National Westminster Bank (NatWest)

NatWest Bank has a rich history in the UK credit card market, being one of the founder members of the Joint Credit Card Company, which developed the bank’s first credit card, Access, in 1972. This was in response to Barclaycard’s licencing of the BankAmericard product, which later became Visa.

NatWest was acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in a £21 billion takeover in March 2000, the largest in British banking history. RBS retained the NatWest brand and banking licence, but many functions were merged. Thus, many of the products available from the two institutions are broadly similar with different branding.

Banking group: The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc

Major news:

  • December 2017 – Closure of 197 NatWest branches as more and more customers prefer to bank online.
  • December 2017 – NatWest introduces Face ID, facial recognition technology, for logging into its mobile app on an iPhone X.
  • February 2018 – NatWest is testing ‘Cora’, an artificial intelligence ‘digital human’ that will complement branch, phone and online services. This could also facilitate blind and partially sighted customers who are unable to engage with visual content.
  • March 2018 – NatWest launches the ClearSpend app to give commercial card customers complete control of their account in real time and support business spending.
  • March 2018 – NatWest wins the ‘best banking app’ award for the second year in a row at the British bank awards 2018.
  • April 2018 – NatWest protects its business customers using VocaLink Analytics machine learning to detect voice fraud. In 2017 this system prevented over £7 million of losses.

Unique features:

  • ‘Get Cash’ allows customers to withdraw cash from a cash machine using the NatWest mobile app – without the need for a debit card.
  • Free access to IBM Rapport security software, which shields banking and personal details online and credit card payments.

Current accounts:

  • Everyday bank account
  • Reward bank account
  • Reward silver account
  • Reward platinum account
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Student bank account
  • Graduate bank account
  • Children’s bank account
  • Foundation account
  • European accounts
  • Reward Black for Premier customers only

7-day account switch guarantee: Yes

Credit cards:

  • Clear rate platinum credit card
  • Reward credit card
  • Reward black credit card
  • Student credit card

Savings accounts:

  • Savings Builder
  • Cash ISA
  • Premium Saver
  • Instant Saver
  • Fixed Term Savings
  • First Saver

Mortgages: Yes

Digital banking:

  • Online banking for all customers
  • Mobile application (Android/iOS/Windows)

Business banking: Yes

FSCS deposit protection: Yes, up to £85,000 per accountholder

Regulatory information:

  • Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) under registration number 121878.
  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Subscribed to the Lending Standards Board’s Standards of Lending Practice through its parent company – Royal Bank of Scotland.