Charities should ensure they use bank accounts held in regulated financial services, the UK’s three charity regulators have said.
The alert says it is vital that charities, and particularly trustees, are able to use banking facilities, where available, to safely receive, hold and move charitable funds, particularly when moved internationally.
Regulated bank accounts are also a good way to demonstrate audit trails for the movement of money, the alert says.
If a charity operates without a regulated bank account, the alert says, the funds are at greater risk and the safeguarding and record-keeping policies required for those funds are "more difficult and create a disproportionate extra burden on the trustees".
In a joint statement, Helen Stephenson, David Robb and Frances McCandless, the chief executives of the three charity regulators, said: "The financial services provided by banks and financial institutions provide safe, responsible, efficient and transparent ways for charities to conduct their financial affairs. Every charity should have a bank account in its name to help keep its funds secure.
"This is the most prudent and responsible way to protect funds and evidence the movement of those funds in most cases. It is in the best interests of charities to hold and move funds through the regulated financial sector where it is available – if other methods to hold or move funds are used, they involve higher risks and in some cases can result in slowing down charitable assistance to beneficiaries."