HSBC vs NatWest for business banking

Updated on 7 August 2023

Choosing the right bank for your business is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your operations, financial management, and overall growth. Two leading options in the UK are HSBC vs NatWest, both offering a range of business banking services.

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In this article, we’ll delve into an in-depth comparison of these two banking giants to help you make an informed choice.

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HSBC vs NatWest

FeaturesHSBCNatWest
Business Current Accounts
Business Savings Accounts
Business Loans
Business Credit Cards
International Banking
Online Banking
Mobile Banking App
In-Branch Services
24/7 Customer Support
Business Insurance
Asset Finance
Invoice Finance
Merchant Services
Treasury Services
Trade Finance
Business Training & Advice
Business Specialist Teams
Innovative Financial Solutions
Dedicated Relationship Manager
Startup Business Services
HSBC vs NatWest

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HSBC Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ In-Branch, Online & App Banking
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✓ Business Current Account
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✓ Business Current Account
✓ Dedicated mobile app experience
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Virgin Money
✓ Business M Account
✓ In-Store, Online & App Banking
✓ Insights & Forecasting Platform
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HSBC

HSBC is a global banking and financial services organisation with a significant presence in the UK. Their business banking solutions cater to businesses of all sizes, providing comprehensive services from everyday banking to sophisticated financial strategies.

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Pros and cons

Pros

  • Global Reach: HSBC’s international network is beneficial for businesses with or planning global operations.
  • Wide Range of Services: From current accounts to complex financial solutions, HSBC covers it all.
  • Innovative Technology: HSBC invests in modern banking technology, providing an efficient digital banking experience.
  • Relationship Management: A dedicated manager for business accounts aids in personalised service.
  • Education & Resources: HSBC offers numerous educational resources and tools for business growth.

Cons

  • Customer Service: Some customers report less than ideal experiences with HSBC’s customer service.
  • Fees: HSBC can be more expensive than some competitors for certain services.
  • Accessibility: Despite their global presence, not all services are available in all regions.

Fees and charges

Type of transactionFee
Business Current Account£6.50 monthly fee
Electronic Payments (in or out)£0.20
Branch-based Credits£1.00
ATM WithdrawalFree
Business Credit Card£32 annual fee
HSBC fees and charges

Unique and standout features

HSBC stands out for its global reach and innovative solutions.

It provides international business banking, facilitating overseas transactions and global growth.

It also excels in offering technology-driven services, such as the HSBCnet platform, providing businesses with a one-stop solution for all their banking needs, including payments, cash management, and reporting.

Their “Working Capital Cycle” model helps businesses manage cash flow effectively.

Additionally, their Knowledge Centre and Business Guides provide valuable insights to help businesses grow and navigate financial challenges.

NatWest

NatWest, a prominent name in the UK banking sector, offers a comprehensive suite of business banking services. They cater to businesses of varying sizes and sectors, emphasising personalised service and local understanding.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Local Expertise: NatWest, being a predominantly UK-based bank, offers deep local market understanding.
  • Wide Service Range: NatWest provides a broad array of financial services, catering to various business needs.
  • Digital Solutions: NatWest provides a robust online and mobile banking platform.
  • Entrepreneur Support: NatWest runs an Entrepreneur Accelerator programme to support new businesses.
  • Excellent Customer Service: Known for their strong customer support, NatWest is responsive and accessible.

Cons

  1. International Services: Compared to HSBC, NatWest’s international services are limited.
  2. Digital Experience: Some users find their digital platforms less intuitive than those of competitors.
  3. Business Account Restrictions: Certain conditions apply to free business banking, which may not suit all businesses.

Fees and charges

Type of transactionFee
Business Current Account£5 monthly fee
Electronic Payments (in or out)£0.35
Cash Payments (in or out)£0.70 per £100
Cheques (in or out)£0.70
Business Credit Card£30 annual fee
NatWest fees and charges

Unique and standout features

NatWest’s standout features revolve around their commitment to personalised service and local market understanding.

Their “FreeAgent” tool, a cloud-based accounting software offered free to business current account holders, simplifies financial management for SMEs.

They also have an impressive ‘Entrepreneur Accelerator’ programme, providing startups with mentorship, insight, and facilities to help them grow.

Their Tyl solution offers businesses easy card payment services with next-day settlement to improve cash flow.

Conclusion – HSBC vs NatWest

Choosing between HSBC and NatWest for business banking largely depends on your business needs.

HSBC, with its global reach and innovative solutions, is particularly suited for businesses with international operations.

In contrast, NatWest’s deep local understanding, personalised service, and tools like FreeAgent make it an excellent choice for UK-centric businesses, especially startups and SMEs.

FAQ

Can both banks provide business loans?

Yes, both HSBC and NatWest offer a range of business loans.

Do they offer customer support outside of regular working hours?

Yes, both banks provide 24/7 customer support.

What digital banking solutions do they offer?

Both HSBC and NatWest offer online banking and mobile banking apps.

Are there business insurance services available?

Yes, both banks provide business insurance options.

Do they provide services to startups?

Yes, both banks offer a range of services tailored to startups.

What is the cost of a business credit card?

HSBC charges an annual fee of £32 for their business credit card, while NatWest charges £30.

Do they offer business training and advice?

Yes, both banks offer a range of resources and tools for business training and advice.

How do the banks support international business operations?

HSBC has a strong global presence, making it easier for businesses to operate internationally. NatWest also offers international banking services, but they might not be as extensive as HSBC’s.

What are the charges for electronic payments?

HSBC charges £0.20 for electronic payments (in or out), whereas NatWest charges £0.35.

Are there any unique support programmes for entrepreneurs?

Yes, NatWest runs the Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, while HSBC offers the ‘Working Capital Cycle’ model and other resources to support businesses.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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