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NICVA Can we bank on the banks


What’s Up With Banks & Charities?

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’s Policy Development Manager, Ann Breslin recently published a blog on their website – What’s Up with Banks & Charities? – highlighting the issues some charities are experiencing when it comes to banking.

The blog touches on recent survey results from the Charity Commission in England and Wales which found that 42 per cent of trustees had experienced poor service from their banks in the last 12 months and 18 per cent had difficulty trying to open a new bank account.  Similar issues were reported in an article published by the Charity Finance Group (CFG): De-banking can charities prevent bank account closures?

In this article charity trustees and directors express their frustration with the widespread misunderstanding from the banks.  The article states banks are asking questions which are not relevant to charity clients such as ‘who are the beneficial owners or majority shareholders.’  Charities are unable to provide a straightforward answer to questions such as this which has led to having their bank accounts closed.  Although this article does not refer directly to Northern Ireland, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is aware charities here are facing very similar issues.

To get an up-to-date picture of problems that local charities may be experiencing with their bank, NICVA, as part of a UK wide working group, is carrying out a voluntary sector banking challenges survey.

By completing the survey (which closes at noon on Wednesday 15 May) you will be providing critical evidence which may help the call for the policy and legislative change that will improve access to banking products and services for the third sector.  The survey only takes 10 to 15 minutes but must be completed in one sitting.