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CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

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High Street Banks do not sit comfortably with charities

21 June 2013

The majority of charities (58%) believe that the principles and practices of high street banks do not sit comfortably with the charitable sector according to research released today by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

In a poll of charity senior managers and financial directors,  58% believe high street banks are not geared up to meet the needs of charities.
As a result, over a quarter of those polled believe that the banking sector is currently holding back the work of charities.

Lending was identified through the Lake Market Research survey commissioned by CAF as a key issue, with only one in ten charities feeling that banks are motivated to lend money to charities.

These findings, following the parliamentary commission report on banking standards, show how the ethos and practices of high street banks fail to meet the needs of their charity sector customers and highlights the need for services that help support charities’ work.

71% of charities also believe that the economic crisis, widely believed to have been triggered due to the failure of the banking sector, is causing the charity sector to be in crisis. In research previously released by CAF, many charities feared they would not be able to weather the tough economic climate, with one in six charities fearing closure in the next year.

Barry Meeks, CEO of CAF Bank, the specialised charity banking subsidiary of the Charities Aid Foundation, said, “In such difficult economic times, with many charities feeling the pinch, it is more important than ever before that charities receive the services and support they need from their banks.

“It is also critical that any bank serving this sector understands the ethos and values underpinning each differing charity. Charities also need to be ever conscious of how their values match those of their suppliers, especially in the area of banking services.

“Charities have very special banking needs, different from banks’ commercial clients, and this survey shows that all too often high street banks are not reflecting the unique role of charities.

“In the wake of the banking crisis, many charity senior managers are uncomfortable with the principles and practices upheld by their banks.
“Charities need banks to make sure their ethos and practices really help them fulfil their charitable missions.”

Lake Market Research surveyed a representative sample of 301 senior financial decision makers of charities across the UK via telephone from 11th June to 14th June 2013. Lake Market Research is registered with the Data Protection Act and conducts all research in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct.

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