Best business bank accounts for scale-ups

From eligibility requirements to software integrations and support, here is a round-up of the best business bank accounts for UK scale-ups.

Whether you’re looking for an account to help scaling internationally, to provide business and support or just low fees, we round up some of the best business bank account offerings for scale-ups and more established businesses from traditional banks.

Barclays Business Account

This business account from Barclays is for businesses with £400,000 to £6.5m in annual turnover. You will be given access to a team of business managers, supporting you in areas such as cashflow and lending, international expansion, payments and growth opportunities.

There are no monthly account fees for the first 12 months, then it’s £8.50 a month thereafter.

Simple electronic payments (including Faster Payments, Direct Debits and standing orders) and Debit card payments are free. There is a 60p charge per cheque (in or out) and for ‘Cash in’ (via Post Office/Barclays Collect/self-service device).

The Co-operative Bank Business Directplus

Created for businesses of all sizes, the Directplus account from The Co-operative Bank promises no monthly fees for 30 months as long as the balance stays above £1,000. But even after that, the monthly fee is low compared to some others on this list at £7.

There is free accounting integration with Quickbooks, partnership offerings covering insurance, sustainability, HR and tech support.

Paying in cheques and cash in branch is free for the length of your account holding (limits apply).

HSBC Business Banking Account

For SMEs, HSBC are offering a bank account which has free monthly fees, payments and deposits for the first 12 months. After that, it is a little more expensive than others on this list with a monthly fee of £10. With that, though, you get business debit cards, corporate cards (for businesses with £2m or more in annual turnover), accounting integration with Sage and a dedicated relationship manager.

International payments for over 60 currencies (starting at £17.00) and foreign currency accounts are available.

Lloyds Business Current Account

Lloyds is offering ‘Digital banking’ with no account fee for 12 months – Bank online, with its mobile app, in branch or over the phone. After 12 months, there’s a monthly fee of £8.50. (N.B. some fees and transaction charges will apply as soon as the account is open). See here for details about the Business Banking App

There are two cards associated with this account: Business Debit Card (no annual fee and a contactless limit of £100) and its Business Cashpoint® Card (used to cover unexpected expenses like taxis, withdraw cash at ATMs and deposit money in branch).

Metro Commercial Current Account

With the Commercial Current Account from Metro Bank, businesses with annual turnover of more than £2 million can benefit from a relationship manager, expert industry support and 24/7 local contact centres – without a monthly charge.

It should be noted that online applications for this bank account has been paused but you can open an account in-store, where you can present required supporting documents.

Metro Business Bank Account

For start-ups with turnover of up to £2 million, the Metro Business Bank Account charges no monthly fee if your balance stays above £6,000. It offers a dedicated business manager and 30 free UK transactions per month.

To open you can apply online, but if you open an account in-store in many cases this can be completed on the same day.

NatWest Business Bank Account

This account is for businesses which have more than £1 million in annual turnover or under £1 million but have been trading for over a year. There is free accounting software with FreeAgent and a dedicated relationship manager, but a real differentiator with this account is the free entrepreneur accelerator programme and business growth events which can increase your network.

After a 24-month free period, transaction fees will apply (from £0.35 per item).

This account is mirrored in RBS’s business account offering.

Santander Business Current Account

This account works for both start-ups and established businesses. Start-ups (in this case, businesses that have been trading for up to one year) have an 18-month monthly fee waiver, paying £7.50 a month thereafter.

This account is currently only being offered to existing Santander customers.

TSB Business Plus

Out of all the accounts which charge monthly fees, TSB offers the most generous free banking period with 30 months. It then offers a relatively low £5 a month fee. With that, you will receive free business advice from Enterprise Nation and a marketplace from which to choose partners relevant to your operations.

Virgin Money Business Current Account

Any business with annual turnover of less than £6.5 million can apply for this account. As well as getting the first 25 months free (£6.50 monthly fee thereafter), Virgin Money customers can receive three months of free accounting software (with Quickbooks, Sage, or Xero). The bank does offer something slightly different with

Notable features of this account include: its business data insights platform (M-track) which gives access to business tools and Virgin’s business network, expert mentoring and guidance from Virgin Startup, Mastercard discounts with its debit card.

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Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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