If you’re searching the market for a new bank account for your business, RBS is likely to be near the top of your list.
Owned by NatWest Group, the Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the UK’s largest commercial banks. As well as providing a range of personal banking products, RBS is also a popular choice for business banking.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the types of Royal Bank of Scotland business bank accounts available, including their main features and fees. This should help you compare RBS against other business banking providers, to find the right account for you.
We’ll also give you a handy alternative option for international transactions - the Wise for Business multi-currency account. Overseas payments can be costly with banks, so solutions like Wise could save you a bundle.
RBS offers a few different business bank accounts, each aimed at organisations of different sizes and types. Here’s what’s on offer:
Setting up a brand new business? This is the account for you. The RBS Startup Account is available for businesses that have been trading for less than a year, with a turnover of less than £1 million.
The most attractive feature of the RBS Startup Account is the 24 month fee-free period. This gives you some breathing room to get your new venture off the ground, without paying any transaction fees.
The account also offers:
- 24/7 online, mobile app and telephone banking
- An overdraft if you need one (subject to approval)
- Fee-free FreeAgent accounting software
- Business credit card with no annual fee for the first year
- Use of Tyl payment solution to make it easier for customers to pay you online.
If your business is already established, and you’re just looking to switch banks, opt for the RBS Business Account. This promises ‘flexible everyday banking’, including no minimum monthly charge. This means you only pay for what you use, such as certain transactions, international payments and unarranged borrowing.
You’ll also get:
- Dedicated business relationship manager - a single point of contact for all your queries
- Free access to FreeAgent accounting software
- Business debit and choice of business credit cards available
- 24/7 telephone, digital and mobile app-based banking
- Access to flexible borrowing and cash management solutions.
If your business is at least 1 year old and has a turnover of at least £1 million, you can open an RBS Business Account. If your turnover exceeds the £2 million threshold, you’ll get even more perks. For example, access to specialist products and a personalised service.
This is a business account for charities, social enterprises, clubs, societies and other not-for-profit organisations. If your business brings in less than £100,000 a year, you won’t pay any fees to use this account. For startup organisations earning above this, there’s a 24-month fee-free period.
The RBS Community Account offers the following features:
- 24/7 digital, telephone and mobile app banking
- Free online accounting software with FreeAgent
- Visa debit card, suitable for use with Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Chequebook and paying in book included
- Authorise up to 4 signatories on the account
- Email and text alerts to help you manage the account.
We’ve looked at the different business bank account types and features available at RBS, but now it’s time for the really important part - the fees. Working out how much a bank account will cost your business is crucial, especially when you’re comparing banks and accounts.
Thankfully, the fees and charges for business banking at RBS are relatively straightforward. Here are the main costs you need to know about⁴:
|RBS Startup Account||RBS Business Account||RBS Community Account|
|Automated payments (including Direct Debit, Standing Order debit card payments and ATM withdrawals)||£0 for first 24 months and £0.35 per transaction after||£0.35 per transaction||£0 for 24 months, or for non-profits with less than £100k turnover|
|Cash/manual payments||£0 for first 24 months and £0.70 per £100 after||£0.70 per £100||£0 for 24 months, or for non-profits with less than £100k turnover|
|Payments/ATM withdrawals in foreign currency||2.75% of the transaction value||2.75% of the transaction value||2.75% of the transaction value|
Local transactions are quite cheap with RBS but it can be quite expensive for international payments especially if you’re transferring a huge amount frequently. Consider using an alternative like Wise for business accounts to reduce the cost. You can receive transfers in different currencies for free, hold them in a multi-currency account, convert with no mark-up and withdraw when you need to. You can also use it for payments via debit card, direct debit and wire transfers.
If you like the look of one of the RBS business bank accounts, it’s time to get your paperwork in order and apply. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Head to the RBS online business banking website to start an application. You can also visit a branch in person or start your application over the phone.
- Select your business type (i.e. sole trader, limited company, non-profit)
- Fill in the required details about yourself and your business. This includes your company registration number, business start date/date of incorporation, registered address and so on.
- You may also need to provide details of previous business bank accounts, your company tax status, expected turnover, number of employees and other details
- Provide supporting documentation and submit your application.
You can also apply for an RBS business bank account using the Current Account Switch Service, which does all the hard work for you.
Along with your application, you’ll also need to provide a number of key documents. These include⁵:
- Proof of identity, such as a current passport, national identity photocard or full paper or photocard driving licence.
- Proof of address, such as a driving licence, bank statement, mortgage statement or recent utility bill.
- Proof of company address, such as property lease, insurance certificate, VAT registration, stock invoices or recent utility bill.
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Companies House registration documents
- Registration forms for your company directors.
If you use the Current Account Switch Service to carry out a business banking switch to RBS, your new account should be open and ready to use within 7 days². Otherwise, it should take no more than 2 weeks to open an account as a sole trader and no more than 4 weeks for limited companies².
So, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about RBS business banking. We’ve looked at account types, what features and services you can get and of course, the fees you need to know about.
Remember, make sure to check and compare carefully before choosing your new business bank account. It’s an important decision, so you need to get it right.
Sources used for this article:
- RBS Website
- RBS Business Website
- RBS Website - Community bank account
- RBS business account charges PDF
- UK Finance website
Sources checked on 9-March-2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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