Charity and community banking
Increasingly since Guilds have begun meeting again following the Covid-19 pandemic, TGHQ has been receiving complaints and requests for help from members who are struggling to deal with the issues they face when dealing with banks. These include, but are not limited to:
- Increased fees for basic transactions such as paying in cash or cheques
- Difficulties accessing a local branch - especially when other issues faced can only be handled with a face-to-face meeting
- Banks unwilling to open new community accounts; business accounts are often unsuitable for small charities and community groups like our Guilds
- A push towards online banking - which often isn't possible for Guilds due to the need for a second signatory
- Difficulties in changing signatories, particularly where a currently-listed signatory is deceased
- Processes taking an excessive amount of time to complete - often due to misleading, incomplete or conflicting advice from bank staff
In response to this, TG brought the following mandate to the 2022 AGM:
TG is concerned that current banking operations are causing local community groups and small charities to close. We call upon banks and their regulators to work together with organisations like ours so that routines and procedures appropriate for all involved parties can be introduced
This was passed unanimously, highlighting the frustration and discontent felt by members towards a system that is increasingly changing without considering the needs for small charities and community groups.
As a result of this, and following the presence of Mike Conroy of UK Finance at the discussion during the AGM, TG has been invited to take part in a Charity and Community Banking Project run by Engine and UK Finance. This seeks to address many of the issues raised by our members, with the first meeting taking place on 2nd August 2022. Penny Ryan, National Chair, will be representing TG at this meeting - keep an eye on the website and the magazine for more information, including further ways in which you can get involved and support the campaign.
TGHQ has been compiling a case study document using the stories and examples sent in by members, for use in furthering the campaign now that the mandate has been passed. The first version of this is currently being finalised; however, please do still send us your examples as we can update this document as and when we have sufficient case studies to add.
Case studies should be submitted in writing - ideally by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; however, posted letters are acceptable provided they are typed or written legibly enough that they can be accurately transcribed.