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Published 05 September 2023
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RBS Business Loans Review: Pros, Cons & Features

RBS offers a number of business loan products, including a Small Business Loan. Read more about the lender’s pros, cons and key features.

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RBS offers a selection of different business finance products, from small business loans worth up to £50,000, to variable rate loans with potentially no upper limit. There are no early repayment fees, so you can pay off your loan in full before the end of the term at no extra cost. The lender also has a range of customer service options if you have any questions about your loan.

However, unless you are an RBS customer already, business loans are only available to new customers in Scotland. If you are based in England and Wales, you will be directed to NatWest, while new customers in Northern Ireland have the option of Ulster Bank.

RBS Business Loan

RBS Business Loan
  • Representative APR
  • Representative Example
    12.35% APR representative based on a loan of £10,000 repayable over 24 months at an interest rate of 11.70% per annum (fixed). Monthly repayment of £469.33. Total amount payable £11,264.04.
  • Available amounts
    £1,000 – £50,000
  • Available Terms
    1 – 7 years

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

  • Range of business loans
    RBS offers small business loans, fixed- and variable rate loans and Green loans, alongside the Government Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).
  • No early repayment fees
    You can fully or partially repay your loan before the term ends at no extra cost with RBS.
  • Small businesses can borrow up to £50,000
    The RBS small business loan starts at £1,000, and goes up to £50,000 for eligible businesses, and comes with no arrangement fees.
  • Small businesses can borrow for up to seven years
    The RBS small business loan comes with a term of one to seven years.

RBS business loans pros & cons


  • Borrow up to £50,000 (small business loan), £10 million (fixed-rate loan), or potentially an unlimited amount (variable rate loan). 
  • Term lengths range from a maximum of seven years (small business loans) to 25 years (fixed- and variable rate loans).
  • Royal Bank of Scotland’s online customer service options include private message on X (formerly Twitter), WhatsApp chat, and a 24/7 online chat assistant that can put you in touch with an agent.
  • No early repayment fees if you want to pay off your loan before the end of your term.


  • You can only receive a maximum term of seven years for the small business loan. Typically, traditional lenders offer at least 10 years as standard.
  • Limited access to RBS branches outside Scotland, though new customers can visit NatWest or Ulster Bank. 

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 loans 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. 

RBS business loans full review

Established in 1727, and now part of the NatWest Group alongside NatWest and Ulster Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) offers a number of business loans alongside overdrafts and credit cards. 

Importantly, you do not need to open a RBS business account in order to be eligible for a loan from the lender. 

In terms of its business loan, RBS has two main offerings, a small business loan and fixed- and variable rate loans, alongside a couple of other products.

Small business loan

With the RBS small business loan you can borrow between £1,000 and £50,000, over a period of one to seven years. 

This is a fixed-rate loan, meaning your interest rate, and therefore your monthly payments, will not change for the length of your loan term. Your interest rate will be determined by your credit rating, alongside how much you borrow and how long for.

You do not pay any set-up costs when taking out the loan, and you won’t be charged a fee if you want to repay your loan early. 

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be asked to make a personal, director or member’s guarantee. A personal guarantee is where you promise to repay the loan if your business cannot.

If you already use RBS digital banking, you could receive your loan within as little as 24 hours.

Fixed and variable-rate loans

RBS fixed- and variable rate loans start at £25,001. The maximum amount you can borrow is then based on whether you opt for a fixed or variable rate.

With a fixed-rate loan, you can borrow up to £10 million, while there is no upper limit on an RBS variable rate loan.

A variable rate can change across the length of your loan, and will be set above the base rate. This means, unlike with a fixed-rate loan, your monthly repayments could rise, or they could fall. 

As for loan terms, both fixed- and variable rate loans come with a maximum term of 25 years. However, if you choose a fixed-rate loan, the interest rate can only be fixed for a maximum of 15 years. In order to access a fixed- or variable rate loan, you may be required to use an asset as security. This asset, such as a property, may be repossessed if you fail to keep up with your repayments.

As with the small business loan, there are no fees if you want to make a full or partial early repayment of your fixed- or variable rate loan.

Other loans:

On top of the products mentioned above, RBS also offers:

  • Green loan: This loan is designed specifically for businesses looking to meet their sustainability ambitions, including the purchase of solar panels and electric vehicles. Other than that, the maximum and minimum loan amounts, and loan terms, are the same as with fixed- and variable rate loans.
  • Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS): You can apply for the Government Recovery Loan Scheme through RBS. Eligible businesses can borrow between £25,050 and £2 million, at fixed or variable rates, over a maximum of six years.

RBS business loans: at a glance

Amount borrowable£1,000 to £50,000 (small business loan)
£25,001 to £10 million (fixed-rate loan) or unlimited (variable rate loan)
Term lengthOne to seven years (small business loans)
Up to 25 years (fixed- and variable rate loans)
Web-based customer serviceX (formerly Twitter): @RBSBusiness
RBS Business WhatsApp
Cora, a digital assistant and chat service
UK customer service number0345 600 2230 (9am to 5pm)
AppYes (iOS and Android)
Face-to-face customer serviceYes
Access to loans without pre-existing accountYes

Where RBS business loans stands out

Range of loan products: RBS has a healthy range of loan products to suit different needs, from the small business loan for organisations with more limited funding needs, to the much larger sums available through its fixed- and variable rate loans, as well as the Government Recovery Loan Scheme.

No early repayment fees: You can fully or partially repay your loan without incurring any fees or charges. This means if your business has the funds, you can avoid unnecessary interest by paying off your loan early.

No set-up fee: The RBS small business loan does not come with any set-up or arrangement fees.

No need to create a new business bank account: You are not required to open an RBS business account to take out a loan. You just need to have a business account with any provider. This means you can keep banking with your existing account while taking advantage of an RBS business loan.

Customer service options: RBS has a range of ways you can get in touch if you have a question about business borrowing. Online you can message on WhatsApp, X (formerly Twitter), and its 24/7 chat assistant Cora (which can direct to a live agent). You can also ring its everyday business banking support line from 9am to 5pm, or pop into a branch if there is one in your area.

Where RBS business loans fall short

Regional restrictions: Unless you are an existing RBS customer, the lender’s business loans are only available to new customers in Scotland. 

Maximum term length: The RBS small business loan comes with a maximum term of seven years, which is lower than the 10 years set by many of its traditional banking peers.

Customer reviews: While RBS has positive reviews for its app, the brand as a whole has a ‘Bad’ rating on customer service website Trustpilot. 

Branch access outside Scotland: Although RBS does have branches, it is increasingly hard to find one outside Scotland. This means in-store support is limited for most customers. As an RBS customer, however, you can conduct everyday banking at NatWest branches.

RBS business loans customer reviews

Royal Bank of Scotland has a ‘Bad’ Trustpilot rating of 1.2 out of 5, but based on just 778 reviews. It is important to note that this is for the RBS brand as a whole, and not specifically its business loans products.

As for the Royal Bank of Scotland mobile app, which is also not specific to business loans, it has better reviews:

  • App Store: 4.8 out of 5, based on over 89,300 reviews.
  • Google Play: 4.8 out of 5, based on over 69,000 reviews.

This information is correct as of 30 August 2023.

RBS business loans eligibility 

To apply for an RBS business loan, specially a small business loan, you will need to:

  • be aged 18 and above
  • be the director of the business you are applying on behalf of
  • have never been declared bankrupt
  • have no County Court Judgements (CJJs) or Court Decrees
  • hold a business account (although not necessarily with RBS)

You will also need to pass Royal Bank of Scotland’s credit checks before being approved for a loan.

How to apply for a RBS business loan

To apply for an RBS Small Business Loan, you will likely need to complete the following steps:

  1. Check your eligibility online before proceeding with an application.
  2. Prepare the information you will need for your application. This will include your address history for the past three years, business turnover for the last 12 months, project turnover for the next 12 months, and your business net profit for the last 12 months.
  3. Complete an online application form. If you are already an RBS customer, you can log in with your Digital Banking details to speed up this process.
  4. Wait to hear if your application has been approved. You may need to supply RBS with further information.
  5. If your application has been approved, it can take as little as 24 hours to receive the funds.

» MORE: How to get a business loan

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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