How NGOs should choose their banks

By Helen Castell 25 May 2015

A bank teller conducts business in Vientiane, Laos. What should NGOs and charities consider when choosing who to bank with? Photo by: Stanislas Fradelizi / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

With many charities and nongovernmental organizations in the United Kingdom expressing concern that the Conservative Party’s May 7 general election win will see grants and state aid recede, there is arguably more pressure than ever for the sector to get proactive about its finances.

Choosing the right bank, negotiating with bank managers, and shopping around for the best rates and services are all important steps in this direction.

Regardless whether your charity or NGO is based in the U.K. or elsewhere, before you pick a bank to work with, ask yourself the following five questions:

1. How strong are their ethical credentials?

One key criterion for most NGOs is whether a bank’s values align with their own. For this reason, many opt for so-called ethical banks.

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About the author

Helen castell profile
Helen Castell@flippinowl

Helen Castell is a London-based financial journalist with nearly 20 years’ experience covering trade, energy and risk for TXF, Shares Magazine, Global Trade Review, Newsbase, Trade Finance Magazine and other Euromoney publications. At Devex, she writes about development banking, private sector engagement and funding trends. She studied English Literature at Sheffield University and International Journalism at London’s City University, and speaks English, Spanish and Japanese.


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