Charity bank account

A guide to helping you understand Charity bank accounts

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We’ve helped over 100,000 businesses

How to open a charity bank account

If you run a charity, one of the key responsibilities you have to is manage donations and organisational finances. Many banks offer bank accounts designed specifically for charities and voluntary organisations. There are a range of accounts available, with a variety of benefits, fees and features. The best charity bank account will provide the ideal banking features for your individual position.

Do I need to open a charity bank account?

Charity bank accounts provide similar features to personal accounts, although they are designed to keep your finances separate. You can use a personal account for charity finances, however there are many benefits to opening a specific bank account.

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Which features will a charity bank account provide?

Charity bank accounts provide similar features to personal accounts, although they are designed to keep your finances separate. To find the ideal account for your charity, consider which features your organisation needs on a daily basis. For example, will you need a high-street branch? Does your charity require a cheque book? Will you need access to credit facilities such as an overdraft or credit card?

Charity accounts are offered by banks under a variety of names, such as club accounts and society accounts. In addition, standard small business bank accounts may provide an ideal account.

Whatever type of account your business opens, you could benefit from:

  • A personal banking manager
  • Free electronic transactions
  • Mobile banking apps
  • Debit cards and a cheque book

Depending on the bank you choose, your charity could also benefit from free everyday banking. Although, some banks will charge a monthly fee for providing an account. There are many offers available for new charity bank accounts, include fee free business banking.

Here at BusinessComparison, we can help you compare a range of business accounts, which provide many benefits to charities. Through our simple comparison service, it is possible to compare both high-street banks and alternative online banks. These online banks are known as challenger banks and provide a convenient online alternative to traditional banks.

Simply select the ideal account features using our filters and you will be provided with an easy to compare list.

How to open a charity account with a bank

Although we always advise opening a separate charity bank account, there are some banks which require a charity number. However, it is not possible to register with the Charity Commission until your income is more than £5,000 per annum. This can create a difficult situation for some charities, but it is possible to open a business account in the name of the charity.

If it is possible, it is beneficial if your charity can provide two signatories to sign cheques. Dual authorisation is an ideal security measure which the Charity Commission recommends. If one person submits a transaction through the account, another person within the charity will need to authorise it.

The process to actually open a bank account is straightforward, with online banks providing a completely online application. If you are thinking of opening a high-street bank account, you will be required to visit a branch to finalise the application. When you apply for an account you will need to provide the following:

  • Names and addresses of all directors
  • The business address
  • Contact details
  • An estimate of your annual turnover

The banks will then finalise your application and open your account. The amount of time it takes to open an account does vary, with some online banks offering almost instant account opening.

If you would like more advice about comparing financial products for your charity, please contact our team today.

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