NatWest vs RBS for business banking

Updated on 7 August 2023

As a business owner in the UK, selecting the right bank can impact your company’s financial health and daily operations. Two of the largest high street banks, NatWest vs RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), offer extensive business banking services.

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Both banks, part of the same banking group, have similar product offerings, yet subtle differences may sway your decision. This article compares NatWest and RBS, providing an in-depth look at their features, pros and cons, fees and unique aspects.

Video: Choosing a business bank account

NatWest vs RBS

FeatureNatWestRBS
Business current accountOffers a range of current accounts tailored to different business sizes and stages.Provides a variety of business current accounts, including those tailored to startups and established businesses.
Business savings accountProvides a variety of business savings options to help grow your business surplus.Offers several types of business savings accounts, including instant access and fixed-term accounts.
Business credit cardOffers business credit cards with varying benefits and reward programs.Provides a variety of business credit cards, each tailored to different spending and reward preferences.
Merchant servicesPartners with Worldpay to provide a range of merchant services.Also partners with Worldpay for extensive merchant services.
International business servicesOffers services such as international payments, foreign exchange and trade solutions.Provides comprehensive international services, including international accounts, trade finance and FX services.
Online bankingProvides a robust online banking platform, with features like bulk payments and customisable user access.Offers online banking with extensive services, including international payments and detailed financial tracking.
Mobile bankingOffers a comprehensive mobile app with receipt scanning and invoice management.Has a dedicated mobile app with features such as invoice tracking and tax estimates.
Invoice financingProvides solutions to improve cash flow by releasing cash tied up in invoices.Offers invoice financing to help businesses manage cash flow and client payments.
Business loansOffers a range of loan options, including unsecured business loans and commercial mortgages.Provides different types of loans, including enterprise finance guarantee loans and business loans for women.
Business insurancePartners with Arthur J. Gallagher to offer business insurance solutions.Partners with Arthur J. Gallagher to provide a range of insurance solutions for businesses.
Overdraft facilitiesOffers arranged and unarranged overdrafts subject to application and status.Provides business overdrafts with competitive rates and tailored repayment options.
Support for startupsOffers 18 months of free business banking for startups, alongside mentoring and resources.Provides 18 months of free banking for startups, plus resources and support through the Business Builder program.
24/7 customer serviceProvides round-the-clock customer service through phone, online chat and email.Offers 24/7 customer service via various channels, including phone and online chat.
Business mentoringProvides a dedicated business mentor service with experienced business advisers.Offers mentoring support through the Entrepreneurial Spark program.
Green banking initiativesOffers green mortgages and loans as part of its commitment to sustainable banking.Supports green initiatives through eco-friendly lending options.
Dedicated business banking managerOffers a dedicated relationship manager for personalised banking advice.Provides a dedicated relationship manager to guide and assist with your business banking needs.
Commercial mortgagesOffers mortgages for a range of commercial properties with competitive interest rates.Provides commercial mortgages with personalised advice and competitive rates.
Asset financeOffers asset finance solutions to help businesses purchase or lease equipment.Provides a range of asset finance options, including leasing and hire purchase.
Trade financeProvides trade finance solutions to assist with international and domestic trade.Offers extensive trade finance options, including letters of credit and trade loans.
Cash management & deposit servicesOffers a range of cash management services to help businesses manage their cash flow.Provides extensive cash management and deposit services to ensure efficient handling of funds.
Tailored industry-specific banking solutionsOffers specialised banking services for sectors such as healthcare, real estate and manufacturing.Provides tailored banking solutions for industries including leisure.
NatWest vs RBS

Revolut Business
✓ Business Current Account
✓ Award-Winning Mobile App
✓ Quick & Easy Application Process
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Tide Business Bank Accounts
✓ Free, Plus, or Pro Account
✓ iOS & Android Mobile App
✓ Upload & Auto-Match Receipts
Pricing Trial period Contact

Card One Money
✓ No Credit Checks
✓ Simple Fees
✓ Up To 3.5% Cashback
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ANNA Money
✓ Apply In 10 Minutes
✓ Bookkeeping & Payroll Tools
✓ User-Friendly Mobile App
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HSBC Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ In-Branch, Online & App Banking
✓ FSCS Protected
Pricing Trial period Contact

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

NatWest

NatWest stands out as a strong contender in the realm of business banking due to its broad range of services, digital-first approach, and support initiatives for businesses at all stages of growth.

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Pros and cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive Business Banking: NatWest provides a full suite of banking products including current accounts, savings accounts, loans, and insurance, accommodating diverse business needs.
  • Online Banking: Its robust online banking platform facilitates quick, hassle-free banking transactions.
  • Free Business Banking: It offers 18 months of free business banking for startups.
  • Business Mentor Service: Their mentoring service provides valuable support and advice to businesses.
  • Support for Sustainability: NatWest also has strong commitments to green banking initiatives.

Cons

  • Customer Service: Some customers report inconsistent customer service.
  • Complex Fee Structure: Post-introductory period, the fee structure can be complex and expensive.
  • Branch Availability: Despite digital emphasis, some businesses might prefer a more substantial branch network.

Table of fees and charges

Fee TypeCharge
Monthly account fee£5
Electronic payments (in or out)35p
ATM cash withdrawalFree
Cash deposit at branch70p per £100
Foreign currency transaction fee2.75%
Overdraft interest10% EAR (Equivalent Annual Rate)
NatWest fees and charges

Please refer to the NatWest website for the most accurate and up-to-date fee information.

Unique and standout features

NatWest shines with its FreeAgent integration, a cloud-based accounting software included with business current accounts.

It also offers an “Entrepreneur Accelerator” programme providing mentoring and resources for high-growth businesses.

Furthermore, the NatWest mobile app, with features like receipt scanning and invoice management, simplifies on-the-go banking.

Finally, its initiatives like ‘Women in Business’ show a commitment to diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship.

RBS

RBS, with its legacy of trusted service and wide array of offerings, caters to various businesses, from micro SMEs to large corporations.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Wide Range of Services: RBS offers an extensive range of business banking services.
  • Strong Online and Mobile Platforms: Efficient online and mobile banking platforms facilitate easy banking.
  • Support for Startups: RBS also provides 18 months of free banking for startups.
  • Dedicated Relationship Managers: Businesses receive personalised support.
  • Green Lending Options: RBS is committed to green banking with eco-friendly lending options.

Cons

  • Customer Service: Some clients express dissatisfaction with customer service quality.
  • Fee Structure: The fee structure can be complex and costly after the initial free period.
  • Branch Availability: Branch availability is declining as RBS focuses more on digital channels.

Table of fees and charges

Fee TypeCharge
Monthly account fee£5
Electronic payments (in or out)35p
ATM cash withdrawalFree
Cash deposit at branch60p per £100
Foreign currency transaction fee2.75%
Overdraft interest9.5% EAR (Equivalent Annual Rate)
RBS fees and charges

Please refer to the RBS website for the most accurate and up-to-date fee information.

Unique and standout features

RBS’s standout features include Mettle, its digital business account designed for SMEs and freelancers, offering easy invoice creation, tax estimates and expense management.

It also provides Growth Funding for ambitious businesses seeking a significant boost.

RBS’s international business services are well-regarded, supporting businesses expanding overseas.

Its ‘Business Builder’ digital toolkit offers valuable resources and community support for entrepreneurs.

Conclusion – NatWest vs RBS

Both NatWest and RBS offer extensive features for business banking with a focus on digital services and support for startups.

NatWest excels in offering innovative digital tools and nurturing entrepreneurship, while RBS shines in international business services and digital accounts for SMEs.

Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your business’s unique needs, preferences and long-term goals.

FAQ

Are NatWest and RBS the same bank?

While they’re part of the same banking group, NatWest Group, NatWest and RBS operate separately with their own unique offerings.

Which bank has better digital services?

Both banks offer robust digital services, but NatWest’s FreeAgent integration and RBS’s Mettle offer unique digital advantages.

What support is available for startups?

Both banks offer free banking for startups for 18 months, along with various mentoring and support resources.

What are the banks’ green initiatives?

Both banks support sustainability, with NatWest offering green mortgages and loans, and RBS providing eco-friendly lending options.

Are there physical branches available?

Yes, both banks have physical branches, although their number is decreasing as digital banking becomes more prominent.

What’s the best bank for international business?

While both banks offer international business services, RBS’s services are particularly well-regarded.

What kind of customer service is available?

Both banks offer 24/7 customer service, available through phone, online chat, and email.

Can I get a dedicated relationship manager?

Yes, both banks offer dedicated relationship managers for business accounts.

How complex is the fee structure?

Fees can be complex after the free banking period, so it’s advisable to thoroughly review the fee structure of each bank.

What are the key unique features of each bank?

NatWest stands out with its FreeAgent integration and entrepreneurship support, while RBS shines with Mettle and its international business services.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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