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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Many banks and building societies offer special current accounts for voluntary organisations and charities, and most give free banking if the account is in credit.

Want information on specific bank accounts? Our bank account comparison table highlights the main features of current accounts from institutions that have strong links to the voluntary sector or have a significant high street presence in Scotland.

See our bank account comparison

Conditions and benefits vary, and can change over time, so check directly with the bank that you're considering opening an account with.

Here are six things to consider when choosing a current account:

  • Look for a current account which offers the services your organisation needs, e.g. a local branch, fundraising facilities, credit or debit card, etc.
  • Check the terms and conditions are clear, eg how do you change a signatory if one of your trustees leaves?
  • Be aware of any charges eg if you go into an overdraft.
  • Check if your account offers online dual authorisation. To protect against fraud, any internet or card payments should be approved by two people for additional security and fraud prevention.
  • Some accounts require high minimum deposits, so may be of no use to very small organisations.
  • What about ethical banking? Consider how your bank's ethos and activities reflect your organisation's charitable objectives.

Banking for Charities provides key information, including guidance on choosing and opening the right bank account, understanding banking charges and fees, and how to switch accounts. It also sets out key questions to ask banks, and options to help charities navigate the banking environment.

Note that organisations with a turnover of less than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees can use the free Current Account Switch Service which makes the process simple and stress free.

Last modified on 25 May 2022
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