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Why can't they just do a BACS transfer?

(24 Posts)
LauraAshleyDuvetCover Mon 24-Feb-14 15:35:13

I'm a treasurer for an organisation and our bank account (a society/organisation account) doesn't have a card, just a chequebook.

It's never usually a problem (cheques are easiest anyway as the people we're paying are often other societies with a similar set up), however if we ever have to do a transfer it's a nightmare. They always offer a CHAPS payment (and charge £30). The only way around this is to set up a standing order that then has to be cancelled once the payment's gone through. It's a pain as we have more than one signatory on the account, so getting to the bank together can be awkward.

I understand we can't use the Faster Payments because our account doesn't have a card, but why can't they just do a normal BACS transfer? If anybody knows I'd be very much obliged because this is really starting to get on my nerves. They just shrug and say they can't do it.

AlpacaLypse Mon 24-Feb-14 15:37:43

Have you spoken to your bank about changing the type of account you have?

Or to other banks, to see if their charity accounts have been upgraded to the 21st century yet? smile

AlpacaLypse Mon 24-Feb-14 15:39:49

Also when I was PTA chair and we had double-signing for cheques, I used to sign about two or three blank cheques in advance for the Treasurer, obviously I trusted her implicitly.

Notify Mon 24-Feb-14 15:45:13

Don't you have on-line banking? You can use faster payments through that.

Notify Mon 24-Feb-14 15:46:01

BTW - you can have a debit card on a clubs & societies account - I just ordered one for our club

LauraAshleyDuvetCover Mon 24-Feb-14 15:47:49

Yes, that's the only type of society/charity account they do apparently (although the person looked at me very blankly when I said it was a society account and I had to explain what it was, so I might go back and ask somebody else!).

There's only one other bank I can get to, and my parents had a bad experience with it (ombudsman etc.) so that had put me off. I'll go in and have a chat though, and see what they say.

I can understand why it doesn't have a card (tbh, you don't really need one and it would be almost impossible to enforce the two signatories rule) but in that case I'd have thought it was important that transfers were easier, not harder confused

LauraAshleyDuvetCover Mon 24-Feb-14 15:51:01

We had no option for online banking, which I would have liked. Which bank are you with Notify if you don't mind?

The cheques aren't really an issue, occasionally the president will sign one or two ahead for me, but we tend to see each other a few times a week so there's never a delay of more than a day or two. It's just that those times are always outside of banking hours!

Notify Mon 24-Feb-14 15:53:03

Lloyds but I used to work for RBS/NatWest and you could have a debit card there too.

LauraAshleyDuvetCover Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:25

Right, I think I will do a bit of research and see if I can get something sorted. It sounds like ours is much more basic than it needs to be at the moment.

MrsSquirrel Mon 24-Feb-14 16:04:01

I would recommend Unity Trust Bank. They are a specialist bank for voluntary groups, social enterprises and trade unions.

I have used them as treasurer of a small charity. They were much better than the big high street bank we switched from. They offer an online service too.

specialsubject Mon 24-Feb-14 18:06:54

have a good look round, you don't need to be in physical reach of a branch of your bank.

TalkinPeace Mon 24-Feb-14 18:33:22

the bank are telling you porkies
you do NOT need a bank card to do FPS

if its a dual signatory account you have to be careful, but there is nothing to stop you setting up online banking and then two of the signatories sign the scheduling print rather than a cheque

Unity Trust are good : just a bit clunky

Rockchick1984 Mon 24-Feb-14 23:28:03

If you have the account set up as 2 to sign you won't be able to have online banking or a debit card, this is why you can't do faster payments. Your only way around it is to allow any one individual signatory to sign, then it can be done online or can have a debit card, sorry.

NotCitrus Mon 24-Feb-14 23:45:03

You can have two signatories needed for cheques, with online banking, but there is no way to allow online banking with two people needed to confirm payments.

I've been with HSBC who have usually been good with community group accounts, but generally there's only one person per branch who knows how to set them up. They are a type of business account without charges. Sounds like you may have been given a small business account if you are getting charged and can't use BACS for free. Ask them what the local Scouts do.

For reference, you can't transfer more than around �15k a day via internet banking. Just in case that were the issue...

LauraAshleyDuvetCover Tue 25-Feb-14 00:56:08

I don't mind about that so much Rockchick, I'd rather have the two signatories, so I can't be accused of anything! But it's irritating that both signatories can be in the bank and not be able to do a transfer without doing it in such a roundabout way. So we can set up standing orders which take three days to process with no charge, or we can do a one-off next day transfer with a charge. So why can't we have a one-off three day transfer?

That's interesting NotCitrus. I can't see anywhere on the statements or cheque/paying in book that says business account, but then I can't see anywhere it says society either! I'll go in and ask who deals with setting up that type of account and see if we don't have quite the right type of account, or if it's right, find out exactly what we can/can't do.

I don't think we'd ever have to transfer that much in one day - like I said a lot of our transactions are with cheques, so chances are an amount that large would be split over maybe one transfer and three/four cheques.

Notify Tue 25-Feb-14 08:33:11

our bank account has 2 signatures but we still have a debit card - 2 people had to sign the application card but the card naturally had to be in a single name. We satisfied the committee and auditor that this was ok by having the card in the name of someone other than the treasurer which means we have clear segregation if duties and that the person checking the bank statements is different to the person originating the payments

TalkinPeace Tue 25-Feb-14 16:36:21

the LRO to abolish the dual signatory rules for the whole of the public sector is due any time

the charities commission will follow fast on its heels

and yes, of course you can set up online banking on a dual signatory account - I use / audit lots of them

banks are THE WORST for ignoring mandates

Rockchick1984 Wed 26-Feb-14 10:48:21

Talkin if an account needs 2 to sign for withdrawals how is that compatible with sending payments via online banking? Genuinely curious, it's a couple of years since I worked for a bank but I don't get how a payment could be authorised online by both parties?

Notify Wed 26-Feb-14 11:18:19

It can't on basic on-line banking packages Rock but you can get round it by having the single person who sends the payments authorised to do so by 2 signatories

More sophisticated (expensive) systems aimed at the commercial market allow you to set up payments by having separate a inputter and authoriser so two people have to input their pin/password before a payment can be sent.

TalkinPeace Wed 26-Feb-14 12:43:49

banks do not look at the authorisation on any payment under £1000

they pay no attention to their own mandates when setting up visa cards, credit cards and electronic banking

it kind of outs me
but make the controls over payments be in the organisations systems,
do not rely on the bank to check ANYTHING

the Unity trust version of that comes free with their community account

Breakage Wed 26-Feb-14 12:45:57

Banks don't check but the organisation (club/charity) still needs to comply with it's own rules.

treaclesoda Wed 26-Feb-14 12:55:08

I have been treasurer of an organisation where we have used online banking, needing two people to authorise each payment. It is possible, but afaik the bank would have to set it up as a business account, where two authorisations would be the norm. It's definitely possible - in theory it was a business account, but we didn't get charged the extortionate business banking fees that would apply to a standard business account.

TalkinPeace Wed 26-Feb-14 13:01:27

Banks don't check but the organisation (club/charity) still needs to comply with it's own rules.
rewrite the rules to include appropriate internal controls for modern banking methods

that is what small public sector bodies are doing at this moment
and charities and unincorporated associations will soon follow

GreenShadow Sun 02-Mar-14 15:18:24

Yes, I agree with treclesoda, it certainly is possible to have two people authorise an online payment.

We have just started doing this and thought it has been something of a hassle getting to the final point where it works, it can be done.

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