CAFBank: New Charges

For anyone who uses CAFBank (Charities Aid Foundation's banking service): from mid-October, they intend to introduce a £5 per month fee on their CafCash (current) accounts -- presumably on top of the usual sort of charges for unauthorised overdrafts, bounced cheques etc. Also, the interest on their CafGold (deposit) account) is being reduced to a derisory 0.05%.

To Treasurers of medium-sized choral societies with no particular accounts complications who deal with other banks: what charges (if any) do you currently incur? Have any of you had any particular problems in setting up (or transferring to) any of the mainstream banks? Or is CAFBank's move simply an early case of the long-predicted abolition of free banking for private individuals and voluntary groups who rtemain in credit?

John Deaton
Wantage Choral Society

We use a mainstream bank who offer a Treasurers Account with free banking for charities and not for profits. This has been working without problem for us for a number of years, however the opening process took 3-4 months and seemed fraught with cumbersome paperwork and queries, so allow plenty of time for this!

Peris Roberts
Warrington Youth Orchestra

Most High Street banks offer some form of small charity bank account. They all vary slightly in terms of charges – some do not have any charges. We have summarised the main options and charges below.

We are not really in a position to recommend one above any other. One thing I will say for CAF banks is that they are charity/not for profit specialists – which means the service and understanding your needs can sometimes be better. I know some of our members have had problems with high street banks regarding online banking and payments – and not being able to have two people authorise online payments. So whilst I appreciate the charge is annoying – it might be worth paying for the extra service you get.

That said many of our groups do use high-street banks and are perfectly happy – I suppose it depends on what level of support you require and the types of banking transactions you do.

Lloyds – Treasurer’s Account

TSB – Treasurer’s Account

NatWest – Community Account

Barclays – Community account

  • They do offer them but have little info online. You need to call to find out more - 0800 515 462

Co-operative Bank - Community Directplus

  • Offer free banking with no monthly fee and everyday services are  free.
  • They do reserve the right to review the account tariff for customers whose credit turnover exceeds £1,000,000 per annum, who deposit more than £100,000 cash per annum or who deposit more than 5,000 cheques per annum
  • Find out more at

Metro Bank

HSBC - Clubs & Charity Bank Account

Santander - Clubs and Charities Accounts

RBS – Community account

Unity Trust – a bank specialising in charity banking

Halifax – do not offer business or charity accounts

Virgin money – no current account at the moment but they are working on one apparently

Nationwide – do not offer any charity accounts