MSE News

NatWest pulls the plug on app-only bank account Bó

NatWest's app-only bank account Bó is to shut down – less than six months after it launched.

Bó started taking on customers at the end of November 2019 and was NatWest's attempt to rival more established digital banks such as Monzo and Starling.

But it only has 11,413 customers currently – 3,000 of which are NatWest and RBS staff – and all of these accounts are now set to close.

See our App-Based Banking guide for more info on the best banking and savings apps.

I have a Bó account – what will happen?

Bó has said it will send customers formal termination letters via email next week, in addition to in-app notifications. These will give you at least 60 days' notice before your account's closed – and will give you a deadline to withdraw your money by.

You'll need to transfer any funds you have with it to another provider, which you can do via its app.

If customers don't withdraw their cash in time, NatWest has told us it would contact them to help them with a bank transfer.

What are the best app-only bank account alternatives?

Though the offering from Bó was OK, none of its features were standout, and its main rivals offer more sophisticated features.

Monzo and Starling – fully regulated banks in their own right – give you many of the same features as Bó, such as spending alerts and categories, plus the ability to round up transactions to top up savings. Monzo also lets you set separate budgets for each spending category.

See App-Based Banking for full info or our Best Bank Accounts guide for the top traditional current accounts.

What does NatWest say?

A NatWest spokesperson said: "After careful consideration, we have made the decision to wind down Bó.

"As a bank, we will continue to test and learn, investing in innovative banking services that will provide a better experience for our new and existing customers."

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