Almost half of charities experience problems when banking, research finds

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17th April 2024 15:07 - Voluntary

Almost half of charities experience problems when banking: The Charity Commission has revealed that 42% of trustees surveyed for its annual sector survey said their charity experienced substandard service from their banks in the last year.

The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. The survey was based on a sample of charity trustees from the Charity Commission’s online Register of Charities. BMG Research carried out the research for the Charity Commission using an online survey, this involved 2,541 respondents.

Further findings revealed that 6% of respondents had experienced frozen accounts or had been blocked from their accounts and 7% reported that their chosen bank had lost their records. Additionally, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) charities had difficulty opening a new bank account.

Other findings from the survey showed that 32% of charities faced issues when trying to update their charity’s contact details or signatories, 15% of respondents encountered difficulties in meeting the identity requirements established by their bank and 14% struggled to comprehend the requirements set forth by their bank.

CEO of the Charity Commission, Helen Stephenson, said this: “I’m shocked, but not surprised by these new figures, which offer undeniable evidence of the extent and impact of the appalling service charities receive from some banks. It is simply not good enough that volunteer trustees, who are giving their free time to serve society, are faced with such unnecessary challenges in managing their charities’ money. We have worked behind the scenes with banks to improve the service they provide to charities. So far, I have been disappointed with their response. I hope this new research sends a message to the CEOs of high street banks that change is needed now.”

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