Access to Banking: Supporting community and charity organisations in the UK

Since July 2022, UK Finance has been undertaking a project to bring together a wide range of community and charity representative organisations with Bank representatives* to address and work through some of the issues experienced in the account opening and servicing of community-specific bank accounts.

Research undertaken with charity and community account holders and feedback from voluntary sector organisations identified some difficulties in finding and opening suitable bank accounts along with ongoing account operation.

Our project has been split into three phases. UK Finance chaired workshops to deepen understanding and feedback of the specific issues felt by charity and community customers. This was followed by Bank interviews which sought to relay the feedback, whilst discovering the common ‘pain points’ of opening an account and the regulatory process requirements to which Banks must adhere.

Following this fruitful information-gathering phase, we launched joint workshops in which voluntary sector organisations and Bank representatives came together collaboratively to discuss the findings, and work together towards common solutions. These improvements aim to achieve the mutual benefit of improving the overall quality of service experienced by voluntary organisation customers.

In our third and final phase, we are working towards a solution involving the launch of a new website hub, the Voluntary Organisation Banking Guide. The hub will bring together banking information that is specific to charity and community groups, in one place. It will make available enhanced training, knowledge, awareness of the sector and how it operates, available to both Bank staff and voluntary organisation customers. The Guide will host several tools, aimed at helping customers choose, open, and maintain a bank account. We are looking to launch the website in the coming months and further updates will be added to this post in due course.

The project enjoys the support of HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Any member banks or community organisations interested in finding out more about the project should contact Sophia Williams at


* Member banks involved in this project include Barclays Bank PLC, Charities Aid Foundation Bank, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group PLC, Metrobank, NatWest, Reliance Bank Limited, Santander UK PLC, The Co-operative Bank PLC, TSB, Unity Trust Bank PLC and Virgin Money UK PLC.

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Notes to editor

Amendments to provide updated current information on progress on 18 January 2024.