New banking guide urges charities to get more from their bank

Written by Andrew Holt

Charity Finance Group (CFG) has joined up with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) to produce a short guide to support charities with their banking arrangements

Banking for Charities, which is aimed at the trustees and managers of charities, provides information on key aspects of charity banking including selecting and opening a suitable bank account, understanding fees and charges, and account switching.

The guide also aims to help charities better understand their needs and ask the right questions, enabling them to navigate the banking environment more effectively.

While bank accounts are a necessity for most charities, there are a number of factors that charities and trustees may not be aware of when considering their banking arrangements.

These are highlighted in the guide and include:

Is tax relief being claimed on interest paid by a bank or building society?

What are the bank’s ethical policies?

Is multiple authorisation available on online or telephone banking?

Is it worth switching banks – and how easy is this?

Caron Bradshaw, CEO, Charity Finance Group, commented: “Banking is a core activity for every charity and the sector holds a huge amount in banks – approximately £18bn is held in cash deposits.

"It’s therefore so important charities are getting maximum value from this service, yet it’s sometimes easy to overlook getting the basics right.

“We frequently receive queries from charities about banking and by teaming up with the BBA we have been able to draw on their knowledge to produce a concise, jargon-free and, most importantly, impartial guide charities can use to understand their options.

“We’d like to see banking move from a passive arrangement to one where charities are regularly ensuring they are getting the best service, and the launch of this guide provides a key opportunity to encourage all charities to review their banking arrangements to make sure they are best suited to their needs.”

Anthony Browne, BBA chief executive, said: “The BBA has been delighted to partner with the Charity Finance Group to put together this guide; and we really hope that people who look after charities' finances find it helpful.

"We know that there are lots of people around the country who work hard – and often for free – to manage the financial affairs of a charity or voluntary organisation.

"This guide aims to help them navigate the various banking choices on offer and decide the best financial arrangements for their charity.”

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