RBS Business Review

An in-depth review of RBS Business Banking.

Updated: May 21, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is an old-fashioned high-street bank that provides three distinct business checking options. But does it have everything you'd want in a current account from a UK bank?

Keep reading for an in-depth explanation of RBS business accounts, or skim the highlights in the ‘at a glance' section.

At a Glance — Pros and Cons

Pros

✔️  No matter the business account you choose from RBS, you won't have to pay anything every month just to keep it active.

✔️  For the first two years after opening a Start-Up Account, no transaction fees will be assessed.

✔️  According to RBS, 80% of its clients who apply for a business account do so on the same day.

✔️  Those with simple banking questions may reach an RBS representative at any time.

✔️  The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) insures deposits up to £85,000.

✔️  You have the option of handling your finances, including credit accounts, in person, over the phone, online, or with a mobile app.

Cons

❌ If your company is located in England or Wales, you will be steered towards opening a NatWest account unless you already have an existing RBS business or personal account. Meanwhile, Ulster Bank is the recommended bank for businesses in Northern Ireland. 

❌ Businesses with less than a year in operation and less than £1 million in annual revenue are eligible for the RBS Start-Up Account, which provides fee-free banking for 24 months.

❌ Low volume and quality of consumer feedback.

RBS Business Review — Overview

What is RBS business?

RBS was established in Edinburgh in 1727 and is now a subsidiary of NatWest Group PLC together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. It caters to both individuals and corporations, with services available both online and in-person. 

It’s is a classic high street bank that provides three distinct kinds of business checking accounts. There is no set monthly charge for any of the three accounts; instead, users “pay as they go”. If your company doesn't make payments regularly, this can work for you.

To further entice new businesses, the Start-Up Account does not charge any transaction fees for the first two years.

Introducing RBS business accounts

When it comes to business banking, RBS provides three distinct options that cater to diverse company situations, including new ventures, existing companies, and nonprofits.

Startup Account

Starting a new company from scratch? You should be using this account. If your company has been open for less than a year and has a revenue of less than £1 million, you may qualify for the RBS Startup Account.

Businesses with less than a year in operation and annual revenue of less than £1 million are eligible for the Start-Up Account offered by Royal Bank of Scotland.  For the first two years, there are no membership or transaction costs. After that time frame has passed, transaction fees will be applied.

You can use FreeAgent for free accounting software and Tyl to accept payments online, and you can request for a planned overdraft. The absence of fees for the first two years is what makes the RBS Startup Account stand out. You may launch your business with less financial pressure as there will be no initial transaction costs.

Benefits of the account include:

  • 24/7 access by computer, smartphone app, or telephone.
  • A possible overdraft facility (with verification).
  • FreeAgent is a cloud-based accounting platform.
  • Charge-free business credit card for the first year.
  • Make accepting online payments from consumers a breeze by using the Tyl payment solution.

Flexible Everyday Account

Choose the RBS Business Account if you're an established company just wishing to move banks. With this, you may enjoy “flexible everyday banking”, since there is no required minimum balance each month. You will only be charged for the services you really use, eliminating hidden fees from things like foreign payments and short-term loans.

Companies with annual revenues of over £1 million, as well as those with annual revenues of less than £1 million but an operating history of more than a year, are eligible for the regular RBS Business Account.

There is no ongoing cost to maintain the account, but you will be charged for each individual purchase or withdrawal.  You can get a dedicated relationship manager (if you qualify), an overdraft, and the free accounting software FreeAgent from NatWest. You can also use Tyl, NatWest's card machine, to accept payments online.

What else do you get?

  • Your own personal business relationship manager — your one and only source for answers to any questions you may have.
  • The accounting software FreeAgent is available without charge.
  • Available company credit cards and debit options.
  • Banking available through phone, computer, and mobile app around the clock.
  • Obtainable options for managing one's cash flow and borrowing funds.

You may create an RBS Business Account if your company is at least a year old and has a minimum annual revenue of £1 million. More benefits become available after annual revenue surpasses £2 million. Such advantages include the availability of specialised items and personalised care.

Communal Finance

This is a commercial checking account set up specifically for non-profit groups such as charities, social businesses, clubs, and organisations. This account is free of charge so long as your annual company revenue is under £100,000. There is a fee-free period of 24 months for startups with revenues exceeding this threshold.

You can apply for an RBS Community Account if you are a charity or non-profit organisation and you or a member of your organisation already have an RBS corporate or personal account.

Your business qualifies for free banking if its annual credit turnover is less than £100,000. If the amount is more than £100,000, RBS's usual tariff charges will apply per transaction. FreeAgent accounting software is included with the Community Account at no additional cost.

Features exclusive to RBS's Community Account include:

  • Online, over-the-phone, and on-the-go banking.
  • FreeAgent is free online accounting software.
  • Compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, this debit card is issued by Visa.
  • Chequebook and cash register included.
  • Add as many as four authorised signatures to your account.
  • Account management tools include email and text message notifications.

Who is RBS business for?

You can choose one of the accounts above. 

For many, RBS is one of the first institutions that comes to mind when considering a new business bank account. The Royal Bank of Scotland, now part of the NatWest Group, is one of the major commercial banks in the United Kingdom. RBS is not just a go-to for individuals, but also many businesses, thanks to its wide selection of financial services.

If you decide to open a business bank account with RBS, you'll have access to 24/7 digital banking and phone banking, as well as free online accounting software. In addition to startups, nonprofits may take use of fee-free banking as well. 

Once again, there are three distinct business checking accounts available, each with features that vary based on the nature and age of your company.

Businesses with less than a year in the market and annual revenues of less than £1 million are eligible for startup accounts. For the first two years, all business services and networking activities are free of charge.

In order to open a business account, your company must have been in operation for at least a year. A committed relationship manager and tailored expansion initiatives are at your disposal. You just pay for what you use, with no minimum monthly fee.

And charitable groups, including clubs, fall within the purview of community accounts. Banking costs are waived if your yearly revenue is below £100,000!

How to open an account 📁

Get your documents in order and apply for a business bank account with RBS if you like what you see.

What you need to do is listed below.

  1. To get started with an application for RBS's online business banking services, just go to the site. Or start your application over the phone or by visiting a branch.
  2. Choose an appropriate business structure (sole proprietorship, corporation, or nonprofit).
  3. Provide them with the information they need to contact you. Information such as your company's tax identification number, date of organisation, and registered office location is required.
  4. You could also be asked to supply information such as your company's tax status, anticipated revenue, the number of workers, and prior business bank account information.
  5. Send your application with any relevant materials.

The Current Account Switch Service makes it easy to open a business banking account with RBS.

What do I need to create a business bank account with RBS?

You must submit your application with supporting documentation. Here are 5 of them:

  • 📖 Identification documentation, such as a valid passport, national picture ID card, or full-fledged paper or photocard driver's licence.
  • 📖 Address verification documents such as a current utility bill, bank account, mortgage statement, or driver's licence.
  • 📖 Documentation proving the company's physical location, such as a leasing agreement, insurance policy, VAT certificate, stock invoices, or a current bill.
  • 📖 Incorporation Document.
  • 📖 Paperwork sent to Companies House.
  • 📖 Director registration applications.

RBS Business Review — What features do you get?

What features does RBS business offer you as a business? We explore their key features in this section… 

1. Summary of advantages

☑️ Advantages of an RBS account include no-cost use of the accounting software package FreeAgent, the ability to accept online payments via Tyl, and the prospect of a dedicated relationship manager for those with a Business Account.

☑️ No recurring costs mean that, no matter which kind of RBS account you choose to create (Start-Up, Business, or Community), you won't be charged a maintenance fee on a recurring basis.

☑️ The FSCS covers up to £85,000 across all of your accounts at participating banks.

☑️ RBS boasts that the majority of its business current account clients (80%) may begin using their new account the very same day they open it.

☑️ Basic banking questions may be directed to an RBS contact centre at any time, day or night, seven days a week.

☑️ Your RBS business account may be used to apply for an overdraft, credit card, or loan, depending on your creditworthiness.

☑️ Businesses of all types, including sole proprietorships, corporations, limited liability partnerships, and other types of non-profits, are welcome to open RBS business accounts. This category includes organisations such as churches, fraternal organisations, and social groups:

  • For new businesses, all transactions are free for the first two years, and for nonprofits with annual revenues of less than £100,000, all fees are eliminated.
  • There are no hidden costs or minimum payments required each month.
  • Free online bookkeeping tools.
  • Overdraft services and commercial credit cards are available on the application.

2. Current business accounts

If your company's annual revenue is less than £2 million, you may open one of two different current accounts with the Royal Bank of Scotland — one of which is free for the first 24 months. For businesses with annual revenues above £2 million, they also provide customised accounting solutions. 

To assist you choose the best business banking service, we'll go further into this guide's coverage of each service's offerings, pricing, and other pertinent details.

3. Move to RBS easily

The Royal Bank of Scotland makes it simple to switch banks. 

You may apply to transfer your banking services to the Royal Bank of Scotland by filling out their online application and supplying the necessary information. Within seven days of your account being authorised and created, they will initiate the transition utilising the Current Account transition Service.

This will transfer your funds and cause the closure of your current account. The Current Account Switch Guarantee backs this up.

RBS Business Review — Buying Guide

With that, let's go on to the next section of our RBS review, where we'll talk about cost. Let’s explore choosing an RBS business account practically speaking.  

RBS business banking fees

While RBS is a good option for domestic transactions, sending money internationally, particularly in large amounts, may be rather pricey. To save costs, companies can think about switching to a service like Wise. 

A multi-currency account allows you to receive transfers in many currencies without incurring any fees, as well as store, convert, and withdraw these funds without incurring any fees. Debit card, direct debit, and wire transfer payments are all acceptable methods of payment.

What about customer service?

Many satisfied RBS corporate clients have posted testimonials online. The quality of these evaluations varies widely. The following comments are from consumers who are not necessarily RBS corporate clients:

  • Over 21,500 reviewers give this app 4.5 stars on the Android App Store.
  • Over 64,300 ratings and reviews total 4.3 stars on Google Play.
  • Over 700 customers gave this service a 1.3/5 rating on Trustpilot.

What other features set RBS business apart from the rest?

Strong reputation establishment.

Since its founding in 1727 in Edinburgh, Royal Bank of Scotland has played a pivotal role in the growth of Scotland's economy and industry. The Royal Bank of Scotland has its origins in Scotland, although its branches may be found all around the United Kingdom.

The NatWest Group, of which Royal Bank of Scotland is a part, has the greatest market share among UK banks among its corporate clientele. There are 3.3 million individual clients that Royal Bank of Scotland caters to.

Bank accounts, loan products, financing goods, mortgages, overdrafts, and support services like payment and accounting software are just some of the many financial services they provide to businesses.

RBS Business Review: The Verdict

As a classic high street bank, RBS provides its business users with three distinct account options. There is no set monthly charge for any of the three accounts; instead, users “pay as they go”. If your company seldom makes payments, this option might work well for you.

To further entice new businesses, the Start-Up Account does not charge any transaction fees for the first two years.

If you are not already an RBS client, you will be sent to NatWest (for customers in England and Wales) or Ulster Bank (for customers in Northern Ireland) if you are interested in opening an RBS account in those countries.

More about RBS

A business checking account from RBS might be ideal if you want to bank with a household name and yet have the convenience of doing your banking online or over the phone.

The startup account provides a welcome reprieve from banking costs for the first two years of a company's existence. Fee-free banking is available to nonprofits as long as their annual revenue does not exceed £100,000.

If you don't meet the criteria for a free business checking account, the associated costs may add up rapidly, so it's a good idea to look into alternative options.

RBS contact details

The Royal Bank of Scotland provides the following methods of contact:

Related Guides:

FAQs

What are the limitations of an RBS business account?

Can I get a business account with RBS?

When can I expect my RBS business account to be activated?

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About Bank of Scotland Bank of Scotland is a commercial clearing bank based in Edinburgh. Not to be confused with Royal Bank of Scotland, it was established in 1695 and is one...
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NatWest, or National Westminster, is a retail and commercial bank based in the United Kingdom. It is one of the ‘Big Four’ UK clearing banks and has more than 7.5million personal banking...
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About RBS RBS, or Royal Bank of Scotland, is a retail banking subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The Group’s other retail subsidiaries are NatWest and Ulster Bank....
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About Ulster Bank Ulster Bank is one of the ‘Big Four’ Irish banks and is registered in both Northern Ireland (as Ulster Bank Limited) and the Republic of Ireland (as Ulster...
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