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Just like a small business, charities, clubs and community organisations need an account to conduct their everyday transactions. That's where charity bank accounts come in.
While charity bank accounts come with some restrictions, they're still useful and necessary for many organisations. To make sure you can manage your funds responsibly and effectively, you'll need a solid and reliable account.
You can find charity bank accounts using this comparison, which includes bank accounts that can be opened in the name of a charity.
Our comparison of charity bank accounts includes accounts:
Suggestions for a charity or community bank account
Bank accounts which are for small businesses, but which are also able to accept charities.
Look for charity bank accounts or a community bank account if you run:
You have to fit one of these categories to be eligible for bank accounts for charities and clubs.
The best charity bank account for you is one that suits your organisation based on:
The type of organisations it can accept
How many employees your organisation has
Your annual turnover. Some charity bank accounts have a limit on your] annual turnover - you can check the limits using our comparison.
Each bank account has different rules on what type of organisation it can accept. You can check this on the bank's website before you apply.
To make the right choice when looking for the best charity bank account for you, have a look at the features of the account.
You could use a charity account to:
Receive bank transfers or card payments, including donations
Pay your staff or bills by bank transfer or direct debit
Make purchases on a debit card if it offers one
Manage your account with internet banking
Pay cash or cheques in if the bank has a branch nearby.
Check each account's features to find the best charity bank account for your organisation's needs.
Here's more information on the features charity accounts might offer.
Use this comparison to check the interest rate of charity bank accounts, UK wide. Many charity bank accounts, UK wide, don't pay any interest on your balance. So it's important to check this.
If your charity holds a large cash balance, you may be able to earn more interest by keeping it in a charity savings account instead.
You could also open a current account for your day-to-day banking, as a current account gives you instant access to the funds.
Some charity bank accounts for community groups or charities charge a monthly fee, but others are free to use unless you go overdrawn.
When you looking at charity bank accounts, check the monthly fee using this comparison. Before you apply, check if there are any fees for services you need from your account, like duplicate statements or sending a bank transfer.
When opening a charity bank account, you'll need to work out who is going to run the account. This person will be able to do things like withdraw money and manage the online banking. You can decide to have more than one signatory to approve transactions, if this would be useful to you.
When opening a charity bank account, the bank is likely to ask to see some documents. These could include:
The charity's registration documents
The charity's trust deeds
Minutes from a meeting if you run a club or association, which include proof of who can open an account on the organisation's behalf.
You may then also need documents to prove the identity of your chosen signatories. This could include proof of:
Their name (passport or driving licence)
Their address (utility bill).
Some bank accounts for charities and clubs are completely free, but others come with fees.
Check the terms of the bank account you're looking at carefully.
You could pay fees for:
Paying in cash
A relationship manager.
Technically you could, but it might not be easy. It can become confusing if your personal and charity finances all mix together within the same account.
The problem you might come across here is that you can't get a charity number until you've registered with the Charity Commission. And you can't register with the Charity Commission until your income is at least £5,000.
For this reason, young charities often use a business bank account to begin with. This way, you can still keep your personal finances separate to your charity's finances and it looks more legitimate for donors.
Yes, some banks offer overdrafts on their charity current accounts.
Yes, they can receive transfers or standing orders from other bank accounts, and some can accept card payments or direct debits.
Some can be set up online, but others can only be opened in a branch. You may also need to provide identification and other documents to the bank.
Charities with less than fifty employees can use the Current Account Switch Service. Large charities can ask their new bank to arrange it.
Some charities are covered by the Financial Services Compensation scheme (FSCS) for up to £85,000 if their bank goes out of business.
Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about How our website works.
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Last updated: 12 May, 2021