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Banking & Investment Services

Updated 16/9/13

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Context

This is a listings style page, in the Services grouping.



What to look for

While there is (currently) no high street name which majors in voluntary sector banking, there are some 'deposit takers' which do. Some of the 'second rung' bankers have specialist charity staff actually dealing with banking matters, rather than just marketing.

Many members and even trustees of voluntary organisations make sweeping assumptions on the terms you can get for banking. While the smaller community group or charity may well be able to get 'free' banking, this is by no means automatic. 'Free' may mean you also dont get much interest paid on any spare cash you may have on deposit - if this happens often you may be better off paying (low) charges and getting proper interest rates. Charging structures have got more flexible recently, and may be based on a fixed fee, cost per transaction or sometimes a mixture. It is worth assessing what types of transaction you process most (e.g. volume of small cheque receipts as opposed to large direct credits such as grants) as this can make a large impact on which bank is the best for you.

Branches nowadays often don't talk with 'small business' customers direct, but refer them to regional managers. Don't expect these people, even with their narrower focus, to have any understanding of voluntary sector needs. We frequently have 'oddities' to deal with - some one-off foreign exchange visit or sudden need for loads of cash for an event - and developing a relationship and educating your manager can pay dividends in smoothing out the problems.

Try Money Facts Online.

Deposit takers aren't full banks - no or limited cheque facilities - but can help you maximise the return on spare cash, if you have the time and ability to manage transfers (to ensure your bank cash-flow doesnt get you into trouble).

Current Account providers

Facilities

Direct Debit and Direct Credit (paying suppliers electronically) facilities are offered by most banks, but organisations need good accounting systems and adequate financial controls to be able to sign up. Check out BACS website for some basic info (the jointly owned automated clearing system house).

Deposit takers

Investment services

See any charity sector publication for adverts from a variety of players.

Sarasin & Partners LLP publishes Compendium for Charities, which contains reference material and current information to assist in investment policy decisions and managing stock market problems. For current edition of the Compendium, email: marketing@sarasin.co.uk (May also be downloadable from the web site - look under Charity Services.)