How to open a charity bank account

Updated April 17, 2017

Opening a bank account for charity allows contributors to donate to your organisation or cause with a sense of security. To open a charitable bank account, you must be registered as a charity or community organisation with the UK's Charity Commission. Policies and procedures vary among financial institutions for opening charitable bank accounts, but the similarities are uniform throughout the banking industry.

Get a letter from the charity or organisation you are opening the account on behalf of; the letter should authorise you to open the charitable bank account. You must be over 18 to open a charity bank account.

Ensure that your organisation is registered as a charity, society or other community organisation with the Charity Commission.

Go to the bank where you wish to open the account. Tell the bank cashier you want to open a charitable account.

Fill out the application form. You will need to have the name of the charity and its registered charity number.

Provide the bank with a list of names of individuals granted access to the account, along with copies of their identifications. These individuals will have responsibility for signing cheques or authorising standing orders and direct debits for the charity account.


To get registered charity status, the organisation must meet the Charity Commission's "public benefit" regulations. This is the legal requirement that every charity can demonstrate that its aims are for the public benefit.


Keep any funds raised for a charity separate from your personal finances.

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