When you set up a community group or charity, you will need to set up a bank account in the name of the group as it is written within your governing document. This should be done as a priority to allow you to start applying for funding.

This guide below gives you a few pointers on opening up a bank account:

Setting up Charity and Community Group Bank Accounts

There are numerous banks (both on the high street and online) that offer different types of current and business accounts for Community Groups, Charities and Community Interest Companies. We strongly advise you to do your research and talk to the banks before choosing the right one for your group. Currently, you will also need to allow up to 3 months for some accounts to be set up as banks currently have a backlog due to the pandemic.

As with setting up a bank account, you should think of the following:

  • Do I want to go into a branch and/or use online banking?
    • For example, if you need to regularly bank collection tin, or event money, you’ll want access to a local bank branch. 
  • What charges might there be?
  • Do I need/want:
    • Payments with a debit card and/or access to an ATM?
    • A bank savings account and, if so, how do the interest rates compare?
    • A secure/mobile banking app?  

If you are currently a customer with a local branch, then it might be easier to open up a current account with them.

UK Charity And Community Group Bank Accounts

Here are a few accounts that are available to community groups. Please note that we have not endorsed these and are putting these on this page for information purposes only.

  • Co-operative Bank.  If you open a Community Directplus account you can apply for funding of up to £1,000 from their Co-operative Bank; Customer Donation Fund
  • Starling Bank – if registered with Companies House. 
  • Metro Bank. Offers 200 free transactions.  Available for unregistered charities, clubs and societies.
  • CAF Bank – charge £5 monthly fee. 
  • Triodos Bank – applications were on hold as at 20 August 2021.
  • Charity Bank – savings account.  Invests its funds in other charities and social enterprises. 
  • Triodos Bank – accounts and services for charities, including loans, savings, investments and a current account.  You must have turnover of £50k or more. 
  • Natwest Community Bank Account.  Free up to £100k pa income.  Website says community groups, but I’ve heard they are now only accepting registered non-profits.
  • Bank Of Scotland Treasurers Account.  For non-profits with turnover under £50k pa. 
  • Barclays Community Account – not-for-profit organisations with a charitable purpose and income under £100,000.
  • RBS Community Bank Account – non-profits, with income under £100k pa. 
  • Lloyds Bank – schools, credit union and treasurer (for non-profits) accounts. Free if turnover under £50k, on most accounts.
  • Santander – club, society, charity, or other not-for-profit organisation with turnover under £250k.

Charity And Community Savings Accounts – Instant Access, Deposit & Fixed Term

  • Charity Bank – if ethical use of your funds is important, they use your money to make loans to charities and social enterprises
  • Charities Aid Foundation Online – range of notice and fixed term deposits, most with a minimum investment of £1000+.  However, their Charity Platform Deposit has no minimum. 
  • Virgin Money – range of instant access, notice and fixed term charity accounts.  Minimum investment for most is just £1. 
  • United Trust Bank – fixed term charity bonds for registered charities. 
  • Nationwide – offer Business Savings Account, if UK registered.