CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Has anyone out there managed to get free banking. Our bank regards us as a business not a charity, and now after the two year initial period of free banking we are looking at hefty charges. It would be helpful if we could point to a CIC being regarded in the same category as a charity by a bank.

Trevor Roberts, Threlkeld Community Coffee Shop CIC

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Here you go as one example:

best regards


Hi Trevor - I would be interested in the answer. We are with Lloyds on a free deal but i assume that will expire in due course. Thanks Tim Cooper - Communities Insurance brokers CIC

We followed up with the Coop Bank as sugested, who purport to offer free banking to CICs including "the freedom to manage your account 24/7 however it suits you online". It transpires that they will only allow dual authorisation online to registered charities for free, other bodies including CICs have to pay for an add on service at about £30 per month ie it is not free.

As a Coffee Shop business we have to make most payments including to staff, via BACS online, and cannot contemplate operating without a dual authorisation (equivalent of a double signature), and also any access to external funding requires a dual authorisation.

Any experience of this issue would be welcomed, also anyone getting free banking with a dual authorisation online arrangement it would be useful to have details.

Interesting point John, perhaps all of them are going to 'upsell' things like online authorisation. I hadnt known this was a difference to be honest, I'll have a root around and update if I get any more info but am guessing all 'free' accounts might all do this to make a few quid as they'll argue it isnt a basic service.


Thanks for your interest in this and if you come up with anything let me know. We are a Coffee Shop so pay all our suppliers and staff by BACS initiated and authorised online, it works well, and is how we want to operate - it is the only way that business such as ours can function. A single person authorising quite large transactions is potentially a bit risky, but also rules us out from applying for funding from many sources.

As well as looking to other banks, we are no approaching our existing one which offers free banking for charities to see I they can do the same for a CIC owned by a charity.

Trevor Roberts



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