Making charity bank accounts more easily accessible to wealthy people could increase charitable giving by more than £1bn a year, a report from the Philanthropy Review concludes.
In its latest report, Charity Bank Accounts: the Opportunity for UK Retail Banks, the group, a sector-led inquiry into giving and philanthropy, says that the amount given through charity bank accounts would increase if such accounts were available through high-street banks.
The £1bn estimate is based upon several pieces of existing research and a new poll of 2,550 UK adults carried out for the review by the research organisation YouGov in June, which found that 12 per cent would be "very or somewhat likely" to use a charity bank account.
Charity bank accounts add Gift Aid to donations and provide a convenient record for donors who are higher-rate taxpayers to claim a tax rebate.
The study, which was carried out in conjunction with the consulting company Accenture, concludes that 18 per cent of affluent or high-net-worth individuals would be "somewhat or very likely" to open a charity bank account if it was available.
The report predicts that 430,000 new charity bank accounts would be created if they were offered to high-net-worth individuals by high-street banks. It says that 51 per cent of those who said they would open charity bank accounts would give more to charity if they had such accounts.
Although "a number of charitable intermediaries" already offer tax-efficient charitable giving products, these have limited market penetration, the report says. It estimates that there are about 150,000 charity accounts, compared with 71 million personal current accounts.
A total of 64 per cent of affluent or high-net-worth individuals are "not aware of the main provider of charity bank accounts in the UK", the report says.