Opening a Bank Account

When your group is first getting started, you will need to have at least adopted your constitution (or governing document) before your committee can open a bank account in the name of the group.

Once you have your constitution and structure, your committee or board should nominate at least two people to act as signatories on behalf of the group. It often makes sense for one of these signatories to be the Treasurer.

The two authorised committee members should approach the bank for the required forms to open the group’s bank account.

Banks will require proof that the organisation is a voluntary, non-profit making organisation and not a private business. The authorised members should therefore produce a copy of the group’s constitution along with relevant personal identification (as specified by the bank).

Some of the major banks and building societies offer special accounts for small voluntary and community organisations and give free banking as long as your account is in credit. Make sure that you emphasise that you are a voluntary organisation or you may be treated as a small business and charged for your banking.

If your organisation decides to adopt a legal structure (such as Company Ltd by Guarantee or conversion to a SCIO) you will need to inform your bank as your bank account may no longer be fit for purpose.