Barclays closing, need a new local Clearing Bank more orientated to charities and societies...

Remarkably Barclays Bank are closing their Lancaster branch very soon and the nearest offices will be in Preston, 25 miles to the South or Kendal 25 miles to the North. The branch serves a population of some 180,000. They have become more and more awkward to deal with over the last 5 years, becoming very obstructive.

 My wife is involved in several small charities and organisations using Barclays. With closure, the movement of relatively small amounts of cash or paying in or cashing cheques is no longer feasible. Has anyone any advice about how a low turnover organisation could be best served?

My first thought was using the Post Office as a cheque receiver and cashier using The Bank of Dave, aka Burnley Savings and Loans Ltd, as the banker. They have Clearing Bank status and are local, community and charity minded and just forty miles away. Debts or loans are not an issue, all the organisations are always solvent. The bank accounts just receive grants and donations but need BACS facilities as well as cheque and cash deposit facilities and most importantly a bank account from a clearing bank to be eligable for a grant application so as to avoid Money Laundering suspicion.

Any advice folks?
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  • wmb194
    wmb194 Posts: 3,131
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    Can you not keep the Barclays accounts but make deposits to them using the Post Office?

    https://www.barclays.co.uk/ways-to-bank/post-office-banking/
  • eddyinfreehold
    eddyinfreehold Posts: 213
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    Yes, this was one of my suggestions to my wife but Barclays are really difficult if a cheque signatory change or a committee official change occurred. It would involve 3 working people travelling 25 miles for a personal appointment and several have already been renagued on.
  • wmb194
    wmb194 Posts: 3,131
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    Yes, this was one of my suggestions to my wife but Barclays are really difficult if a cheque signatory change or a committee official change occurred. It would involve 3 working people travelling 25 miles for a personal appointment and several have already been renagued on.
    This isn't the problem posed in your OP; so your shortlist is any bank in or close to Lancaster.
  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,408
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    A charity I'm involved with uses Natwest. I wouldn't necessarily recommend them but they do allow changing signatories online. It's a bit of a faff but I wonder if this online facility is something Barclays offer that would save people travelling? 🤔
  • eddyinfreehold
    eddyinfreehold Posts: 213
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    Fair point but no other extant clearing banks are welcoming or encouraging of clubs, societies or charities either. "No new accounts" ... is the current thinking. I understand that these charities and organisations are not very profitable for clearing banks, but to exclude them from the banking system through administrative complication is not helpful or a great example of ccommunity cooperation and involvement. Without a clearing bank account, grants are not available. Classic Catch 22. 

    I'd rather see RBS, HSBC, NatWest (for example) on a charity chequebook than a rugby or cricket shirt in top flight sport.
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,632
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    edited 1 February at 10:02PM
    This is not advice but a suggestion for investigation.
    Metro bank offers accounts for clubs/societies. Yes your nearest branches would be Manchester or Liverpool. After the proposed changes to their opening times in March 2024, the Manchester branch will be open on a Saturday from 11am to 4pm.As wel as seeing branch staff on a Saturday I would expect counters to be open.
    And if your charity account is classed as a business account, you can pay money/cheques at a Post Office.
    I know Metro bank don't have the greatest reputation but they may solve your problem.
    This is not a recommendation as I have never used Metro bank, but may be worth thinking about?

    Edited to add: Until the changes in March, the Manchester branch is open 7 days a week.
  • wmb194
    wmb194 Posts: 3,131
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    Fair point but no other extant clearing banks are welcoming or encouraging of clubs, societies or charities either. "No new accounts" ... is the current thinking. I understand that these charities and organisations are not very profitable for clearing banks, but to exclude them from the banking system through administrative complication is not helpful or a great example of ccommunity cooperation and involvement. Without a clearing bank account, grants are not available. Classic Catch 22. 

    I'd rather see RBS, HSBC, NatWest (for example) on a charity chequebook than a rugby or cricket shirt in top flight sport.
    Have you looked at Lloyds? If you've been through them all and they're either not interested or not in Lancaster and it has to be a clearing bank then you're stuck with Barclays.

    https://www.lloydsbank.com/business/business-accounts/treasurers-account.html
  • flaneurs_lobster
    flaneurs_lobster Posts: 3,435
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    Virgin Money seem to be offering accounts for charities/societies/clubs

    https://uk.virginmoney.com/business/charities-clubs-and-societies/clubs-and-societies-account/

    and there's a branch in Lancaster
  • eddyinfreehold
    eddyinfreehold Posts: 213
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    Thank you everybody. Food for thought.
  • WillPS
    WillPS Posts: 3,065
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    Just to add to all the good suggestions above - it might be worth considering a future where no banks have a branch in a small city like Lancaster. It sounds outlandish, and perhaps it is, but the truth is it's impossible to know who's staying and going and where.

    Even in much larger cities like Nottingham, where I live, we no longer have a branch from every major bank since TSB shut up shop a few years ago. The rest are all down to one branch each (having had 2-4 branches a decade ago). It's not beyond the realms of imagination that any of them might announce closure in a relatively short time and leave another gap, or that they might carve up Nottingham and Derby between them and point people down the other end of the A52.
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