Total cash held by UK's 5,000 largest charities rose to £17.4bn last year

The latest report from the data provider Charity Financials shows that the total rose by 6 per cent compared with 2013 and was nearly a quarter higher than in 2010

Cash: total held by sector's top 5,000 rose by 6 per cent
Cash: total held by sector's top 5,000 rose by 6 per cent

The total cash held by the UK's 5,000 largest charities at the end of their most recent financial years was £17.4bn, 6 per cent higher than last year and 22 per cent higher than four years before, a report by the data provider Charity Financials shows.

Charity Banking Spotlight was compiled using Charity Financials’ own database, excluding independent schools, universities and housing associations.

It shows that in 2014 the largest 5,000 charities held cash in hand or in the bank – excluding fixed assets earmarked for investment purposes – of £17.35bn, a rise from £16.36bn in 2013, £16.41bn in 2012, £15.83bn in 2011 and £14.2bn in 2010.

The charity holding the largest amount of cash was the Charities Aid Foundation, which held £959.9m – alongside £493m in asset investments – on 30 April 2014.

CAF, which is in this position because it offers services such as banking for charities, holds far more cash than the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (£386.7m) and the Church Commissioners for England (£352.1m).

To be included in Charity Financials’ top 5,000 charities, an organisation must meet at least one of the following criteria: an annual income of more than £1.6m, annual expenditure of more than £1.56m, or total funds or net assets worth more than £3.2m.

The report also examines which banks are used by these 5,000 charities: 21 per cent bank with NatWest and 20.1 per cent with Barclays. CAF holds the seventh-highest share, with 5.7 per cent of the 5,000.

Forty-three per cent of the 5,000 charities have remained with the same bank for a decade or more, and just under one in five have been with their current bank for three years or fewer.

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