You might not have heard about the Business Banking Switch, but it’s something you should know about because there could be big perks for you and your business.
The short version is this:
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is paying other banks to incentivise businesses to switch their current accounts to non-RBS providers.
The Business Banking Switch is a scheme through which businesses can receive incentives for switching their business current account from RBS/Williams & Glyn to other providers and challenger banks. It’s designed to increase competition in UK business banking and decrease RBS’s market share.
The Business Banking Switch used to have the slightly less catchy name of the Incentivised Switching Scheme. It was created following the 2007/8 Financial Crisis, when Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was bailed out by the UK government.
RBS had originally planned to open a new business bank, resurrected bank-from-the-past Williams & Glyn. But that plan fell through and the Business Banking Switch took its place.
If you were due to move to Williams & Glyn, you’ll be eligible to switch and receive incentives through the Business Banking Switch.
NatWest and Ulster Bank, both of which are owned by RBS, are also part of the scheme. Your Williams & Glyn membership might have been organised through them – if so, you’ll also be eligible for incentives by switching through the scheme.
NB: The scheme is only eligible to those Williams & Glyn customers with a turnover of £25million or less.
Potentially, lots. There’s no end to the incentives the alternative providers and challenger banks could offer if you switch to their service, but it depends on the individual banks’ incentives.
There are currently nine banks that are offering incentives through the Business Banking Switch, with more expected to be announced later in 2019. They’ve been chosen by the independent Banking Competition Remedies Limited. The banks are:
Arbuthnot Latham & Co.
Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank
The Co-operative Bank
Hampden & Co.
If you’re not a Williams & Glyn customer, you can still compare business current accounts to find the right one for your situation.
The Business Banking Switch is a package of around £275million. Through the scheme, RBS will pay other banks to offer incentives to businesses for switching from Williams & Glyn to their services. You would be forgiven for thinking it sounds a bit odd — RBS is going to pay its competitors to take its customers away.
The Business Banking Switch officially launched on 25 February 2019. Businesses who were signed up to Williams & Glyn’s service can switch to one of the designated alternative banks. Those banks should offer incentives to help you make your decision to switch. The incentives could include things like a cash bonus when you join, or lower interest rates for an introductory period.
Find out more on the Business Banking Switch website.