Metro Bank vs Starling for business banking

Updated on 7 August 2023

As the world of business banking continues to evolve, two major players have come to the forefront in the UK: Metro Bank vs Starling Bank. Both challenger banks offer innovative, tech-savvy solutions designed to cater to modern businesses. But which one should you choose?

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In this article, we compare Metro Bank and Starling Bank, analysing their features, pros and cons, fees and charges, unique offerings, and more, providing a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

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Metro Bank vs Starling

FeaturesMetro BankStarling Bank
24/7 Customer SupportAvailable via phone, email, and in-branch servicesAvailable via in-app chat and email
Mobile AppiOS and Android apps with extensive featuresiOS and Android apps with wide range of features
Free Business AccountNot available; charges a monthly fee of £5Available with no monthly fees
Multi-Currency AccountsAvailable with charges varying per currencyAvailable with competitive exchange rates
Integration with Accounting SoftwareIntegrates with Xero, Quickbooks, and othersIntegrates with Xero, Quickbooks, and FreeAgent
Real-Time Transaction AlertsAvailable via mobile appAvailable via mobile app and email
Overdraft FacilityAvailable; rates subject to individual circumstancesAvailable; rates subject to individual circumstances
Access to Physical BranchesAvailable across various UK locationsNot available; entirely digital bank
Instantaneous SetupNot available; requires in-branch visitAvailable via mobile app
Cash Deposits at Post OfficesNot available; cash deposits only in branchesAvailable free of charge
Contactless CardsAvailable as standardAvailable as standard
Invoicing SupportAvailable with various templatesNot available
Cheque Imaging ServicesNot available; requires in-branch visitAvailable via mobile app
Direct Debit Set-UpAvailable via mobile app and onlineAvailable via mobile app and online
Online Security FeaturesExtensive online security measures in placeMultiple layers of security measures in place
Cash Deposit Charges0.3% charge on cash depositsFree at Post Offices
Card Control FeaturesAvailable; includes card lock and other featuresAvailable; includes card freeze, spending limits, and more
FSCS ProtectionUp to £85,000 coveredUp to £85,000 covered
Same-Day TransfersAvailable for transactions within the UKAvailable for transactions within the UK
Loans and MortgagesBoth available with varied ratesNot available
Metro Bank vs Starling

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HSBC Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ In-Branch, Online & App Banking
✓ FSCS Protected
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Metro Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ High Street Presence
✓ FSCS Protected
Pricing Trial period Contact

Mettle Business Banking
✓ Business Bank Account
✓ Online & App
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process
Pricing Trial period Contact

Monzo Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ Dedicated mobile app experience
✓ FSCS Protected
Pricing Trial period Contact

Virgin Money
✓ Business M Account
✓ In-Store, Online & App Banking
✓ Insights & Forecasting Platform
Pricing Trial period Contact

Metro Bank

Metro Bank is renowned for a customer-centric approach that integrates digital innovation with the convenience of physical branches. It has positioned itself as a full-service bank with a comprehensive suite of business banking solutions, perfect for businesses preferring a blend of online and in-person banking.

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Pros and cons

Pros

  • Physical Branches: Metro Bank’s network of branches enables face-to-face banking – a rarity in today’s digital-focused landscape.
  • Full Suite of Services: Metro Bank offers a wide range of services, including loans, mortgages, and multi-currency accounts.
  • Integration with Accounting Software: Seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software like Xero and Quickbooks.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Offers round-the-clock customer support.

Cons

  • No Free Business Account: Unlike Starling, Metro Bank does not offer free business banking.
  • Cash Deposit Charges: Charges apply for cash deposits.
  • Setup not Instant: Account setup is not instantaneous and requires a visit to a branch.

Fees and charges

Fees & ChargesMetro Bank
Monthly Account Fee£5
Cash Deposits (in branch)0.3% of total deposit
SEPA PaymentsFree
Non-SEPA Euro Payments£10
UK Domestic TransfersFree
Metro Bank fees and charges

Unique and standout features

Metro Bank stands out for its commitment to traditional banking, maintaining physical branches where customers can receive in-person service.

They offer sector-specific accounts catering to a wide array of industries.

Furthermore, they have an exceptional business overdraft facility and a comprehensive portfolio of loans and mortgages.

In addition, Metro Bank provides business customers with access to an array of networking events and seminars aimed at fostering relationships within the business community.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a fully digital, mobile-only challenger bank, rapidly gaining popularity for its innovative, user-friendly solutions. Its simplicity and transparent fee structure make it an appealing choice for small businesses and freelancers.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • No Fees for Cash Deposits: Cash can be deposited at Post Offices free of charge.
  • Free Business Account: Offers a completely free business account.
  • Instant Setup: New accounts can be set up instantly via the mobile app.
  • Cheque Imaging Services: Depositing cheques is easy with their image-capturing functionality.

Cons

  • No Physical Branches: Being entirely digital, it lacks physical branches for face-to-face service.
  • No Loans or Mortgages: Starling does not offer business loans or mortgages.
  • No Invoicing Support: Unlike Metro Bank, Starling does not support invoicing.

Fees and Charges

Fees & ChargesStarling Bank
Monthly Account FeeFree
Cash Deposits (at Post Offices)Free
SEPA PaymentsFree
Non-SEPA Euro Payments£5.50
UK Domestic TransfersFree
Starling Bank fees and charges

Unique and standout features

Starling Bank excels in simplicity and efficiency.

Its free business account and transparent fee structure make it popular among small businesses and freelancers.

The bank has successfully leveraged technology to improve the banking experience – offering features like real-time notifications, spending insights, and savings goals.

It also supports the depositing of cheques through the app and free cash deposits at Post Offices, making banking effortless for its customers.

Conclusion – Metro bank vs Starling

Choosing between Metro Bank and Starling Bank depends largely on your business’s unique needs.

If you value physical branches and a wide range of services, including loans and mortgages, Metro Bank could be the right choice.

If you prefer a fully digital bank with a straightforward, fee-free structure, then Starling Bank is a fantastic option.

FAQ

Do both banks offer a mobile app?

Yes, both Metro Bank and Starling Bank have user-friendly mobile apps with numerous features.

Are these banks FSCS protected?

Yes, both banks are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which protects deposits up to £85,000.

Do these banks charge for cash deposits?

Starling Bank does not charge for cash deposits, while Metro Bank does charge for cash deposits at their branches.

Which bank offers business loans?

As of the time of writing, Metro Bank offers business loans and mortgages, while Starling Bank does not.

Can I open a multi-currency account with both banks?

Yes, both banks offer multi-currency accounts.

Do both banks integrate with accounting software?

Yes, both banks integrate with popular accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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