Santander business banking review

Santander has some great free and discounted banking offers for startups, as well as accounts for charities and companies who hold money on behalf of clients.

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What is Santander business banking?

Santander entered the UK banking market in 2004 and has since grown to serve over 14 million customers across the country.

The bank offers a range of services to businesses, including current accounts (with special rates for startups), loans, insurance, credit cards and advice on obtaining finance and efficiently running your business.

What type of business accounts does Santander offer?

Santander has four different types of current account to serve different circumstances:

  • 1|2|3 Business Current Account. For everyday business banking, with discounted rates for startups (in their first year of trading) and businesses who switch their account to Santander.
  • Business Current Account. For everyday business banking, with 18 months free for startups (in their first year of trading).
  • Client Current Account. For professional practices that hold money on behalf of clients.
  • Treasurer’s Current Account. For clubs, societies and charities (with a turnover up to £250,000).

Note that all of the above accounts must be used solely for business purposes.

Santander business banking features and charges

Santander’s business accounts include the following benefits:

1|2|3 Business Current Account

  • Discounted monthly fee of £5 for startups for 18 months and switchers for 12 months (£12.50 standard monthly fee).
  • Unlimited Santander ATM cash deposits.
  • Up to £300 cashback each year.
  • Interest on your credit balance.
  • Arranged overdraft of 5.10% EAR (variable). Annual fee 1% of the agreed overdraft (minimum fee £50).
  • Access online, at Santander ATMs and Post Office branches.

Business Current Account

  • Free everyday banking for startups for 18 months (£7.50 standard monthly fee).
  • No charge for cash deposits at Santander ATMs and post office branches up to £1,000 per month (then 70p per £100).
  • No interest on your credit balances.
  • Arranged overdraft of 5.10% EAR (variable). Annual fee 1% of the agreed overdraft (minimum fee £50).
  • Access online, at Santander ATMs and Post Office branches.

Client Current Account

  • Free day-to-day banking on electronic transactions such as BACS credits, standing orders and faster payments.
  • Deposit up to 100 cheques free each month (then £1.00 per cheque deposited).
  • Free text and email alerts to help you keep control of your accounts.
  • Issue up to 100 cheques free each month (then £1.00 per cheque).
  • Online, mobile and telephone banking.

Treasurer’s Current Account

  • Free day-to-day banking for clubs, societies and charities.
  • Text and email alerts to help you manage your account.
  • Easy access – secure online and mobile banking 24/7.

Santander international business banking

Santander customers can make international payments using online and telephone banking.

Cost of international banking:

  • Electronic transfer (standard) fee – £25.
  • Electronic transfer in euros (non-urgent: SEPA) – free.
  • Currency draft (cheque) – £10.

Payments in GBP, euros and USD can be made on the same day, as long as they are made by the cut-off time (varies by currency, details on the Santander site).

You can choose whether to pay the fees yourself or charge them to the recipient.

Santander business banking contact details

Depending on your query, Santander can be contacted using the following numbers:

Current accounts, lost/stolen debit card and international payments: 0800 731 6666.

Lines open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm Saturdays.

Loans and overdrafts: 0800 313 4481.

Lines open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

Credit cards (including lost/stolen): 0800 218 2345.

Lines open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm Saturdays.

Support for online and mobile banking: 0800 169 6677.

Lines open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm Saturdays.

Making a complaint: 0800 171 2171.

Lines open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Santander business banking reviews

Online customer reviews are for Santander as a bank, not specifically its business services.

On Trustpilot, Santander Bank has 1.5 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Bad”, based on more than 2,000 reviews.

Santander’s banking app has 1.6 out of 5 stars in Google’s Play store, based on more than 1,000 reviews. On the App Store, the app has 1.2 out of 5 stars, based on more than 1,000 reviews.

Customers are split about the service on offer – some praise helpful and efficient staff, while others complain about mishandling.

Pros and cons of a Santander business account

Pros

  • Range of business accounts to choose from.
  • Free/reduced fee introductory periods.
  • Extensive branch network if you prefer to bank in person.
  • Overdrafts available.

Cons

  • Once any free banking period ends, there are cheaper monthly fees available elsewhere.
  • Mixed customer reviews.

Our verdict

Santander is one of the biggest banking names on the UK high street, so it has a large branch network if you need to make a visit. It has a range of business accounts available depending on your business size and needs, and also offers overdrafts and other banking products. Santander has various free or discounted business banking offers available on new accounts, although once any free banking periods end, the monthly fees are not the most competitive available.

Compare Santander 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
Tide
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, ReckonOne, Kashflow and Sage
Free
App
Free company registration when you open a Tide business account (usually £12)
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
Cashplus business
£69
£0.99
Free transfers in first 3 months
FreeAgent, Xero
2.99%

On invitation
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.
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