FINANCE NEWS: CafCash rebrands as Caf Bank to attract new sector business

Mathew Little

CafCash, Charities Aid Foundation's banking service, is to change its name to Caf Bank.

The move comes amid plans to raise an extra £5m of investment and attract another 2,000 customers over the next 12 months.

Peter Mitchell, head of banking service at CAF, said: "It's a decision to reflect the fact that after 18 years we've grown up. We are not a small money fund any more but a fully-fledged banking institution with more than £830m on the balance sheet. Our name had to reflect what we'd become and make it easier for people who don't know us to understand us."

CafCash is already registered as a bank with the Financial Services Authority and has advised the regulator about the name change, which is set to take effect on 10 November. As CafCash is owned by CAF, the Charity Commission has also been informed. There will be no change in the structure of the company or the services available to customers.

Mitchell said the name change would also make relations with other banks more efficient in areas such as clearing, standing orders and direct debits.

"Some of their offices do not recognise that CafCash is actually a bank and we spend time explaining where they will be able to confirm our status. By adopting the title 'Bank' as part of our name, we believe these situations will be minimised," he said.

CafCash is also seeking to raise its capital investment from £18.3m to £23m by tapping sources from within the charitable sector.

"Our balance sheet has grown by £400m in the past three years to £830m," said Mitchell. "We need additional capital to back that growth to enable us to take on more customers."

The bank's new customers will be drawn from the ranks of small and medium-sized charities. "Large charities have the clout to get a better deal on the high street. But 95 to 98 per cent of the sector doesn't have that clout."

Last month, CafCash launched an ATM card for its 10,000 charity account holders (Third Sector, 8 October) and has received more than 100 applications for the card.

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