Opening a bank account for a club, community or society

If you are setting up a club, a society or any other community organisation, make sure you get the right bank account for it to run smoothly.

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Clubs, societies and other community organisations and not-for-profits have access to dedicated current accounts, which tend to be cheaper than regular business accounts.

It takes a bit of admin to set one up, but once it’s done, it will be a big help in running your organisation smoothly. Having a community bank account will also be required if you want to apply for grants or collect donations. If you are looking for information about opening a bank account for a charity then we have written a separate guide on bank accounts for charities.

How can I get a bank account for a club?

Most traditional banks offer dedicated “community” accounts, which are meant for non-profit organisations.

In most cases, your organisation doesn’t necessarily need to be a registered charity, but just to have charitable purpose, a definition which covers a range of organisations including schools, community groups, sport clubs (including football clubs), societies and so on.

You should look for these accounts in the business banking section of banks’ websites, so you can get an idea of what they are like and compare different options. You’ll then usually need to apply for them in person at a branch.

Compare bank accounts for clubs

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Interest (AER) Accounting integrations Arranged overdraft Account management Key benefits Link
Business Account - Standard Tariff
Free
£0.35
0% AER
N/A
Branch, online, app & phone
Go to site
View details
Business Account
Free
£0.35
0% AER
FreeAgent
Branch, online, app & phone
Go to site
View details
Business Current Account - e-Payments Plan - £400k-£6.5m turnover
£8.50 per month
Free for EU digital transfers (SEPA)*
0% AER
Multiple providers

Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
Branch, online, app & phone
Free invoice and accounting software, provided by FreshBooks, with your Barclays business account. T&Cs apply. *Charges for other bank transfers and card payments apply. Visit here for more information.
View details
Business account - e-Payments Plan - Turnover up to 400k
£8.50 per month
Free for EU digital transfers (SEPA)*
0% AER
Multiple providers

Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
Branch, online, app & phone
Free invoice and accounting software, provided by FreshBooks, with your Barclays business account. T&Cs apply. *Charges for other bank transfers and card payments apply. Visit here for more information.
View details
Business Current Account - Mixed Payments Plan - Start-ups
FREE TRIAL
Business Current Account - Mixed Payments Plan - Start-ups
£8 per month
(waived in first 12 months)
£0.35
0% AER
Multiple providers

Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
Branch, online, app & phone
No monthly account fee for 12 months on the Start up business plan, thereafter a monthly charge of £8 applies. Other charges apply. *Charges for other bank transfers and card payments apply. Visit here for more information. Free invoice and accounting software, provided by FreshBooks, with your Barclays business account. T&Cs apply.
View details
Business account  - Mixed Payments Plan - Turnover up to 400k
£8 per month
£0.35 for EU digital transfers (SEPA)
0% AER
Multiple providers

Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
Branch, online, app & phone
Free invoice and accounting software, provided by FreshBooks, with your Barclays business account. T&Cs apply. Charges for some bank transfers and card payments apply. Domestic card purchases are 35p per item. Foreign card purchases are 2.75% fee per item. For bank transfers, EU digital transfers (SEPA) are 35p, EU manual transfers (SEPA) are £1.50, International digital transfers (BIPS) are £15 and International manual transfers (BIPS) are £25.
View details
Business Current Account - Mixed Payments Plan - £400k-£6.5m turnover
£8 per month
for EU digital transfers (SEPA)
£0.35 for EU digital transfers (SEPA)
0% AER
Multiple providers

Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
Branch, online, app & phone
Free invoice and accounting software, provided by Freshbooks, with your Barclays business account. T&Cs apply. Charges for some bank transfers and card payments apply. Domestic card purchases are 35p per item. Foreign card purchases are 2.75% fee per item. For bank transfers, EU digital transfers (SEPA) are 35p, EU manual transfers (SEPA) are £1.50, International digital transfers (BIPS) are £15 and International manual transfers (BIPS) are £25.
View details
Reserve Account
Free
Free
0% AER
N/A
Online & phone
View details
Community Account - Turnover £100K and over - standard tariff
Free
£0.35
0% AER
FreeAgent
Branch, online, app & phone
View details
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Can’t I just use my personal account?

You really shouldn’t, especially if your club or group is already formally set up as a non-profit. Your group is a separate legal entity and its funds should be managed accordingly, to safeguard both the organisation and yourself.

It’s also much more practical to have a separate account. While opening it may feel like a bit of a hassle, you don’t want to have to go through all your personal transactions to do your club’s accounting.

How to open a bank account for a club

First of all, make sure you are looking at the right account. You don’t want a personal bank account, nor a standard business account; instead, what you are looking for is usually called a “community account” by the big banks.

Secondly, make sure you get fee-free banking (no monthly fees, free bank transfers, transactions and ATM withdrawals, at the very least); most offer it, but conditions will be slightly different at different banks, so make sure you compare accounts and get the most suitable to your needs.

Thirdly, make sure your organisation meets the eligibility criteria, which will also vary bank by bank. For example, in order to qualify for a community account your organisation will usually need to have a turnover below a certain limit, which can be as low as £50,000.

You’ll often need to go to a branch to open an account. Most traditional banks offer community accounts, while they are more rare among digital-only banks. Challenger bank Starling offers business bank accounts for clubs through its business account and is pretty much fee-free, so it can be a good alternative if you want to do everything online. We spoke to Starling and it said: “You will need to be registered on Companies House, with any individuals listed as PSCs. The status will need to be active and the company type would need to show as ‘Private company limited by guarantee without share capital’. It must be registered as a CIC on Companies House.”

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What documents do I need?

It will depend on how your organisation has been formally set up (for example, is it a registered charity?) but in a nutshell, you will need to provide:

  • The basic details of your organisation. Such as its name, address, organisation type and date of registration.
  • Personal details of two people in the organisation. One of them will usually be the treasurer and both will be signatories on the account. They’ll likely also have to provide their proof of identity and address.
  • Proof of your organisation’s purpose and status. Depending on the type of organisation, you could need to provide one of the following documents:
    – A copy of your group’s constitution;
    – Charity Registration confirmation or trust deed (if the group is a charity);
    – Memorandum and Articles of Association (if the group is a limited company).

Funding your society’s bank account

Different banks will have different rules around how you can fund your community account, and if there are charges involved. As an incentive to get you to move your personal or business banking with them too, some larger banks will offer free transfers into the community account from another account at the same bank, while charging a transaction fee for money deposited by other means.

This means that it’s incredibly important to read the terms and conditions of a high street bank’s community account before you apply.

Savings accounts for clubs and societies

While it’s a little trickier to find savings accounts for clubs and societies (as opposed to charities or profit-making businesses) there are still a variety of options available.

Building societies are usually more willing to open savings accounts for these types of organisations and community groups. Some even offer fixed rate bonds for those looking to lock away money in exchange for a better interest rate.

Depending on the way your club or society is structured, you may also be able to open a charity savings account. As with opening a current account for a club (as described above) your organisation will usually need to meet certain criteria. These could include:

  • Your organisation being a registered charity (with a Charity Commission number), a community interest company or a company limited by guarantee
  • Proof of your organisation’s purpose
  • Proof that your club or society has a constitution or a set of rules governing how it is run

Finally, you may also be able to save your organisation’s money with the Charities Aid Foundation, a charity and bank which offers financial services to charities, philanthropers and the voluntary sector.

How do I compare bank accounts for clubs and societies?

Features are mostly the same as for standard business accounts. Here are some of the things you want to look at before picking your bank:

  • Fees. Community groups tend to run on little money, especially at the start. Make sure your account allows you to do your banking comfortably without paying fees.
  • Opening the account. Does your organisation meet the eligibility criteria? Is the account easy and quick to open?
  • Account management. Can you manage the account online? How good is the app?
  • Taking payments. Do you need to set up a system that will allow you to take card payments from people? How much will it cost?
  • Cash. Will you need to deposit cash on the account? If yes, how easy is it to do so?
  • Extra features. Do you get any nice perks with the account, such as an accounting system?

If you want to learn more about business accounts in general, how they work and what features they offer, you can have a look on our business banking hub page.

How should my club’s or community organisation’s finances be managed?

You should appoint a treasurer, who will be in charge of taking care of all things money and will be regularly reporting to the organisation’s management committee.

You should also agree on a set of financial standards and rules, for example on what types of financial records you will be keeping, how you will do your accounting, how you will deal with cash if you have to, how much you will put aside in reserves, and so on.

Many banks will also offer you some kind of accounting software together with your community account. If you can get it for free or at a cheap price, it’s a great way of streamlining your finances and will save your treasurer a lot of time and headaches.

Latest reviews of bank accounts for clubs and communities

Virgin Money - Business Current Account - Business Tariff

£0.01

Minimum opening balance

£6.50 per month

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

25 months' fee-free monthly and transactional banking for established small businesses with a turnover below £6.5m switching to Virgin Money from another provider.
This account from Virgin Money is designed for clubs and societies and offers free day-to-day business banking when you make 10 transactions or less each month. You’ll also be able to earn 0.35% cashback on your debit card transactions and you will automatically be registered for the Mastercard Business Savings Programme which will give you discounts whenever you use your debit card with participating retailers. What’s more, businesses will get access to a package of free tools and tech. This will help you get a long-term overview of cash going in and out of your account each day for the next year, so that you can plan ahead. You’ll also have access to a smart cashflow projection, and you’ll receive support with invoice creation and management, as well as be able to set a budget which will update automatically with each transaction. An overdraft is available on the account.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged an arranged overdraft usage fee of per charging period . Account fee of £6.50 per month.
  • Free business banking if you make 10 transactions or less each month
  • Earn cashback on debit card transactions
  • Benefit from discounts at certain retailers
  • Access to free money management tools
  • Overdraft available
  • Fees apply if you make more than 10 transactions per month
  • Interest is charged on overdrafts
  • No interest paid on balances
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £6.50 per month

Barclays - Community Account

Community Account
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Read review

£0.01

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

This account from Barclays is a free, everyday bank account for small not-for-profit organisations with an annual turnover of less than £100,000. There are no account maintenance fees and it offers easy and accessible banking to help your business. You can bank in branch, online, by phone or via the app. Up to three individuals can be authorised as signatories on the account and you’ll be given up to six debit cards and a cheque book. You will also have access to Barclays’ LifeSkills which helps young people prepare for the workplace, and Digital Eagles, which helps people build their internet skills and get the most out of internet banking. Barclays also offers events tailored to the needs of your not-for-profit organisation. To qualify you must also have a valid UK mobile number, a valid email address and your organisation must have no more than three officials.
  • No monthly account fees
  • Multiple ways to bank
  • Authorise up to three individuals as signatories on the account
  • Access to LifeSkills and Digital Eagles
  • You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria
  • Limited account features
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0.01
Switch service guarantee No
Account fee £0

NatWest - Community Account - Turnover up to £100K

Community Account - Turnover up to £100K
Finder rating
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Customer rating
★★★★★
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£0

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

"Boost" a free programme connecting small businesses and offering access to relevant experts and resources to help your business grow.
The Community account from NatWest is free of charge, provided at least one person named on the account is an existing NatWest personal or business banking customer and your organisation’s annual credit turnover is less than £100,000. By signing up to the account, you'll have free access to FreeAgent’s online accounting software to help you with invoices and expenses, time tracking and your tax timeline. You’ll also be able to digitally sign payments and account changes with other members of your group and you can authorise up to four individuals as signatories on the account. In addition, there is the option of having a cheque book and paying in book which could be useful if you’re receiving cash or cheques, and the account offers 24/7 online and phone banking, plus access via the app.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged an arranged overdraft usage fee of £0 per charging period .
  • Free account (provided you qualify)
  • Access to free online accounting software
  • Authorise up to four individuals as signatories on the account
  • Multiple ways to bank
  • At least one account holder must be an existing customer
  • If your turnover exceeds £100,000, your account will be moved onto the standard tariff (fees apply)
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0

Lloyds Bank - Treasurers' Account

Treasurers' Account
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Read review

£0.01

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

This account from Lloyds Bank is a free, everyday bank account for non-profit organisations such as charities, churches, clubs or societies. To qualify, you must have a turnover of less than £50,000. There is no minimum deposit requirement and you can withdraw funds as and when you need to. You’ll also have the option of adding a second signatory onto the account. The account can be managed online or by phone and it offers free presentation cheques to use when making a large donation or awarding a major prize. You’ll also be able to benefit from a free three-month trial of online accounting software Business Finance Assistance to help manage your invoices and submit your VAT tax returns. Its Cardnet service helps businesses manage accepting card payments, and you will have access to the Lloyds online digital skills training.
  • Free account (provided you qualify)
  • Three month trial of accounting software
  • Access to digital skills training
  • You’ll need to have an annual turnover of less than £50,000
  • You can only authorise one other signatory on the account
  • Accounting software is only free for three months
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0

Metro Bank - Community Account

£0.01

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

This no-nonsense bank account from Metro Bank has no monthly maintenance fees and offers up to 200 free transactions per month. It also allows you to withdraw or deposit up to £10,000 per month with no fee and gives you the option of applying for an arranged overdraft. You’ll also be able to take advantage of free giant cheques, perfect for prize givings or charity donations, and you’ll have a local business manager as a dedicated point of contact. If you regularly travel as part of your club, another big selling point of the account is that you won’t be charged for using your debit card in Europe (fees apply outside Europe). You can manage the account online, in store, over the phone or in the app. To qualify for the account, you must have an annual turnover of below £2 million and be a club, society or charity.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged an arranged overdraft usage fee of £0 per charging period .
  • No monthly fees
  • 200 free transactions per month
  • Multiple ways to manage the account
  • Fee-free card transactions in Europe
  • Overdraft available
  • Interest is charged on overdraft
  • Fees apply to card transactions outside Europe
  • No features such as accounting software
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0

Royal Bank of Scotland - Community Account - Turnover up to £100K

Community Account - Turnover up to £100K
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Read review

£1

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

"Boost" a free programme connecting small businesses and offering access to relevant experts and resources to help your business grow.
If you (or another person named on the account) are an existing RBS personal or business banking customer, you’ll be eligible to apply for this free community account, as long as your annual credit turnover is less than £100,000. There are many benefits to using the account, including access to free online accounting software FreeAgent. This helps customers take care of their business admin, whether that’s managing expenses, running payroll or sending invoices. The account also offers a cheque book and paying in book, and allows you to authorise up to four individuals as signatories on the account. You’ll have access to 24/7 digital banking and the account can also be managed by phone or via the app. The account comes with a Visa debit card but you can also make payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged an arranged overdraft usage fee of £0 per charging period .
  • Free account (provided you qualify)
  • Authorise up to four individuals as signatories on the account
  • Access to free online accounting software
  • Multiple ways to bank
  • At least one account holder must be an existing customer
  • If your turnover exceeds £100,000, your account will be moved onto the standard tariff (fees apply)
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £1
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0

Bank of Scotland - Treasurers' Account

£0.01

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

This account from Bank of Scotland is suitable for those running a non-profit organisation that has an annual business turnover of under £50,000. You can apply whether you’re an organisation, sole trader, partner or director, as long as you’re over the age of 18. The account offers free day-to-day banking as long as you’re in credit and the option to withdraw funds whenever you need to, without the need to give notice. It also provides guidance and support from the bank’s dedicated business management team. In addition, you can add a second signatory onto the account and benefit from free presentation cheques to use when making a large donation or awarding a major prize. The account can be managed online or by phone or via the app.
  • Free account (provided you qualify)
  • Access funds without notice
  • Guidance and support from a business management team
  • You’ll need to have an annual turnover of less than £50,000
  • You can only authorise one other signatory on the account
  • Limited account features
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0

Santander - Treasurer's Current Account

Treasurer's Current Account
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer rating
★★★★★
Read review

£0.01

Minimum opening balance

£0

Account fees

0% AER

Interest (AER)

Santander’s Treasurer’s account offers free day-to-day banking for clubs, societies and charities, provided your organisation has an annual turnover of up to £250,000. All directors, owners and partners must be aged 18 or over and a UK resident and the account can only be used for business purposes. Up to three signatories can be added to the account which can be managed online, via app, by phone or in branch. The account also offers text and email alerts so you’ll know if your balance falls below zero and you start using an unarranged overdraft, or if you have regular payments due but there are insufficient funds to cover them, or if a payment is refused due to insufficient funds. You’ll have the option of signing up for additional alerts too. The account comes with a cheque book and contactless debit card.
  • No monthly account fees
  • Free day-to-day banking
  • Up to three signatories can be added to the account
  • Multiple ways to bank
  • No overdraft facility
  • No interest paid on in-credit balances
  • No access to features such as accounting software
Interest rate 0% AER
Minimum opening balance £0.01
Minimum operating balance £0
Switch service guarantee Yes
Account fee £0

Pros and cons of club and community bank accounts

Pros

  • Many accounts charge no monthly fee.
  • Some accounts offer features such as access to accounting software.
  • Opening an account can help you to better manage your group’s finances.

Cons

  • Strict eligibility criteria applies.
  • There may be fees for certain transactions.
  • A good credit rating is usually required.

Bottom line

Opening a community bank account can help you to better manage your organisation’s finances and the great news is, these accounts are usually free of charge. However, it’s important to compare your options carefully to ensure you qualify for your chosen account and that it best meets the needs of your organisation.

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