The Co-operative Bank business banking review

The Co-operative Bank offers five business accounts options for a range of circumstances. See all the details here and whether any of the options are right for your business.

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What is The Co-operative Bank business banking?

The Co-operative Bank has been around for over 145 years and provides customers with a range of financial products, including current and savings accounts, loans, mortgages and insurance.

The bank’s business arm offers current and savings accounts to businesses of various sizes, as well as business loans and merchant services, such as card acceptance solutions.

What type of business accounts does The Co-operative Bank offer?

The Co-operative Bank has several types of business accounts to choose from:

  • Business Directplus. For UK businesses that don’t already have this type of account.
  • FSB business banking account. For everyday business banking.
  • Cash tariff account. For professional practices that hold money on behalf of clients.
  • Standard tariff account. For businesses looking for a simple and straightforward account charging structure.
  • Community Directplus. For registered charities, co-operatives, credit unions and community interest companies.

Note that, much like most other banks, The Co-operative Bank does not allow the use of a personal bank account for business purposes.

The Co-operative Bank business banking features and charges

Below is a list of the main benefits for each of The Co-operative Bank’s business accounts:

Business Directplus

  • 30 months of free everyday business banking for new The Co-operative Bank business customers.
  • No charges for all automated credits and cash withdrawals.
  • Deposit £2,000 in cash and 100 cheques per month for free.
  • No monthly service charge and all automated debits free if you maintain a credit balance of £1,000 or more.
  • At the end of the 30-month free banking period, you will be transferred to a standard Business Directplus tariff (£7 per month).
  • Access to a business savings account, online banking and merchant services.

FSB business banking

  • Free business banking services, such as paying in cheques and up to £2,000 cash per month (75p per £100 extra for higher amounts).
  • £25 annual loyalty bonus (paid once) for FSB members who maintain an active account.
  • A charge card without a monthly card fee.
  • Access to a business savings account, online banking and merchant services.

Cash tariff

  • Low cash deposit charge (40p per £100).
  • 10p per item for automated credit, 50p per item for manual credit and 23p per item for cheques paid in.
  • Free ATM withdrawals in the UK (at non-charging machines).
  • Access to a business savings account, online banking and merchant services.
  • £10 monthly service charge.

Standard tariff

  • 55p per £100 cash and 28p per item for cheques paid in.
  • 20p per item for automated credit and 70p per item for manual credit.
  • 40p per item for automated debit, 60p per cheque issued and 55p per £100 for cash withdrawals.
  • Free ATM withdrawals in the UK (at non-charging machines).
  • Access to a business savings account, online banking and merchant services.
  • £10 monthly service charge.

Community Directplus

  • Free everyday banking.
  • The option to apply for a donation of up to £1,000 to support special projects and fundraising activities.
  • Free ATM withdrawals in the UK (at non-charging machines).
  • Your account tariff might be reviewed if your turnover exceeds £1 million per annum or if you deposit more than £100,000 cash or 5,000 cheques per annum.

The Co-operative Bank international business banking

You can request the addition of foreign/international payments to your online banking over the phone.

Cost of international banking

  • Non-sterling transaction fee – 2.75% of the value of the transaction.
  • Cash withdrawal fee – 2% of the value of the currency/cheques or £2 (whichever is greater).
  • International payments – £8 to £35, depending on the method.
  • Receiving payments from overseas (in sterling or foreign currency) – free up to £100 or equivalent.

The Co-operative Bank business banking contact details

Depending on your query, The Co-operative Bank can be contacted using the following numbers:

Business account support and to report fraud or a forgotten PIN: 03457 213 213.

Lines open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Commercial account support: 03457 654 654.

Lines open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Business VISA: 0345 606 6701.

Lines open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm.

International payments: 03457 558 888.

Lines open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm.

Report a lost/stolen card or PIN: 0345 600 6000.

Lines are open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Online banking queries: 0345 601 9938.

Lines open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm.

You can also discuss your business account by going into one of The Co-operative Bank’s branches.

The Co-operative Bank business banking reviews

Online customer reviews are for The Co-operative Bank, not specifically its business services.

On Trustpilot, The Co-operative Bank has 2 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Poor”, based on more than 900 reviews.

The Co-operative Bank’s banking app has 3 out of 5 stars in Google’s Play store, based on more than 6,000 reviews. On the App Store, the app has 2.3 out of 5 stars, based on more than 1,500 reviews.

Customers like the helpful and efficient staff, but many complained about technical issues and a lack of features in the app.

Pros and cons of The Co-operative business banking

Pros

  • Range of business accounts depending on your needs.
  • Has a branch network if you prefer to bank in person.
  • Free banking with some of the accounts for a set period, or if you maintain your balance above a certain level.
  • Other financial products available, such as overdrafts and business lending.

Cons

  • Branch network is not extensive, so there may not be one local to you.
  • Some accounts have a monthly fee, which you could find cheaper elsewhere.
  • Mixed customer reviews.

Our verdict

You can use online and mobile banking with business accounts from The Co-operative, plus the bank has a branch network, albeit a small one. The range of accounts available means you’ll probably find one to suit your business needs, while the period of free banking that comes with some of these accounts is an attractive offer. However, be sure to check out the full costs involved, in case the account fees become uncompetitive when the free term ends.

Compare The Co-operative Bank against its competitors

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Accounting integrations Non-Sterling transactions Overdraft Account management Key benefits
Starling Business Account
Free
Free
Xero, FreeAgent
Free

Min. 18 months trading to apply
App, Online
Add the new Business Toolkit onto your free Starling account, and get the first month free of charge (RRP £7pcm)
Tide
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, ReckonOne, Kashflow and Sage
Free
App
Free spending abroad and at home in any currency, instant payment alerts, automatic categorisation
Amaiz
£9.99 per month
Free in first month
Free Starter plan available
£0.20
FreeAgent, Xero, Sage, Reckon One, Kashflow, QuickBooks
1%
0.5% in Europe, 1% elsewhere
App, Online
ANNA
Free
Free up to a max. balance of £5,000 (or up to £500 paid in per month)
Free
2 free transfers per month and unlimited free transfers to Anna accounts
Coming soon
Free
App
Earn 1% cashback for paying with your ANNA card in selected categories. Enjoy premium benefits free for the first 6 months.
Cashplus business
£69
First year's annual fee refunded.
£0.99
Free transfers in first 3 months
FreeAgent, Xero
2.99%

On invitation
App, Online
First year's annual fee refunded.
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