If you are looking for the best deal on your business bank account, then keep reading to see what the top UK banks are offering businesses and how they compare. We examine the leading high street banks through to the lesser known challenger providers.
The table below gives a quick price comparison of the top UK business bank account providers.
|Bank||Monthly Fee*||Electronic Payment Fee*|
|Cashplus||£5.75 (monthly equivalent)||Free|
|Metro Bank||£5 or free if balance stays over £5,000||£0.30 each or 50 transactions free if balance stays over £5,000|
|Bank of Scotland||£6.50||Free|
|Barclays||£6 (Mixed) or £6.50 (e-Payments)||£0.35 (Mixed) or free (e-Payments)|
|HSBC||£5.50||£0.23 (Small Business) or free (Electronic Banking)|
|TSB||£5 minimum||Varies - free to £0.20|
|Santander||£7.50-40||Free within limits|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||No charge||£0.35|
|Cooperative Bank||£10||£0.10 - 0.20|
|Bank of Ireland||€15||€0.10|
|Card One Banking||£12.50||£0.30|
* The prices included here come from each company’s website and were accurate at the time of writing (February 2019) but may have since changed. Also, please keep in mind these may not be apples to apples comparisons as each provider charges different fees for different transactions and some offer free banking for an introductory period which is not reflected in the above pricing. Monthly fees may also be based on annual fees. This guide should be used as a starting off point for more research on your part.
Below we profile each of the companies accounts and features in a bit more detail.
Note companies are ranked based on how many searches there for them online but this no way indicates one solution is better than another.
Some of the features and benefits of Cashplus’ business bank account. The Award winning alternative to High Street Banks.
- 5 minute online application process
- No credit check required to apply
- Instant online decision and ability to accept payments straight away if approved
- No monthly fee but a single annual fee of £69
- Manage your account via Mobile App or Online 24/7
- Pay in and withdraw cash at any UK Post Office
- Comes with Business Mastercard
- Integrated with leading accountancy software packages
Cashplus has won Paybefore’s “top challenger bank 2017” which they state is due to their faster payments, expense cards, integrating with accounting software and no monthly maintenance fees.
1. Lloyds Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Lloyds’ business bank account.
- Simple pricing
- Free electronic payments
- Free cash machine withdraws
- Free payments by Debit Card
- Dedicated support from UK based business management team
- Access to financial and digital tools
- 18 months free day-to-day business banking for new businesses
- Mobile business banking app
- Regularly updated guides and tools for running your business
- Online bank account cost calculator
Lloyds Bank is part of one of the largest banking providers in the UK, Lloyds Banking Group, and the group is formed of Bank of Scotland, Halifax, TSB, and Scottish Widows. Lloyds Bank’s roots can be traced back to 1765 when the bank was first established.
Lloyds Bank builds their business bank accounts around the turnover of the business and tailors their services to the size of business. Their business groupings are based on turnover under £3 million, between £3 million and £25 million, and over £25 million.
Their business banking proposition is suitable for new and established businesses as their bank accounts are designed to be flexible to support businesses to grow and develop with dedicated business support whenever it is needed.
2. Metro Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Metro Bank’s business bank account.
- Local Business Managers
- 24/7 Customer Support team
- Clear fees and charges
- If balance stays above £5,000 for the whole month they will waive the monthly account fee
- Receive 50 free transactions per month if your balance stays over £5,000
- Open 7 days a week
- No appointments needed in their stores
- Online banking and mobile app
Metro Bank may not be one of the most well-known banks in the UK or the most established, but they offer a different style of service catering for the modern-day business. They offer bank accounts to businesses that have no monthly fee and 50 free transactions per month if you keep a minimum balance of £5,000.
To be eligible for a Metro Bank account you will need to be over 18 and have an annual turnover or balance sheet of up to £2 million. At least 50% of the shares of your business will need to be owned by UK residents and at least 50% of the business’ directors or beneficial owners need to be UK residents too.
Metro Bank offers flexible banking allowing you to access your bank account and services online, over the phone or on move through providing both online banking and mobile app. Metro Bank also has a network of Local Business Managers who are based in the Metro Bank stores that are available for support and advice.
3. Bank of Scotland
Some of the features and benefits of the Bank of Scotland’s business bank account.
- Simple pricing
- Free electronic payments
- Business support by phone, in branch, or online guides
- Access to banking facilities through the internet, telephone, mobile, and in branch as well as offering text alerts
- 6 months free day-to-day banking when you switch to them
- Switch within 7 days
- Dedicated switch team
- No ATM cash withdrawals
- Access to their Business KnowledgeBox
- A range of other business products including loans, overdrafts, charge cards, insurance, card payments and international services
Bank of Scotland is part of a larger group of banks under the Lloyds Banking Group. They were first established in 1695 are one of the UK’s oldest banking establishments.
Bank of Scotland offers a competitive and flexible banking account product that enables businesses to access their accounts through a variety of methods. They also offer a range of other business products including loans, overdrafts, charge cards, insurance, card payments and international services.
Bank of Scotland offers a business current account calculator to help you assess the anticipated costs of banking with them. They also have created a repository of online guides and reports that support businesses that they have named the Business KnowledgeBox. This has information on topics such as financial planning, legal issues and understanding your customers.
Some of the features and benefits of Barclays’ business bank account.
- Two simple price plans to choose from
- Free electronic payments on the Payment Plan tariff
- Price Plan Guarantee which does an annual review to check you are on the best plan
- Offers a loyalty reward to get a proportion of the account fees back
- The account is available to businesses with a turnover of up to £6.5 million
- Special criteria for sectors such as agriculture and social housing
- Fully managed switching service
- A range of supporting business services such as loans and cash flow finance
- Insurance services provided by Allianz
- Service Guarantee which gives promises on handling complaints
Barclays offer two price plans for customers to choose from these are a Mixed Payments Plan and a Payments Plan. Mixed Payments Plan caters for businesses that use cash, cheques and a range of other methods to both make and receive payments. Payments Plan caters for businesses that receive and make electronic payments predominantly through online banking and debit cards.
Barclays reward their customers for loyalty which gives them a proportion of the monthly charges back. This is calculated based on the length of time banking with them and the annual credit turnover. The loyalty benefit varies between 5% and 50% of the charges applied to the account on a monthly basis.
5. Yorkshire Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Yorkshire Bank’s business bank account.
- Choice of two accounts Business Current Account and Business Choice Account
- Free day-to-day banking for 25 months for start-ups and switchers
- Agreed overdrafts
- Unlimited deposits and withdraws although fees may apply
- Dedicated business banking support
- Choice of statement frequency
- Online banking services
- Simple switching service through the Current Account Switch Service
- A network of local branches
- Eligible to businesses with a turnover of under £2 million
Yorkshire Bank is the trading name of Clydesdale Bank and it was established in 1859 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. They have strong business banking experience and capability with a wide UK branch network.
Yorkshire Bank has design their business bank account for everyday business banking with basic management that offers all the services businesses require. It also offers the added benefit of an optional agreed overdraft.
They offer two business bank accounts that offer slightly different offerings. The Business Current Account offers an introductory free day-to-day banking for 25 months for both new business start-ups and new customers. The Business Choice Account is a flexible bank account that features credit interest linked to the Bank of England base rate.
Some of the features and benefits of HSBC’s business bank account.
- Free introductory banking for 12 months for new customers and 18 months for new businesses
- Best Tariff Promise for businesses with a turnover of up to £2 million
- 12 months fixed price banking post-introductory offer
- Two tariff options
- Finance and borrowing options
- A network of Business Specialists in branches across the UK
- Face-to-face business reviews available
- International trading expertise to support overseas expansion
- A large network of branches and facilities at Post Offices
- Banking available through internet, telephone, mobile, branches and Post Offices
HSBC is one of world’s largest banking and financial services organisations and one of the UK’s most well-known banking brands.
HSBC offers a tiered banking service for businesses that join their banking service with an introductory banking offer that gives 12 months free banking services to new customers and 18 months for new business start-ups. After the introductory period, customers will be moved on to a fixed price period which offers some free transactions with a standard monthly account maintenance fee.
After this 12-month period, businesses have a choice of two business bank accounts. A Small Business Tariff which offers lower rates on cash transaction and higher rates on electronic transactions. Electronic Banking Tariff which offers free electronic transactions but higher rates on cash transactions. Both accounts have the same account maintenance fee.
Website: HSBC business bank account website
Some of the features and benefits of TSB’s business bank account.
- Free day-to-day banking for 18 months for new business and new customers
- Dedicated switching team
- Choice of tariffs when the free period ends
- Flexible account management online, by phone or in branch
- 550 high street branches
- Speak to Business Advisors over the phone
- Account updates via text alerts
- Offers other complimentary services
- Export statements into your finance package
- Access to Faster Payments
TSB is part of a larger banking group called Lloyds Banking Group. TSB was first established in 1810 and has a long history in the banking sector.
At the end of the free banking period, you can choose which banking tariff you want to move on to. Fixed Fee Account has tiered levels with fixed allowances for transactions which have a different fixed monthly fee. Business Extra Tariff has no monthly fee instead you pay for each transaction. Electronic Business Tariff caters for businesses that predominantly make electronic or automated banking transactions which are charged per transaction and not a fixed monthly fee.
If you are switching to TSB they promise an easy switch service which is managed by a dedicated team of staff who will support businesses through the process and ensure a smooth move.
Website: TSB business bank account website
Some of the features and benefits of Santander’s business bank account.
- Simple fee structure with one fixed monthly fee which has usage limits
- Monthly interest on credit balances at 0.10% gross/AER variable
- Online and mobile banking
- Banking at participating Post Office branches
- Contactless payments
- Awarded Best Business Current Account Provider for the last 16 years
- Access to prearranged overdrafts
- Online business account calculator to assess the cost of their accounts
- Member of the Current Account Switch Service
Santander is a large UK retail and commercial bank and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander who is a major global bank.
Santander’s business bank accounts have a simple structure where you pay a monthly account fee from £7.50 to £40 and each has a monthly cash deposit limit between £1,000 to £10,000. All other transactions such as cheques, withdrawals, payments, BACs are free although some limits may apply. Non-standard transactions such as change giving, CHAPS payments and foreign currency transactions are at an additional charge.
Santander has won many awards for their business bank accounts which makes the bank more desirable for its services.
Some of the features and benefits of NatWest’s business bank account.
- Access to various benefits and services such as FreeAgent and Business Boost
- Own Relationship Manager (eligibility criteria apply)
- Online and phone banking 24/7
- Award-winning mobile app
- A dedicated business planning team
- Pay only for the transactions you make when over £5 per month
- Service hub allowing access to manage accounts, loans, credit cards and other services
- Access to Business Growth Enablers
NatWest was founded in 1970 and is part of the RBS group of businesses. They serve customers in England and Wales and specialise in business sectors such as manufacturing and technology.
NatWest business accounts are open to businesses that have been trading for over a year and have a turnover of under £2 million. They have a separate bank account for start-up businesses who have been operating for less than a year.
NatWest business banking account customers can use their award-winning Mobile Banking app which received “Best Banking App” at the 2018 British Banking Awards.
NatWest offers a business support programme to help businesses grow called Boost. This includes their Business Growth Enablers which gives their customers access to workshops and events. Pitch is another programme used through an app to help customers to hone their pitches.
10. Royal Bank of Scotland
Some of the features and benefits of Royal Bank of Scotland’s business bank account.
- Payment structure where you pay only for the transactions you make unless they are under £5
- Access to your account online and over the phone 24/7
- Use of their mobile app to manage your account
- Service hub designed to access all banking products and services
- Access to Relationship Manager
- A specialist business planning team
- Customers can access their FreeAgent and Business Boost programmes
- Customers can receive support to grow their business through Business Growth Enablers
Royal Bank of Scotland is a long-standing UK bank that was founded in Edinburgh in 1727 and is one of the biggest banks in Scotland. They are one of many banking and investment businesses that are owned by RBS which include NatWest and Ulster Bank.
Royal Bank of Scotland offers bank accounts to new and more established businesses with a turnover of up to £2 million. They have a separate offering for new businesses and community or not-for-profit accounts.
Royal Bank of Scotland has dedicated support for their business customers to help them grow and develop their business. Their Boost programme aims to help businesses by providing a range of events and support tools.
11. Ulster Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Ulster Bank’s business bank account.
- Bank account designed for Northern Ireland businesses
- An extensive and competitive range of services
- A low quarterly fee of £8
- Access to banking services through Post Office counters
- Complimentary access to Relationship Managers
- Free statements
- Pre-arranged overdrafts
- Immediate withdrawal of any cash or Ulster Bank cheque deposited
- Anytime banking through integrated online, telephone and mobile banking
Ulster Bank is part of the RBS group of businesses which include Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest along with other financial services businesses.
To be eligible for a bank account with Ulster Bank you must have a business address in Northern Ireland and have a maximum turnover of £2 million for the small business bank account. Business owners can reside in the UK or Ireland.
Ulster Bank offers a low account maintenance fee but charges for all transactions at a minimum of 40p per transaction. They offer a wide range of other banking and financial services including loan facilities, deposit accounts, commercial mortgages and cards.
12. Cooperative Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Cooperative Bank’s business bank account.
- They offer a free banking period for new customers for 18 months
- Variety of bank accounts tailoring for different needs
- The Business Current Account Cash Tariff offers one of the lowest cash deposit fees in the market
- The Business Current Account Standard account offers no transaction limits and charges remain constant regardless of balance
- Access via the internet, telephone, postal banking service, and branches
- Access banking services through Post Offices
- Easy switch and current account switch guarantee
- Ethical bank
Cooperative Bank is an ethical bank whose policies are customer-led which influences how they run their business and who can be their customers.
To be eligible for Cooperative Bank’s business banking account all key parties must be 18 or over, be a UK resident with a UK address. All key parties must be free from CCJs, bankruptcy, IVAs and missed personal payments over the last 6 years.
They offer a range of business bank accounts that are designed and cater for small businesses and charities. The accounts include an exclusive account for the Federation of Small Businesses members, standard business accounts, cash tariff accounts, new customer offers, and community accounts.
Cooperative Bank has received awards for their customer service team twice in 2017 and 2018 as “Best Service from a Business Bank” by Business Moneyfacts.
13. Clydesdale Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Clydesdale Bank’s business bank account.
- Free day-to-day banking for 25 months for new customers or new businesses
- Access to personal support
- A range of financial management solutions to choose from
- Specialist support through tools and guidance
- Access to online training tools
- Access to other banking facilities
- Flexible payment options
- International services
- Simple switching service
- Optional overdraft
Clydesdale Bank has roots that extend back to 1838 and has an extensive history of supporting Scottish businesses and communities. Clydesdale Bank only has branches in Scotland.
Clydesdale Bank offers one of the longest periods of free day-to-day banking in the market with 25 months available for new customers and new business start-ups. At the end of the free banking period, they move businesses on to their business banking tariff.
Clydesdale Bank has designed their current accounts for businesses who require basic management of their everyday business banking activities. Their current account offers an optional agreed overdraft facility.
They offer a range of business accounts that are tailored to different types of businesses including charities and professional firms that manage clients’ money. Clydesdale Bank also offers a range of business support tools including online training, business guides and health check.
14. Bank of Ireland
Some of the features and benefits of Bank of Ireland’s business bank account.
- Free banking for 24 months for new businesses
- Debit card with contactless technology
- Simple pricing plan
- Flexible banking through online, telephone and mobile banking
- Optional agreed overdraft
- Cash handling service
- Other financial services including savings account and credit cards which can be all applied for through one application
- Branches in key locations in Ireland
- Easy switching process
Bank of Ireland is part of the Bank of Ireland Group who have a diverse range of financial services businesses that date back to 1783. Bank of Ireland provides business banking services to businesses in Ireland.
Bank of Ireland has designed their business current account to help business manage their everyday banking in a simple and manageable way. Their current account has a simple pricing structure that encourages the use of online banking and smart payment options to reduce overheads and charges.
They aim to make switching to them or setting up a first business bank account simple through either the switching service or through a direct application which allows businesses to apply for a current account, savings account and credit card all on one application.
Some of the features and benefits of Tide’s business bank account.
- No monthly or annual fees
- Free card usage both at home and abroad
- Free transfers to Tide members
- Fast set up of bank accounts
- Designed with growing businesses and freelancers in mind
- Instant credit
- Manage your cards on the Tide app
- Interactive banking with your accounting software
- Create and pay invoices through the app
Tide promote themselves as not being a bank and that they offer a modern approach to business banking through their easy to access business banking app and speedy setup.
Tide’s business bank accounts have very straightforward pricing with no fees for account maintenance and no charges for card usage. They charge for transfers from or to non-Tide accounts, cash withdrawals and cash deposits.
Tide offers a range of additional value-added services that include giving businesses instant credit for up to £15,000. Their business banking app allows businesses to control their bank account wherever they are which includes managing their bank cards, invoicing and general banking.
Website: Tide business bank account website
Some of the features and benefits of Anna’s business account.
- Same-day set up
- 24/7 UK-based support
- Smart invoicing and chase outstanding payments
- Free UK ATM withdrawals and no transaction fees
- Free subscription for three months
- Secure transactions with real-time updates in the app
- Ability to freeze your ANNA Mastercard® in the app
- Monthly plans from £11
- Bespoke pricing plans for businesses with a monthly income over £1,000,000
- Personalised reports
ANNA stands for Absolutely No Nonsense Admin and is one of the new breed of mobile business accounts you access primarily via an app. However just be aware that: “ANNA is a business current account and digital admin assistant, not a bank.” Their business Mastercard is issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd.
If you don’t need in-branch service it can be a good alternative to a high-street bank, but if you need more advanced banking services you may still be going with a legacy bank.
Website: Anna business bank account website
17. Revolut Business
Some of the features and benefits of Revolut’s business account.
- Hold, receive and exchange 24 currencies without any ridiculous bank charges
- Instant money transfers
- Prepaid Business Cards
- Sync transactions into your favorite accounting platform
- Open API for Business
- Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate
- Multicurrency cards
- Virtual cards: manage payments for Amazon, Google and Facebook ads
- Priority support: dedicated team, 7AM to 10PM GMT
- First 14 days free!
Revolut Business’s main focus is on fast, international payments. It may be ideal if you send or receive payments in multiple currencies each month since they do not charge foreign exchange fees (high street banks can easily charge 2-3%).
However, it’s online only and they do not accept cash or cheque deposits. Therefore, it can be a good choice for businesses run primarily online, but may lack the features required by offline businesses.
18. Card One Banking
Some of the features and benefits of Card One Banking’s business account.
- Most accounts opened within 3 hours
- No Credit Checks
- Online, phone and SMS Account Access
- Direct Debits with enhanced security
- UK call centre
- Export statements to cloud accounting network
- Free text alerts each time money is paid in and confirming bills are paid
- Administration access to enable/control of employee expenditure
- Receive up to 4 cardonebanking Prepaid Corporate MasterCards®
- Can Pay in at Barclays Bank
Founded in 2007, Card One Banking is one of the oldest alternative business accounts. However, be aware that they are not a bank but an “Authorised Payment Institution (API), operating under the Payment Services Regulations authorised and regulated by the FCA.” This also means your money is not protected by the FSCS.
However, it can be a good choice for businesses and founders with poor/no credit as they do not carry out credit checks. Just be aware that the account can only be used by businesses with a maximum £2 million per annum turnover. Therefore, if you have plans to grow beyond that you may also want to check other banks.
19. Fair Everywhere
Some of the features and benefits of Fair Everywhere’s business account.
- Earn up up to 8% cashback on any card spending with over 50 major UK high street retailers.
- Multiple cards
- Make payments and receive funds in different currencies at ridiculously good exchange rates.
- UK-based call centre is open 6 days a week,
- No signatures or branch visits to open an account
- Multi-currency business current accounts
- Mobile app for money management
- Link your Fair Everywhere account with your accounting software in a few clicks
- Free direct debits and standing orders
- 3 currency wallets – EUR, USD, GBP
Fair Everywhere is subsidiary of FairFX which was founded in 2007. The main goal of the account is to make international business quicker, cheaper, easier and fairer.
Unlike other banks they have a very transparent fee of £50 month but that includes pretty much everything. You can also deposit cash at the Post Office or any Barclays high street branch. However, be aware that accounts are currently limited to sending and receiving up to £100,000 per month in total.
20. Counting Up
Some of the features and benefits of Counting Up’s business account.
- Business current opened in 5 minutes
- Corporate contactless Mastercard
- Automated bookeeping
- Professional Invoices
- Manage your expenses
- Free plan available
- Receipt caputre
- Tax filing
- Profit and Loss reports
- Deposit cash into your account in any Post Office or PayPoint location.
Counting Up is one of the UK’s newest business bank accounts that focuses primarily on the freelancer and small business market. Founded in September 2017, they currently claim to offer their services to 10,000 entrepreneurs.
What sets them apart is their focus on being both an accounting and banking app to help save time and money. They have higher limits than some of the non-traditional banks on the list, allowing limited companies to transfer up to £240,000 per month. However, their highest pricing tier kicks in at just £1,750, which shows what type of businesses they are targeting.
Nevertheless, if you’re a freelancer, sole trader or small business owner you may want to give them a look as their monthly fees are very low (top tier is just £4.95/month).
21. Starling Bank
Some of the features and benefits of Starling Bank’s business account.
- No monthly fees for small businesses
- Deposit money at over 11,500 Post Office branches nationwide
- All eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS up to £85,000
- Manage your cash-flow with real time
- Categorised transactions
- Share your transactions with your accountant or accounting software
- Switch from business to personal in app with a tap.
- Apply in under 10 minutes with 100% mobile signup
- 24/7 customer support
- Open Banking Marketplace
Starling Bank is one the UK’s leading alternative banks and unlike other some other business accounts above offers FSCS deposit protection. They have authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority since July 2016.
What really sets them apart is the Starling Marketplace of third-party apps with integrations with services like Xero, PensionBee and Wealthify. They also have no monthly maintenance fee and don’t charge fees to send or receive money via Faster Payments, Direct Debits, and Standing Orders.
Therefore, Starling might be a good choice if you don’t need in-branch services most of time and are happy to bank primarily via app or online.
Some of the features and benefits of Coconut’s business account.
- Free UK current account
- Tax reports on £5/month plan
- Expense tracking
- Tax Estimate
- Send invoices from within the app
- Mastercard Debit card
- Receipt Capture
- Direct Debits
- Automated bookkeeping
- Open an account in minutes
Coconut is aimed at freelancers, the self-employed and small businesses. That’s why they offer low pricing (free or £5/month) and a host of features that make running any small business easy such as accounting, bookkeeping and tax.
Their mission is: “…to free millions of people from business admin worldwide, by combining banking and accounting into one simple product.”
Website: Coconut Website
Banks Not Currently Offering Business Bank Accounts
Halifax currently does not offer business banking services directly. Instead it points prospective customers to apply for an account with either Lloyds Bank or Bank of Scotland (all of which are part of the same banking group). See above for details on both companies.
One of the more popular challenger banks in recent years. They do not have any information on their website about business banking services.
While the Post Office does not offer business bank accounts directly, it does allow you to perform various business banking services with your existing bank such as:
- Deposit cash or cheques into your business bank account
- Withdraw money from your business bank account
- Check your current balance
- Get change when you need it
- Available at 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK
You can learn more on their Branch Banking page.
* Please note we have an affiliate relationship with Cashplus. This means they pay us a commission if you apply for and open a bank account via a link from our website. This comes at no cost to you and helps keep this website free. However, we feel it’s important you know.