Please click here to read OSCR’s COVID-19 Guidance for Charities

New banking guidance for charities

09 Mar 2016

Scotland’s charity regulator has worked with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the Charity Finance Group(CFG) and other voluntary sector partners to produce guidance aimed at supporting charities and other voluntary organisations with their banking arrangements. 

The new guidance, Banking for charities, has a specifically Scottish focus and is aimed at charity trustees and managers.  It provides key information on banking, including choosing and opening the right bank account, understanding banking charges and fees, and how to switch accounts.  The document – which builds on an existing BBA leaflet applicable to England and Wales - also sets out key questions to ask banks, and options to help charities navigate the banking environment.

The guidance has been produced to better inform an estimated 40,000 Scottish community and voluntary organisations about the banking landscape and to help them to make informed banking decisions.

OSCR’s Chief Executive, David Robb, welcomed the new guidance and pointed out that making the right decisions in this area supported effective financial management in charities, as well as the wider responsibilities of charity trustees.  ‘We’re very pleased to have responded to concerns raised with us by charity trustees and to have worked with our partners in producing this updated guidance,’ he said.  ‘Charity banking has been a growing issue of concern in recent years and it’s therefore timely that those governing charities have access to clear and effective guidance to help them make the right decisions.  It’s a two-way process, of course, and we have also been working on educating financial institutions about the charity sector.  We’ll shortly be publishing new material to help with that.’

Anthony Browne, BBA Chief Executive, said: ‘People give their hard-earned cash to charities and they expect it to be well managed. This new guidance will help those managing the finances of Scottish charities and voluntary organisations to make an informed decision about what arrangements are best for them.'

The updated guidance is aimed at organisations of all sizes in the Scottish voluntary sector, but is particularly helpful for smaller organisations and is supported by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Scottish Government, the Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland (NIDOS), Voluntary Action Orkney, the Scottish Charity Finance Group and Bobath Scotland.


Issued by The Scottish Charity Regulator, Quadrant House, 9 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY.  For further information, contact Mark Simpson or Judith Pogorzelec on 01382 220446 or email



  1. The Scottish Charity Regulator is the independent regulator and registrar for Scotland’s 24,000 charities.  Its vision is for charities you can trust and that provide public benefit.
  2. The BBA is the leading trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector.  It represents over 200 banking members which are headquartered in 50 countries and have operations on 180 countries worldwide.  The BBA’s member banks collectively provide the full range of banking and financial services and make up the world’s largest international banking centre at
  3. Banking for charities was originally written by BBA and members of CFG’s Banking Forum, which brings together representatives from the charity and banking sectors. It has been updated for publication in Scotland with input from the partners stated above.
  4. The specifically Scottish publication was developed following feedback from Scotland’s charities on the requirement for wider understanding about banking requirements and options.