offer to save your details when you’re buying online. If you’ve stored your details to make online purchasing easier, you’ll need to set them up again if you switch accounts.

  • You have to update your recurring card payments
    A recurring payment on your debit or credit card is called a ‘continuous payment authority’ (CPA). This type of payment isn’t switched by the Current Account Switch Scheme. CPAs are common for services such as mobile or broadband, and for membership subscriptions and insurance. You’ll need to inform the services you’re paying by CPA that your details have changed. If you don’t do anything, it’s likely that your payment will fail, and you might lose access to services or subscriptions. Your service provider may try to take the payment again or contact you to ask for alternative payment details, but it’s best to proactively update these beforehand so you don’t risk disruption.

How to switch business bank accounts

  1. Weigh up the pros and cons of switching
    Read through the pros and cons we’ve listed above to help decide whether to switch your account.

  2. Compare business accounts to find the best deal
    Get stuck into some research. You can start by using our comparison table above to find deals for business accounts.

If you want to take advantage of the Current Account Switch Service, check which providers are signed up.

  1. Apply and switch
    When you’re ready to switch, the first step is to apply for an account with the new provider.

If your new provider is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service, it’s likely it will ask you if you want to use the service when you apply. Expect it to take seven working days for the new bank to arrange the switch. Then, on the date you pick, your new account will be ready to use with your existing scheduled payments (direct debits and standing orders) transferred to the new account. Repeated incoming payments such as your salary will also be moved over.

If your provider isn’t part of the Current Account Switch Service, you’ll need to cancel your existing scheduled payments and set them up on your new account.

Regardless of whether or not you use the Current Account Switching Scheme, you'll need to:

  • download any statements you need from your old account – your bank will also send your statements from the past five years
  • update your invoice template with your new details
  • tell customers to use your new details
  • update any companies you're paying by CPA
  • update your saved payment details next time you buy online
  1. Check your old account
    If you’ve switched using the Current Account Switch Service, your old account will be closed automatically. Check your post and email for notifications.

If you didn’t use the Current Account Switch Service and you want to close the old account, you’ll need to ask your old provider to do this.

  1. Review your business banking regularly
    It’s a good idea to review your business banking at least once a year to make sure you’re getting the service you need. You could set a recurring reminder in your calendar or if you have an accountant, you could ask them to keep an eye on your account to make sure you’re getting value for money.

Switching business bank accounts FAQs

Can I switch my business bank account?

Switching business bank accounts isn’t only possible, it’s been made easier by the UK government and banking industry.

In the past, switching was a complicated process but the Current Account Switch Service has made it much easier and there is more choice than ever.

What is the Current Account Switch Scheme?

The Current Account Switch Scheme was established in 2013 to make it easier for consumers to switch their current accounts and to open up the banking market.

Before the scheme was introduced, many customers thought it was too much hassle to switch so they stuck with their existing accounts. Now, switching – including accounts for small businesses – is much simpler and providers signed up to the scheme promise to complete the switch within seven working days. This includes moving your direct debits, standing orders and any remaining balance to your new account.

What is the Current Account Switch Guarantee?

The Current Account Switch Guarantee is the set of promises made by account providers signed up to the Current Account Switch Scheme. The guarantee includes promises to complete the switch in seven working days, to offer the service for free, and to redirect your payments.

What is the Business Banking Switch Scheme?

The Business Banking Switch Scheme isn’t the same as the Current Account Switch Scheme (see above).

The Business Banking Switch Scheme was for people who held their business current account with RBS or NatWest – it offered incentives to switch to other providers. The scheme was one of the measures RBS and NatWest agreed to after they received a government bail-out in 2008. The aim was to decrease the market share RBS and NatWest held for business accounts and to improve competition in UK banking.

The scheme is now closed, but small businesses who hold an account with RBS or NatWest can still switch using the Current Account Switch Service.

How long does it take to switch business bank accounts?

For business accounts covered by the Current Account Switch Scheme, banks promise to complete the entire switching process in no longer than seven working days. You’ll need to apply for an account with your new provider and inform them that you want to use the switching service (often they’ll ask you about this during the application process). You can then pick a date for the switch – it must be a weekday in at least seven working days time, and not a weekend or bank holiday. Your new bank will do the rest. You don’t need to inform your old bank.

If you’re switching to a provider that isn’t covered by the Current Account Switch Service, there is no guarantee about how long it will take. It could take minutes to open your new account, or it could take weeks. When your new account is open, you’ll need to do the switch yourself: cancel existing scheduled payments and set them up again on the new account, transfer across money in the old account, inform your customers and so on.

Do I have to close my existing account when I open a new business bank account?

If you use the Current Account Switch Service, your old provider will automatically close your existing account for you after they have transferred all the money and scheduled payments (direct debits and standing orders) to your new account.

So if you want the option to keep your old account open, you can’t use the Current Account Switch Service, and will need to arrange the switch yourself.

Will I be charged a penalty fee if I switch business accounts?

You shouldn't be charged a penalty to switch accounts but you’ll need to clear any debts with your existing provider before you can switch. For example, your balance must be positive or zero and you’ll need to be up to date with your payments for their services. If you’re not sure, check the Ts&Cs of your account.

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

Compare business bank accounts

Choose your business current account options

23 products found
    • Tide logo

      Tide Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        20p*
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Tide logo

      Tide Plus Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        £9.99
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Tide logo

      Tide Cashback Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        £49.99
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • See 2 more Tide products
    • Virgin Money logo

      Virgin Money M Account for Business

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App/Online
    • Virgin Money logo

      Virgin Money Business Current Account

      • Monthly Fee
        £6.50
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        Branch, app & online
    • See 1 more Virgin Money product
  • Mettle logo

    Mettle by NatWest

    • Monthly Fee
      Free
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App only
    • Cashplus logo

      Cashplus Business Bank Account

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Cashplus logo

      Cashplus Business Bank Account with Cashback

      • Monthly Fee
        £69 per year
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        99p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • See 1 more Cashplus product
    • ANNA Money logo

      ANNA Money - Pay as you go

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        20p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • ANNA Money logo

      ANNA Money - Business

      • Monthly Fee
        £14.90
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • ANNA Money logo

      ANNA Money - Big Business

      • Monthly Fee
        £49.90
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • See 2 more ANNA Money products
  • The Co-operative Bank logo

    The Co-operative Bank Business Current Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £10*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      Branch, App & Online
  • Card One Money logo

    Card One Money Business Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £12.50*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      30p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    • Countingup logo

      Countingup Business Account (Starter)

      • Monthly Fee
        £3
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • Countingup logo

      Countingup Business Account (Standard)

      • Monthly Fee
        £9
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • Countingup logo

      Countingup Business Account (Premium)

      • Monthly Fee
        £18
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        30p
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App only
    • See 2 more Countingup products
  • TSB logo

    TSB Business Plus Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £5*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      Branch, app & online
  • HSBC logo

    HSBC Kinetic Business Current Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £6.50*
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
  • Acorn logo

    Acorn Business Account

    • Monthly Fee
      £12.50
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      30p
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    • Revolut logo

      Companies: Revolut Free

      • Monthly Fee
        Free
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Revolut logo

      Companies: Revolut Grow

      • Monthly Fee
        £25
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Revolut logo

      Companies: Revolut Scale

      • Monthly Fee
        £100
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • Revolut logo

      Companies: Revolut Enterprise

      • Monthly Fee
        Contact Revolut for details
      • Card Purchases
        Free
      • Bank Transfers
        Free
      • Overdraft
      • Access
        App & Online
    • See 3 more Revolut products

Our comparison service features a selection of providers from whom we receive commission. This table is initially ordered according to our commercial arrangements. Use the drop down menu at the top of the page to order by other criteria.

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