Let’s be honest, the return on business saving accounts have been awful since the 2008 financial crisis led the BOE to slash interest rates to just 0.5% in March 2009. However, thanks to competitive, challenger banks entering the market, there are some business savings accounts with relatively attractive interest rates, if you know where to look.
With rates varying between 0.15% to 2.1% per year, spending a little time comparing these business savings accounts may be the difference in saving hundreds of pounds over the course of the year, and go someway to offset the negative effect of inflation on your hard earned cash.
Note: All deposits in the banks listed are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), up to £85,000 per depositor per bank unless noted otherwise. This means if the bank fails, your deposit would be repaid within 20 working days.
|Name||Min Balance||Max Balance||Interest Rate Range|
|Cambridge Building Society||£1,000||£2,500,000||0.25%-1.10%|
|Cumberland Building Society||£10,000||Unspecified||0.45%-1.05%|
|Hampshire Trust Bank||£5,000||£750,000||1.25%-2.10%|
|Yorkshire Bank||No minimum||Unspecified||0.2%-1.80%|
|State Bank of India (UK)||£10,000||£5,000,000||1%-1.75%|
|Metro Bank||No minimum||Unspecified||0.3%-1.65%|
|Santander||£1||No max on most accounts||0.1%-0.7%|
|The Co-operative Bank||No minimum||Unspecified||0.5%-1%|
|United Trust Bank||£5,000||£1,000,000||1.5%-1.8%|
Note: the figures included in this table come directly from the company’s website and were correct at the time of writing (November 2019). However, these rates are frequently modified so do check the company’s website and terms carefully before making a decision.
Cambridge Building Society was founded in 1850, to deliver services to the Cambridge community. Since then, its offer has extended to cover the whole of the UK, plus a range of business and personal banking products.
Whatever business you’re in, Cambridge Building Society likely has a savings account which will work for you:
Customers can open accounts in a branch or via post, and can deposit a maximum of £2.5 million. However, as a relatively small building society, Cambridge Building Society hasn’t invested in online account management. Instead, there’s phone and email support plus a well-defined complaints procedure.
Shawbrook Bank was established in 2011, specifically to serve SMEs and individuals in the UK. In 2018, the bank held over £5 billion in customer deposits. Shawbrook Bank has received an impressive amount of awards for its customer service, such as the Feefo Gold Trusted Service 2019 for customer service and the Savings Champion 2018 award.
Thing is, Shawbrook’s accounts are only suitable if you don’t need instant access — the 2 options available here are a notice account and a fixed-rate bond.
It’s also worth noting that, when opening your account, you must nominate a seperate account for all future withdrawals to be sent to. This can only be changed by post with sufficient evidence that you, or your business, are the account owner.
In terms of eligibility, Shawbrook’s savings accounts are available to companies, partnerships and shareholding companies registered in the UK, who are only liable for UK tax. These accounts are not available to charities or trusts.
Cumberland Building Society was founded in 1850 in Cumbria and has a branch operating network covering Cumbria, South West Scotland, West Northumberland and North Lancashire.
It currently offers 4 products suitable for almost all business types:
Despite being a smaller building society, Cumberland Building Society does offer internet banking, a mobile banking app and telephone support (8am-8pm on weekdays and until 4pm on weekends). Reviewers on Feefo praise Cumberland Building Society for its customer service and friendly team members, giving the bank a high overall score of 4.8/5.
Hampshire Trust Bank was founded in 1977 but was relaunched in 2014 with a focus on more straightforward products.
These business savings accounts are unique in this review, as they can be opened by virtually all organisations, including sole traders, limited companies, PLCs, LLPs, partnerships, charities registered in the UK, clubs, parish councils, councils, schools, religious organisations, small financial institutions, credit unions and trusts.
Hampshire Trust Bank currently offers 5 business saving accounts on balances between £5,000 and £750,000 (withdrawals are not allowed until the term is completed):
According to Feefo, their customer service rating is an impressive 4.6/5, with reviewers speaking highly of customer service standards and the high interest on savings.
Established in 1849, Yorkshire Bank has had a tumultuous history, being acquired by the National Australia Bank in 1990 then by CYBG in 2018. As we write this review, Yorkshire Bank is rebranding to Virgin Money and it is unclear whether this will affect the products available.
Yorkshire Bank currently offers a range of products, including:
If you prefer to handle your banking digitally, then Yorkshire Bank probably isn’t for you. At the moment, almost all dedicated business banking support is done via telephone. Whether this will change with the rebrand remains to be seen.
Masthaven was founded in 2004 and manages £750 million in assets. The bank only offers fixed-rate saving products for businesses on balances between £5,000-£500,000, including:
Overall, customers seem to like Masthaven’s fresh, digital approach to banking and high quality customer service, scoring it 4.6/5 on Feefo. Customers should also be aware that these accounts are only available for businesses where all shareholders permanently reside in the UK.
The State Bank of India (SBI) was founded in 1806 is the largest bank in India. It has since expanded to offer banking across the world.
SBI provides business savings accounts for micro-enterprises, defined as businesses with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed €2 million:
If you look online, you’ll see that SBI’s customer reviews are low — scoring just 1.9/5 on TrustPilot. However, with such high interest rates it’s certainly a savings account worth mentioning.
Virgin Money has over 4 million customers in the UK, expanding rapidly due to its purchase of the ‘good parts’ of the failed Northern Rock bank. In 2018, Virgin Money UK was sold to CYBG.
As a result of this acquisition, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank will both rebrand to Virgin Money.
These accounts are available for business with under 250 employees and a total balance sheet of less than £36.5 million. They are not available for UK pension schemes, UK public authorities, charities, church bodies and places of worship, trusts, foundations or clubs and societies.
Your business is also not eligible if you:
Nationwide is the largest building society in the world with 15 million members. As one of the largest building societies in this review, we had high hopes… but its interest rates are far below competitors.
There are 6 business savings accounts from Nationwide, available for balances between £5,000 and £10 million:
Nationwide has recently been commended at the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2019, as one of the best variable rate deposit account providers. Interestingly, the bank also donates 1% of each year’s pre-tax profits to charity, community and environmental activities.
Aldermore was founded in 2009 to provide financial services to small and medium-sized businesses. It was acquired in 2018 by South African banking giant, First Rand, making it part of one of the world’s largest banking groups.
Here, the business savings accounts are refreshingly simple: offering competitive interest rates on balances between £1,000 to £1 million. If your balance exceeds £1 million, Aldermore also offers corporate savings accounts.
At present, the 4 savings accounts available to businesses include:
The fixed with access product is unique as it allows up to 25% of the savings to be withdrawn without penalty.
Metro Bank launched in 2010 and, at the time, was the first new high street bank to launch in the United Kingdom in over 150 years. Metro’s unique value is that it combines online banking with branches with long opening hours, ideal for businesses that need to make regular cash deposits.
Metro has plenty of business savings accounts to choose from:
TSB was created in 2009 and acquired by Spanish bank Sabadell in March 2015. Today, it has a network of 550 branches across England, Scotland and Wales and over 4.6 million customers in the UK.
TSB has one of the simplest offerings in the review, only offering an instant access savings account. This account is available to existing and new customers and can be managed online, via telephone or in one of their branches.
Santander’s mission is to “help you prosper” and it has committed to become “the best bank in the UK”. As such, business customers can select from a comprehensive range of different saving account products, to fit your business needs.
The bank currently has 4 different savings accounts:
Despite its mission to support businesses, Santander has low average customer review scores. But with online and telephone banking, plus text and email alerts, available on all bar the fixed-rate account, you may not need much in the way of customer service support anyway.
Charity Bank is a new kind of bank, entirely owned by charitable foundations, trusts and social purpose organisations. Its goal is to provide ethical banking, which supports the work of charities and social enterprises across the UK.
But don’t let the name fool you — there’s a menu of business savings accounts on offer, including:
As you might expect, Charity Bank also offers similar products for charities, clubs and credit unions.
The Co-operative Bank follows an ethical code and screens customers against a moral policy, refusing to do business with businesses with a negative ecological, sociological or political impact. It also regularly conducts customer polls and changes its policies based upon customer opinions.
Co-Operative offers 2 business savings accounts:
They have received awards for customer service in 2017 and 2018, being awarded Best Service from a Business Bank by Business Moneyfacts.
If you don’t need instant access to your business savings, then United Trust Bank may be worth further consideration. Founded in 1955, it prides itself on being an “innovative organisation” with a flat, non-bureaucratic management structure.
Here, businesses have a choice of 4 different savings accounts:
These are competitive rates, but make sure you read the small print as there are a few limitations, such as a minimum £5,000 deposit.
Whilst the high minimum deposit of £10,000 may put some small businesses off, if you’re looking to set aside a significant sum of money then Cynergy Bank has a fairly competitive range of fixed rate options:
What’s more, if you have been a Cynergy Bank customer for six months or more, you’ll automatically be enrolled into the loyalty rate when you deposit or reinvest, earning you an extra 0.05% in interest.
Formed by the acquisition of Bank of Cyprus UK by Cynergy Capital Limited in 2018, Cynergy Bank’s mission is to “serve the needs of business owners, entrepreneurs and family businesses”. A newly established bank on the scene, this may be one to watch.
Thanks to its low minimum deposit requirement of £1,000, Kent Reliance is accessible for a wide range of private limited companies.
The simplicity of this instant access business savings account comes from the bank’s ambition to give LTDs an easy way to grow funds, without the complicated sign-up process. This account is online-only, and takes only 10 minutes to set up — which is handy, considering Kent Reliance only has branches in the south east of England.
If you want to be able to access your business savings instantly, this product is a straightforward way of doing so.
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