Savings BBT PR version

Charity Best Buy Table Shames Stinginess

A new best buy table for charities to pick the most appropriate savings accounts for their cash reserves has exposed the meagre interest rates being offered to the sector, particularly by High Street banks.
The Charity Best Buy Table has been launched by Savings Champion - an independent expert on cah-based savings, in partnership with Back of the Sofa - a new free service dedicated to helping charities find spare funds.

According to research from Savings Champion, the average easy-access account for charities on the High Street returns just 0.12 per cent AER, whereas rates of 0.75 per cent are available from alternative providers ranking at the top of the Charity Best Buy table. These tend to be challenger banks (eg Virgin Money) and building societies (eg Skipton Building Society), with some offering charity-only products (eg ‘Treasurers Deposit Account’). As well as easy access, the Charity Best Buy Table offers information on the harder to find accounts that require notice periods to withdraw funds and fixed terms up to five years, but which offer rates as high as 2.5%.

In contrast, the type of easy access account approved by the Charity Commission (Common Deposit Funds) currently earn an average of 0.35 per cent, with funds deposited falling outside the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. However all options open to charities look pretty penny-pinching when compared to personal savings accounts, which offer easy access interest rates of up to 1.3 per cent.

With average bank deposits of £100,000* per charity in the UK, the annual return from the various options is as follows:

Anna Bowes, director at Savings Champion, commented: “It’s important for everyone to make their cash work as hard as possible but arguably, it’s even more essential for a charity to  earn as much interest as it can in order to maximise the value of the generous donations it has worked so hard to raise, until the money is used.”

Nick Heath, founder of Back of the Sofa, added: “Charities earning less than the Bank of England base rate of 0.5 per cent should act fast and shift their deposits. Look beyond the bank names you recognise and don’t be fooled by an account claiming to be charity-focussed until you’ve checked out their rates. As a basic rule, the longer you’re able to lock away your reserves, the better return you’ll get. So think about the kind of access you’ll need to your funds before choosing the account that’s right for you.”


To support those using the Charity Best Buy Table, there is also a dedicated free phone line, plus a specialist Charity Cash Advice Service if help is required in setting-up accounts. The Charity Cash Advice Service has a one-off fee - charged by Savings Champion - which is 0.2% of the total sum being deposited. For more details, call 0808 178 1358 to speak to an advisor or visit


* NCVO UK Civil Society 2017 Almanac

- ENDS -

Further information: Nick Heath / 07720 297972 /

Case Study

Lieutenant Commander Duncan Phillippo, trustee and fund manager for the Gibraltar Naval Trust: “We had funds available from the sale of our old property and decided that getting some professional help managing it was worthwhile. The money is there to fund a new building so we didn’t want to take a high-risk approach.  We needed to maintain the capital whilst earning as much interest as possible. Our priorities are that the money is secure, but also that we have flexibility to get the funds out when we need them. Initially around £850,000 was invested via the service and we’ve subsequently relied on Savings Champion to help us deposit a further £1m. If I’d sat down by myself, I could possibly have achieved similar returns, but would have had to put in a huge amount of man hours to do so. We’re getting a better return and not having to put the effort in. Using the service removes any hassle which is what we see as one of the key benefits.”

About Savings Champion

Savings Champion is the UK’s leading independent expert on cash-based savings. Providing unbiased, personalised advice on cash, researching every interest rate from every UK savings provider. We offer a range of free services including independent, unbiased best buy tables, Rate Alerts to our growing community of engaged savers, a free helpline for guidance on the best accounts and our free and unique Rate Tracker service. In addition, we offer our fee-based Cash Advice Service, taking away the hassle of finding and opening the best savings accounts. Clients have access to an experienced savings adviser, an expert in finding the best way to maximise interest whilst keeping money safe.

About Back of the Sofa

Back of the Sofa was launched in October 2017 as a way to help charities do more good by boosting their income in innovative ways, without having to ask for more donations. As a free resource it offers the ideas, tools and help needed to find cash they’re literally sitting on - in the form of discounts on utilities and rebates on overpayments such as VAT on energy, water bills and Business Rates. It also offers fundraising ideas that rely on the buying power, rather than the generosity, of local communities. For example, a collective energy switch for a charity’s supporters (to save them money too) will automatically donate the commission that would otherwise be earnt by a price comparison website.

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