Cater Allen Private Bank business banking review – account types & fees compared

Updated on 8 December 2023

Cater Allen Private Bank was initially formed in 1816 in Blackburn. Today, the brand is a challenger bank and a subsidiary company of Santander, offering business current and savings accounts. Perhaps not the best-known name in the financial sphere despite its longevity, how does Cater Allen stack up against the many competitors available to customers today?

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Does Cater Allen Private Bank support business banking?

Yes, business customers can apply for a Cater Allen Private Bank account. You can use this as a current account, or apply for a savings account. You can manage this account in £GBP, €EUR, or $USD

Although owned by Santander, Cater Allen is a challenger bank with no physical presence. You will not be able to manage your account over the counter at a branch of Santander, and all your needs will need to be managed online.

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You can only do this through the bank’s website – this bank does not offer an app for use on a smartphone or tablet. The only actions you cannot take online are closing your account or changing your address or contact details. This needs to be done over the telephone.

Business banking alternatives


Revolut Business
✓ Business Current Account
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Tide Business Bank Accounts
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Card One Money
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ANNA Money
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HSBC Business Banking
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Metro Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
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Mettle Business Banking
✓ Business Bank Account
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Monzo Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
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Virgin Money
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What business banking accounts does Cater Allen Private Bank offer?

Cater Allen offers one standard current account for business customers, known as a Reserve Account. This account will allow you to move money between the three prime currencies mentioned above – £, €, and $ – without conversion fees. 

This bank does not extend any lines of credit to business customers. You will not have access to a business overdraft, a business credit cardbusiness loans, or prepaid business expense cards. You will qualify for interest at a rate of 0.05% EPA if you have a balance above £50,000. 

Cater Allen Private Bank also offers two business savings accounts:

  • A Fixed Term Deposit Account can be opened with a deposit of £85,000 or more, and must remain untouched for one or two years. Upon maturation, you will receive your balance back plus an interest rate of 3.50% (after one year) or 3.75% (two years.)
  • A Business Notice 35 Account means you can withdraw funds at any time with 35 days’ notice. You can open this account with any balance, and it pays interest at an EAR of 2.85%. This interest will be calculated daily and paid out monthly.

Is my company eligible for a Cater Allen Private Bank business bank account?

You will be entitled to apply for a Cater Allen Private Bank business account if you are aged 18 or over, and are a permanent UK resident. As well as SMEs, charities and sole traders can apply for a Cater Allen account.

How do I set up a Cater Allen Private Bank business bank account?

Cater Allen Private Bank operates a pretty outdated business model. You will need to apply for an account in writing, and it could then take up to a week to receive a response. In the age of the internet, this will feel like an interminable wait.

If you’re still interested in opening an account with this institution, head to the relevant page on the bank’s website and print off the forms provided, alongside copies of any identification required, and pop everything in the post to the bank’s HQ in Sunderland. 

What are the advantages of setting up a Cater Allen Private Bank business bank account?

Cater Allen Private Bank is a traditional banking institution, so it is fully regulated by the FCA and protected by the FSCS.

The ability to freely transfer funds between three different currencies may be beneficial to a company that engages in significant overseas trading.

Cater Allen Private Bank does not charge a monthly fee to keep an account open, and you’ll be entitled to 30 free transactions every month before you start accruing micro fees.

What are the drawbacks of setting up a Cater Allen Private Bank business bank account?

If you are interested in Cater Allen Private Bank in an attempt to gain interest on your money, you’ll need a balance of at least £500,000 to qualify – and even then, this only applies to £GBP accounts.

Once your free transactions expire in a month, you’ll pay comparatively high fees every time you want to make a payment.

Cater Allen is a challenger bank, with no ability to manage your account through a branch, but also does not have an app. You’ll need to be sat in front of a desktop computer and sign in through the bank website whenever you wish to make a transaction, and if you want to deposit a cheque, you need to send it in the post.

This will quickly become frustrating and is a prime example of why this bank is considered an outdated bank in 2024.

What fees are involved with running a Cater Allen Private Bank business bank account?

Thankfully, one thing that works in the favour of Cater Allen Private Bank is that you will not need to pay a monthly fee to keep the account open. 

However, you’ll still attract a handful of transaction fees to use the account. You will be entitled to 30 free bank transfers, card purchases, and ATM withdrawals, then pay 75p each for every transaction that follows.

What is Cater Allen Private Bank’s reputation among business banking customers?

In short, not good. The official Cater Allen TrustPilot profile has a score of 1.9 from 5, based on a little over a hundred reviews. 

Reviews are fairly uniform in the opinion that this bank operates a sluggish and outdated business model, which makes sense given everything we have discussed about this institution, with further complaints surrounding the level of customer service provided.

Summary

If you have read this guide in full, you have probably made up your mind about Cater Allen Private Bank. There is very little to recommend this challenger bank when so many competitors, many of which offer superior and more extensive services, are available. Unless you are particularly keen on the savings accounts offered by this bank, you’ll likely find a better provider elsewhere online.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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