Bank accounts

Our Foundation bank account

Straightforward money management

Manage your money more easily with our basic Foundation account. With this bank account there's no extra credit check so it could be right for you if you're going through bankruptcy or have a low credit score.

We may offer you this no-fee current account if you aren’t eligible for a different NatWest current account or if we feel it’s more appropriate for your financial circumstances.

This means you can’t directly apply for our basic bank account. Also it's worth keeping in mind that overdrafts aren't available and no interest or charges can be applied. We’ll only offer you our Foundation account if you apply for one of our other bank accounts, but don’t qualify.

For other banking services and current accounts, take a look at our account options.

What is a Foundation account?

Foundation bank accounts work like regular current accounts for the most part. They’re just designed specifically for people with poor credit history. You might be offered a Foundation account if you have a low credit score or if you don’t qualify for another type of account. This account doesn’t require an extra credit score check.

With a basic bank account, you can pay in and withdraw money to easily manage your finances. However, you won’t be able to access a cheque book, overdraft or credit card. You’ll also receive a contactless debit card so you can make purchases online and in-store using the money in your account.

A NatWest Foundation account allows you to bank with no monthly fee or added interest. This means you can use your account without worrying about extra charges. 


How does a Foundation account support you?

At NatWest, we want to make sure we provide you with the right tools so you can bank confidently. Our Foundation account is no different. Whether you have a poor credit score, have been declared bankrupt, or denied a different account, we’re here to provide everyday support.

Text alerts

You can set up convenient text alerts to help manage Direct Debits. That way you always know what’s coming in and going out. You can even get an alert when your balance is about to drop below a certain limit.

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Keep on top of your money 24/7

You can set up alerts in our handy mobile banking app. View, cancel and amend your regular payments all in one place. Manage your bills where and when it suits you. You can also easily pay friends and family and keep track of your balance on the go, 24/7.

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Joint account cards

How to open a basic Foundation bank account

If you’ve been struggling with money, you might be turned down for a bank account. This is where the NatWest Foundation account comes in.

You may be offered a Foundation account if:

  • You have little or no credit history and/or a low credit score.
  • You’re going through bankruptcy. A basic Foundation account may be your best option for a bank account if you’re declared bankrupt.
  • You give us incomplete or inaccurate information when you apply.

You can’t directly apply for a Foundation account. We’ll let you know during your application if we need to offer you a Foundation account instead of the account you’ve applied for. From there, we'll give you the choice of whether to continue.

You can also complete account applications in branch. In this instance, our staff will give you the option to open a basic Foundation account.

Do I need a credit check for a basic bank account?

A basic bank account requires no credit check. Your credit score isn’t usually affected by opening one of our basic Foundation accounts. However, when you open the account, you may see a temporary dip in your credit score, similar to when opening any account.

Managing your Foundation account

Our Foundation bank account comes with some things you might not expect from a basic bank account:

Contactless debit card

You can use your contactless debit card to make quick and easy payments and ATM withdrawals. However, you must have the money available in your account to use your card.

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Emergency cash when you need it

We also offer a handy emergency cash feature. This allows you to contact us if your card has been lost or stolen. We’ll send you a code that lets you withdraw the cash you need without your card from our cash machines. You need to have the money in your account, at least £20, and we’ll ask you some security questions so we’re sure it’s you.

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24/7 banking

To make managing payments that little bit easier, we’re proud to offer 24/7 banking services. We all lead busy lives, so we’ve made it easy for you to access your account whenever it suits you. Simply log in to Online Banking or our mobile banking app. Alternatively, you can contact one of our UK call centres, 24 hours a day.

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Why bank with NatWest?

Set yourself savings goals

With our savings goal tool you can use the app to set up a savings plan. Easily figure out how much you need to save each month to reach your goals, and make it happen.

Help with financial health

Want to get a better picture of your financial fitness? Try our digital financial health check. It only takes a few minutes and can help get your finances back on track.

Get tips on savings money

Get effective tips on saving money on your household bills, because we appreciate that every penny matters.

All on the app

You can see your balance in no time and manage your account on the go using the NatWest mobile app.

Open one of our other bank accounts

You'll only be offered a basic Foundation bank account if you're refused one of our other types of bank accounts. We offer a wide range of bank accounts to suit any need.

Our everyday current account

Our Select account is a simple bank account that gives you everything you need for your day-to-day banking needs:

  • Monthly fee free banking
  • Take care of your bank account on the go with our mobile app and Online Banking. Criteria apply. 
  • Pay however you like with Apple Pay, Google Pay™ and contactless. Limits apply. 

To apply, you need to be 18+ and a UK resident.

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Reward current account

Our Reward account allows you to earn monthly rewards for just £2 a month, including:

  • £4 a month back in rewards for two or more Direct Debits (at least £2 each).
  • £1 a month back in rewards with one mobile app login.
  • From 1% back in rewards when you spend at our partner retailers.

To apply, you need to be 18 or over and a UK resident. To hold this account, you need to pay £1,250 into an eligible NatWest account every month. To earn £5 rewards, you earn £4 a month back in rewards for 2 or more Direct Debits (at least £2 each) and an additional £1 a month back in rewards with 1 mobile app log in. 

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Explore all our current accounts

We also offer a number of other bank accounts designed for managing your money as effectively as possible, as well as a host of accounts with additional benefits for existing NatWest customers.

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Frequently asked questions

Ukrainian refugee account opening 

We have created a dedicated page which has all the support you need to open your account with us.

The page is also available in Ukrainian and Russian and includes further information about the account as well as support for refugees you may find useful.

See our Ukrainian refugee account opening page for more information.


More help and support