NatWest Business Loan Review: Are They Right for You?

NatWest Business Loan Review: Are They Right for You?

Natwest is a well known high street bank that offers a range of business loans. It has an impressive host of options available for smaller and larger businesses. But, are they suitable for your business? We take a closer look.

Good for

  • Loans of up to £10 million available
  • Terms of up to 25 years available
  • Multiple loan options to suit different businesses
  • Flexible repayments options available
  • No early repayment fees on many loans

Bad for

  • Poor customer reviews
  • Customers comment on the slow response time of the customer services team
  • Website offers limited information on some types of loans

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

NatWest is an established household name and has a wide range of business loans on offer, including loans designed for small businesses, fixed rate loans, government-backed recovery loans, bank overdrafts and business credit cards.

In This Review

NatWest Loan Overall Review

We are impressed by the range of NatWest's business loans and finance options. Many of the loans also offer flexible repayment terms and the option to roll up interest or take payment holidays. NatWest also caters for large business loans, with possible unlimited lending on variable loans, depending of course, on your business circumstances.

On the downside, many customer reviews highlight the slow response time of the customer services team. This may be frustrating if you’re in a hurry and need to get business finance quickly.

We also found that there isn’t much information on some types of loans. You won’t be able to find an eligibility checker to see if you’re likely to be accepted before you apply. Many of the loans also don’t have information on typical interest rates or what information you might need to provide once you apply.

Key features of NatWest Business Loan

  • Borrow £1,000 to £10 million
  • Fixed or flexible interest available
  • Interest only or capital only repayments available
  • Repayment terms of up to 25 years
  • No early repayment charges
  • Repayment holidays may be available
  • Arrangement and security fees may apply

Loan options available from NatWest

NatWest currently offers fixed and variable rate loans as well as small business loans, bank overdrafts and business credit cards. You can also apply for a government-backed recovery loan if your business has been impacted by Covid 19. Here are some of their loans’ key features.

Loan amountKey featuresSuitable for
Small business loan£1,000 to £50,000
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Personal guarantee required
  • 1 to 7 year terms available
  • Interest rates start at around 8.4%
  • No arrangement or early redemption fees
  • 51% of businesses accepted
  • Small businesses that struggle to access traditional lending
Fixed rate business loan£25,000 to £10 million
  • Fixed interest rates of up to 15 years available
  • Capital holiday and other repayment options available
  • Borrow for up to 25 years
Variable rate business loanNo upper limit
  • Terms of 3 months to 25 years
  • Your business receives instant funds
  • Interest varies in line in base rate, No early redemption charges
Recovery loanUp to £2 million
  • Terms of up to 6 years
  • No personal guarantees for loans up to £250,000
  • UK businesses impacted by Covid 19
Bank overdraftUp to £50,000
  • Possible to have a loan and an overdraft
  • Will pay arrangement fees of x
  • Representative interest of 9.74%, depending on the option you choose
  • NatWest customer with a business bank account

NatWest’s loans in more detail

Small business loan

NatWest offers small business loans of £1,000 to £50,000 with terms up to 7 years. You’ll need to provide a personal guarantee and interest rates start at around 8.4%.There are no early redemption fees and NatWest reveals that 51% of applications are accepted.

To apply you’ll need to give information on the following:

  • Your business name and legal structure
  • Details of your directors
  • Your existing borrowing commitments and overdraft
  • Your annual turnover

Take a look at our detailed article if you want to know more about how small business loans work.

Fixed rate business loan

NatWest offers fixed rate business loans of between £25,000 to £10 million with terms up to 25 years. Your fixed interest rate will need to be renegotiated after 15 years. There are no early redemption fees and you may be able to arrange a capital payment holiday in some circumstances.

There are three different repayment options: standard capital and interest payments, straight line payments and bullet payments. Here are more details:

  • Capital and interest repayments - you regularly repay capital and interest to gradually pay off the loan.
  • Straight line - you regularly repay capital to the loan account and interest is charged separately to a current account.
  • Bullet - you repay the capital at the end of the loan, and quarterly interest is applied to a separate current account.

You can also combine these options to suit your needs.

A fixed rate loan may suit your business if you want to have certainty about your level of payments and have protection against potential higher interest rates in the future.

Variable rate business loan

NatWest offers variable rate business loans with terms up to 25 years. There’s no upper limit to the amount you can borrow, although your application will be assessed based on your business's financial situation and credit record. There are no early redemption fees and you may be able to arrange a capital payment holiday in some circumstances.

You can opt for standard capital & Interest payments. You can also choose to pay interest only and pay the capital at the end of the loan, or pay capital only and interest at the end of the loan.

You can discuss your options with a relationship manager who will help you understand your options and how they might affect your business. Just like the fixed loan option, you can combine different payment options to suit your needs.

Recovery loan

NatWest also offers government-backed recovery loans to businesses that have been impacted by Covid 19. The loans are available to businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Impacted by Covid 19
  • Viable business
  • Trading in the UK
  • Turnover less than £45 million

You can apply to borrow between £25,000 to £2 million, or up to £6 million for a group of companies. Loan terms are up to six years and interest rates will vary depending on the financial health and size of your business. Personal guarantees aren’t required for loans of £250,000 or less.

Take a look at our detailed article if you want to know more about how recovery loans work.

Bank overdraft

If you have a NatWest business bank account you can apply for a business bank overdraft of up to £50,000. It will provide your business with a short term safety net for up to 12 months. After 12 months NatWest will contact you to review or renew your overdraft facility.

You can reduce your overdraft balance by as much or as little as you want each month and there’s no set minimum pay back each month. You’ll only be charged interest on the amount you are overdrawn at any time.

If you apply for a Business Overdraft limit of up to £500, you’ll pay an arrangement fee of £50. For overdrafts between £501 to £1,500, the arrangement fee is £100 and overdrafts above £1,500 have an arrangement fee of 1.5% or a minimum £150 fee. All other fees, including interest rates, will be made available to you once your application is complete.

Take a look at our detailed article if you want to know more about how business bank overdrafts work.

Business credit card

NatWest also offers business credit cards and business debit cards to help your business with short term cash needs. You’ll pay fees of between £30 to £70 per business credit card and business debit cards have no fee.

It can be an expensive way to borrow as NatWest credit cards have an APR of 24.3%.

NatWest offers several different business credit card options with different features. For example, their Business Plus credit card has no transaction fees for purchases made abroad. This may make it a good option if your employees regularly travel abroad for business and need to use a business credit card.

NatWest business loan customer service reviews and ratings

How do existing customers rate NatWest business loans? To find out, we've searched through hundreds of online customer reviews and ratings. Here’s a summary of our findings.

NatWest business loan Ratings & Customer Reviews

Trustpilot customer service rating: 1.4 out of 5

Trustpilot reviewers give NatWest bank a disappointing 1.4 out of a possible 5 stars. However, these reviews are from all NatWest’s customers, not just business customers, so they may not be a fair reflection of NatWest’s customer service for business owners.

Many customers comment on the length of time it took to get through to customer services on their phone line. Reviewers also struggled to get account details updated and to resolve problems with their accounts.

Smartmoneypeople customer service rating: 2.6 out of 5

NatWest has earned an unsatisfactory 2.6 stars out of 5 from Smartmoneypeople reviewers for its customer service for business owners. This rating is based on 84 reviews.

Many customers were unhappy with the length of time it took to sort out setting up a NatWest business loan. Some reviewers also commented on the problems they had getting through to the customer services team and the amount of time they had to hold on their phone line.

Other reviewers were more positive and were happy with the service they received. Some reviewers commented that they managed to open a business loan account quickly and easily.

Here are some of the recent reviews:

“The experience I had from NatWest and RBS was awful. I … asked them for a request and went through so many departments. I was on hold for ages and they did not even help. I am going to take my custom somewhere else.” Jan 2022

“Been a customer for over 20 years and applied for a business bank account 4 months ago. Have made multiple calls and [have] been reassured each time that someone would be in touch but they haven't and I'm still waiting for the account to be opened.” Mar 2022

“Having been let down by other banks, NatWest [was] able to open an account for me quickly, at a time that was critical to my company!” Mar 2021

How to contact NatWest

If you need to contact NatWest then they have a handy website chat facility. You can also contact them using Whatsapp, social media or using their customer helpline. Their call centres are open 24/7 for basic banking enquiries. For lending and other specialist business banking enquiries they provide guidance from 9am to 5pm.

Contact information for NatWest business loan:

  • Business banking support: 0345 711 4477
  • Website chat: Click the bar on the edge of the screen on their website
  • Whatsapp: Connect through the contact us section of the website
  • Social media: Click on the icons at the bottom of the screen on their website
Alice Guy

Alice Guy is a Suffolk-based business and personal finance writer. She trained with KPMG in London as a Chartered Accountant before working as a business analyst for Tesco Plc. Alice has personal experience surviving on a tight budget when she took time out to care for her young family. She loves to write about business finance, saving and investing—all the money stuff we were never taught at school.

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