Starling vs TSB for business banking – How to choose? Comparing fees, features, pros and cons

Last updated on 10 August 2023

When it comes to managing your business finances, choosing the right banking partner is crucial. In the UK, Starling and TSB are two prominent names in the business banking landscape. Each bank offers a unique set of features, benefits, and considerations for business owners.

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In this article, we will compare Starling vs TSB, highlighting their pros, cons, key differences, costs, and other important factors to help you make an informed decision.

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Starling vs TSB

Digital BankingYesYes
Physical BranchesNoYes
Cash Deposit FacilitiesNoYes
Foreign Exchange RatesCompetitiveVaries
Real-Time NotificationsYesNo
Expense CategorisationYesNo
Integration with SoftwareYesLimited
Additional ServicesNoBusiness Advisory Support
Account FeesFree account, certain services may have feesVaries
Customer SupportDigital channelsDigital and In-person
ReputationWell-established digital bankTrusted traditional bank
Starling vs TSB features compared

Please note that this table provides a general overview of the features and may not include all details or specific variations within each bank’s offerings. It’s important to conduct further research and refer to the respective banks’ websites for the most up-to-date and detailed information on their business banking services.


  1. Starling Bank:
  • As of March 2023, Starling Bank had over 2.5 million personal and business accounts. The bank has experienced significant growth since its launch in 2014, solidifying its position as one of the leading digital banks in the UK.
  • In 2021, Starling Bank was named “Best British Bank” and “Best Business Banking Provider” at the British Bank Awards. This recognition highlights the bank’s commitment to delivering exceptional services to its customers.
  • Starling Bank processed over £50 billion in payments in 2021, demonstrating the scale and efficiency of its digital banking infrastructure.
  1. TSB:
  • TSB has over 5 million customers across the UK, making it one of the largest retail and commercial banks in the country. The bank has a long history dating back to 1810, providing a sense of stability and trust to its customers.
  • In a survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence in 2021, TSB was ranked as the top bank for customer satisfaction among the major high street banks in the UK. This recognition reflects TSB’s commitment to delivering excellent customer service.
  • TSB has a network of over 500 branches across the UK, providing businesses with convenient access to in-person support and services, which can be valuable for businesses that prefer face-to-face interactions or require assistance with complex banking needs.

These statistics demonstrate the growth, recognition, and customer reach of both Starling Bank and TSB, offering insights into their market presence and reputation in the UK business banking sector.

Pros of Starling

  • Digital-first approach: Starling Bank is a leading digital bank, known for its user-friendly mobile app and online banking platform. It offers a seamless digital experience, allowing you to manage your business accounts, make payments, and track expenses with ease.
  • Innovative features: Starling provides a range of innovative features tailored for businesses. These include real-time notifications for transactions, integrations with accounting software, easy expense categorisation, and the ability to create and send invoices directly from the app.
  • Competitive foreign exchange rates: For businesses involved in international transactions, Starling offers competitive foreign exchange rates, making it an attractive choice for companies with global operations or suppliers.
  • Quick and easy account setup: Opening a business account with Starling is a streamlined process, with minimal paperwork and the ability to set up an account entirely online. This convenience is particularly beneficial for busy entrepreneurs.

Cons of Starling

  • Limited branch access: As a digital bank, Starling has no physical branches. While this may not be a drawback for tech-savvy businesses, those who prefer face-to-face interactions may find it inconvenient.
  • Deposit limitations: At present, Starling does not offer a cash deposit service for business customers. This can be a limitation for businesses that handle a significant amount of cash.

Pros of TSB

  • Wide branch network: TSB operates a substantial network of branches across the UK, providing businesses with access to in-person support and services. This can be advantageous if you value face-to-face interactions and require assistance from branch staff.
  • Cash deposit facilities: Unlike Starling, TSB offers cash deposit facilities for business customers, making it suitable for companies that handle regular cash transactions.
  • Established reputation: TSB has a long-established presence in the UK banking sector, with a trusted reputation. This can provide peace of mind to businesses looking for stability and reliability in their banking partner.

Cons of TSB

  • Limited digital features: While TSB has made efforts to enhance its digital banking offerings, it still lags behind Starling in terms of digital features and functionality. Businesses that rely heavily on digital tools and automation may find this restrictive.
  • Potentially higher fees: TSB’s fee structure may not be as competitive as some digital-only banks. Depending on your business needs, you may find that certain services come with additional costs compared to Starling or other digital competitors.

Starling vs TSB – Key differences and considerations

Account types and services

Both Starling and TSB offer a range of business accounts, including current accounts, savings accounts, and borrowing options.

However, it’s essential to carefully assess the specific features, transaction limits, overdraft facilities, and associated fees of each account type to determine which aligns best with your business requirements.

Customer support

While Starling provides customer support primarily through digital channels, TSB offers a combination of digital and in-person support.

Consider your preferences and the level of support you anticipate needing when choosing between the two.

Additional services

Apart from banking services, TSB provides business customers with access to specialist business advisors who can offer guidance on various aspects of running a business, such as business planning, cash flow management, and financing options.

This additional support can be valuable for entrepreneurs seeking personalised guidance and expertise.

Security and trust

Both Starling and TSB are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and offer robust security measures to protect your business finances.

However, TSB’s longer history in the banking industry may instill greater confidence for some businesses concerned about the stability and reputation of their banking partner.

Integration with accounting software

When choosing a business banking provider, consider the compatibility and integration options with your preferred accounting software.

Both Starling and TSB offer integrations with popular accounting platforms, allowing you to streamline financial management and reduce manual data entry.

Starling vs TSB – Costs and fees

It’s important to carefully evaluate the costs and fees associated with business banking services. While specific fees may vary depending on the type of account and transaction volume, here are some general considerations:

Starling costs and fees

Starling Bank offers a range of free business banking services, including a free business account, free UK transfers, and no monthly account fees.

However, certain services such as international transfers, cash deposits, and additional features may come with fees. It’s advisable to review the complete fee schedule provided by Starling to understand the costs involved.

TSB costs and fees

TSB’s fee structure may include charges for various transactions, account maintenance, and additional services. It’s recommended to review their business banking tariff to gain a comprehensive understanding of the fees applicable to your business needs.

Ultimately, the costs associated with business banking services should be assessed in conjunction with the features, convenience, and support provided by each bank.

Starling vs TSB – Verdict

Choosing the right business banking partner is a critical decision that can significantly impact the financial management and growth of your business.

Starling Bank offers a modern, digital-first approach with innovative features, competitive foreign exchange rates, and easy online account setup.

TSB, on the other hand, provides a wide branch network, cash deposit facilities, an established reputation, and personalised business advisory services.

By carefully considering your preferences, business needs, and the specific features and costs of each bank, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and enhances your overall banking experience.

Starling vs TSB – FAQ

Can I deposit cash with Starling or TSB?

Starling Bank does not currently offer cash deposit facilities for business customers, while TSB does provide cash deposit services at their branches.

Which bank offers better digital features and functionality?

Starling Bank is known for its user-friendly mobile app and robust digital banking features. While TSB has made efforts to improve its digital offerings, Starling generally offers a more advanced digital experience.

Are there any monthly account fees?

Starling Bank offers free business accounts with no monthly fees. TSB’s account fees may vary depending on the type of account and services required, so it’s important to review their business banking tariff for specific details.

How do customer support options differ between the two banks?

Starling Bank primarily provides customer support through digital channels such as in-app chat and email. TSB offers a combination of digital support as well as in-person assistance at their branches.

Can I integrate my business accounts with accounting software?

Both Starling and TSB offer integrations with popular accounting software, allowing you to streamline financial management and reduce manual data entry. However, it’s advisable to check the specific software integrations offered by each bank to ensure compatibility with your preferred accounting platform.

Which bank is more suitable for businesses with international transactions?

Starling Bank generally offers competitive foreign exchange rates, making it a favorable choice for businesses involved in international transactions. TSB’s foreign exchange rates may vary, so it’s worth comparing them against your specific needs.

Do both banks provide overdraft facilities?

Both Starling and TSB offer overdraft facilities for their business accounts, although the terms and conditions may vary. It’s important to review the details of each bank’s overdraft offerings to determine which aligns better with your business requirements.

Remember, these FAQs provide general information and it’s always recommended to visit the respective banks’ websites or contact their customer support for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their business banking services and features.

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Business Financed provides general information, but not financial advice. Always speak to a qualified expert to get personalised advice for your business.

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