Some thoughts/issues to consider:
On Thursday, January 5, 2006, at 10:53 pm, Greg Robson wrote:
At work we use Unity Trust Bank, who specialise in
membership organisations and trade unions. Some might see them as
slightly more ethical in line with the goals of Wikipedia.
They have several types of account, some of which may be of use to us.
Before we decide though we would need to work out what sort of
transactions we may be carry out. (i.e. frequent/infrequent transfers,
would the remaining balance be large/small).
Technically speaking, ethics beyond the scope of the charity should not
be a consideration. Trustees are required to do what's best for the
charity in terms of furthering the objects of the charity - wider
issues are technically irrelevant. But it would be legitimate to choose
them on the basis of them providing a good service to the charity,
offering a good interest rate etc.
I imagine at the least a Current Account will be required, and possibly
a deposit/savings account too (though the rates of interest paid by
some banks on Current account can make them unnecessary). The Current
Account enables payments to be made and received. I doubt a simpler one
would suffice, or would be convenient.
In practical terms, it should be cheap (or good value), and should not
be a pain in the neck to operate. So if you think that there will be a
lot of over-the-counter transactions, then one with a bank branch near
would be handy.
One issue can arise with the need for signatures/authorisation from two
Directors - its fairly standard for charities (and some other cos) to
require financial authorisation from two directors/trustees - ie two
people signing the cheques. This reduces the risk (and perception of
risk) of fraud etc. This can also prohibit transfer of money (either
payments, or movement to another account) via telephone banking, unless
two authorised people are on the line. In contrast, online banking can
be allowable, as the two authorised signatories apply for the password.
This may vary depending on the bank, but its my experience.
Charges can have an impact - for the membership association I'm
administrator for, we write few cheques, but receive many cheques, BACS
payments etc, and the charges per cheque deposited etc soon add up. We
also pay a base fee for the operation of the account - not all banks
Setting up an account can take time - eg the bank may require all the
signatories to go to their local branch with their passport and utility
bill to prove their identity (not necessarily everyone at the one
branch at once).
Unity's Current Account http://www.unity.uk.com/index.cfm?itemid=851
seems reasonable - it charges no fees, but pays no interest either, so
a deposit/interest-bearing account or other investments would be needed
for any money not required on a short-term basis (eg [Google-searched
In contrast, banks like Barclays or Lloyds TSB charge fees but pay
interest and have branches that you can go in.
seems like a reasonable article on this.
Getting some idea of what the practical requirements and types of
transaction of the new organisation would be useful. Would it be fair
to say taht we would hope for many (smallish) deposits in, and few
PS would it be possible to have a link to
at the bottom of all these
email messages, just for ease? I keep on losing the page, and access my
email from all over the place, so don't have the one set of bookmarks.
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