The Best UK Charity Bank Accounts12th Aug 2019
Choosing a UK bank account for your charity or voluntary organisation isn’t easy, but it could be one of the most important decisions you make when setting up a nonprofit.
We run through a list of the key features to look for and the options available for charities in the UK, while also seeing how modern they are in terms of integrations with donations, direct debits and other aspects users of a Charity CRM might require.
The Problem for Smaller Charities
If you’re a new or small charity with an annual income of less than £5,000 you could find yourself in a catch-22 position with a lot of banks. Many require you to have a registered charity number, but you won’t be able to register with the Charity Commission with a turnover of less than £5,000.
In this case, setting up a normal business bank account may be the best first step and then transitioning to one of the charity-focused ones once the annual income reaches the threshold.
Many banks offer accounts to charities for free, however many of these are just for everyday transactions. These are likely to charge extras for non-standard transactions and for additional services, which you may require
Typical Banking Features for Charities
Most features from normal personal accounts are applicable for charities with most banks. For example:
- Accept card payments
- Make card payments
- Recurring payments (such as direct debits and standin orders)
- Earn interest (less likely with free accounts)
- Online balance and account overview, such as statements
This lets 2 people from the same organisation perform a payment electronically by one person submitting the transaction and another authorising it. This is useful for security and fraud prevention in that it requires two people to send a payment and is recommended by the Charity Commission.
Unfortunately the financial services compensation scheme don’t give a clear answer, but small charities are more likely to meet the eligibility criteria to claim compensation, which is considered on a case-by-case basis.
List of Banks Offering Charity Accounts
Please note, we do not receive monetary compensation for listing or linking to the websites below. Also, in no way, do we recommend the banks or services shown.
Royal Bank of Scotland
And once you have your bank account you can accept paperless, recurring direct debit donations with Reldesk, and integrate it into your website easily.