Is anyone else having trouble finding a bank that will give free banking to their CIC? They all seem to claim that they want to support social enterprise, and that they provide free banking to community organisations etc, but as soon as they realise you are an incorporated company, they insist on giving you an ordinary business account with the usual charges.
free banking for social enterprises
Adrians recommendation is a good one, free banking up to a million. Would also suggest having a chat with Unity Trust Bank http://www.unity.co.uk/. I believe they have a free banking facility up to £50k for CICs and are very keen to provide CICs with active advice around finance, which may be something that would help you move forward.
Would love to hear what you decide to do, knowing the how/what/why will help us let other CICs what is good out there.
Sorry for taking a while to get back on this. Been very busy with our CIC work! The update is that we applied to NatWest for one of their 'Community' accounts, which promised free banking for ever, but they got us to complete the 'Business' application forms, which fed through to setting up an ordinary new business account with free banking only until 2013. We complained about this, and explained (again!) that although we are a company limited by guarantee, our purpose is much the same as a charity (i.e. community benefit), and said we couldn't see why they weren't able to give us the same conditions as charities. Eventually they said that when the account came up for review in 2013, they would allow it to continue with free banking, so we never pay charges. We're waiting for confirmation of that in writing.
Hope this is helpful.
Good news, and thanks for the update. 99% of Charities are company limited by guarantee so its good that they've made this decision to widen community banking terms to you, and logically to all other CICs.
You may well have created a little positive social impact for all CICs, well done! Make sure you stick it in your CIC 34! lol