Business banking customers who have an account with the Natwest or RBS could be in line for a payout of up to £50,000 if they switch to another bank, a leading solicitor has said.

A new fund has been established after the two banks were instructed to reduce the number of business clients on their books in the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis.

It is open to companies which have a turnover of less than £25 million and switch their account from RBS or Natwest to a designated ‘challenger bank’.

Peter Stafford is the managing director of legal firm Cartmell Shepherd and head of the firm’s business services team.

He said: “As a solicitor I am always very suspicious about initiatives which promise money for apparently little effort. However in this case, if you are an existing NatWest or RBS business customer then this may apply to you.

“It may sound too good to be true, but the short and the long answer is that it's not. All you have to do at this stage is register an interest online to see whether you are eligible.

"Thereafter it will be like switching electricity provider – and we’re here to help you achieve the right result.

"While this process is designed to be as straightforward as possible it is essential that businesses have the correct legal support in place."

The amount that businesses are entitled to depends on their turnover, with an upper limit of £50,000 plus a further £10,000 in legal fees.

Eligible business customers will be entitled to receive cash equivalent to 2.5 per cent of any outstanding loan balance which is switched.

The Incentivised Switching Scheme will see it pay substantial dowries to eligible business customers who transfer their business to one of the limited number of challenger banks, including the likes of the Clydesdale and Handelsbanken.

Businesses must register online and are not limited to one registration. Those which operate a number of limited companies or a mixture of companies and partnerships can register each entity and each entity is entitled to the dowry and support.