Charity Finance Group survey will show the impact of banks' 'de-risking' on overseas aid charities, chief executive Caron Bradshaw says

The online survey, produced by the CFG and the British Bankers' Association, asks charities how they have been affected by increased anti-money laundering and counter-terror checks by banks and government

The Charity Finance Group has launched a survey asking how UK charities working overseas have been affected by increased anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism checks by banks and government.

The 19-question online survey, which closes on 18 July, will contribute to a paper on "de-risking" in the banking sector being produced jointly by the CFG and the British Bankers’ Association.

The CFG said it already had anecdotal evidence that banks’ de-risking activities had made it increasingly difficult for charities to send funds to conflict-hit or risky locations, and that it wanted to properly document this.

Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the CFG, said the survey was designed to shed light on "the risks involved in processing overseas transactions and the thorough due-diligence processes most charities undertake to ensure their money is reaching its end goal".

She said: "It is essential that we understand the scope of impact that an increasingly risk-averse approach from banks is having."

In December, in a response to a parliamentary committee, the CFG warned that counter-terrorism measures had made it more difficult for charities to transfer money overseas.

In its submission to the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee, the group said that efforts to prevent charity funds being transferred to support terrorism might mean that charities would "increasingly turn to untraceable, informal means to transfer funds", such as transferring cash over borders, thus making them more vulnerable to terrorist abuse.

This year, a number of charities have become the subject of Charity Commission scrutiny for their work in conflict zones – Syria in particular – and police have made several arrests in two investigations into alleged charity fraud with terror links.

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