Banking & Investment

NatWest Bank

For PCCs within the Bath and Wells Diocese that bank with NatWest, you will either be classed as a Commercial Customer or a Business Customer.

Commercial Customer

All those that are part of the Cash Management Scheme (CMS). You have access to their Corporate Service Team via one of the following:

Please contact this team for these subjects:

Cash Management Scheme (CMS)

This is a scheme offered by NatWest Bank and has been in existence for over 20 years for PCCs with the two dioceses of Bath & Wells and Gloucester.  The aim was to provide PCCs with a reasonable level of interest on their bank current accounts, with around 400 participating accounts in 2021.  By pooling all participating bank account balances daily, larger sums can be placed on deposit, generating a higher rate of interest return on an instant access current account. These deposits take the form of 12m Fixed Interest Treasury deposits or 95-day notice accounts. Cash in your participating account should be that which you need to have access to on a regular basis as this scheme is less appropriate for longer-term funds.  

Business Customer

If your turnover is less than £2m and your account is not part of the Cash Management Scheme.  Your NatWest help and support can be obtained from the Businessline team for your day-to-day account queries: Telephone 0345 711 44 77

NatWest “Know Your Customer” Due Diligence for accounts including Parochial Church Councils – 2021

From time to time and in line with the Financial Conduct Authority regulatory standards and timeframes, NatWest needs to undertake periodic reviews on their customers to ensure they have the most up to date information.  They are reviewing our accounts and your Parochial Church Council account may be included within the review, requiring some action from account holders.  Longstanding NatWest accounts have not had any information gathered about them for some time and this exercise is designed to improve the bank’s required record keeping.

NatWest have chosen to conduct this through an electronic self-serve portal which will require you to sign in and update/certify details on key principals, signatories & identification documents etc.

  • The registered main account contact will be sent either an email or a letter detailing the need to log into this NatWest portal to complete the exercise.  
  • The email will come from noreply@yourbusinessprofile.natwest.co.uk and the subject line will read “URGENT: you need to update Your Business Profile”.  Or you will receive a letter in the post that looks like this.
  • The main account contact will be allocated an activation code and will need to register a mobile number to receive the two-step security identification code for each log in.
  • There will be a deadline date for submission of the information and the email/portal will display this date.  If you have not progressed any action by this time then your NatWest account may be frozen/blocked pending completion, so it is advisable to at least register for online access and keep in contact with the bank to progress the exercise to completion; NatWest will help you avoid this scenario as much as possible and this is very much a last resort.  

There is a dedicated team to help with this should you need any help or difficulty working through the online portal, their number is 020 3416 5001.

HSBC’s Safeguard Policy for Bank Accounts

A number of banks have automated their processes to verify accounts, to comply with anti-money-laundering (financial crime) laws.  Unfortunately, this applies to every sort of account, even church ones and accounts that have been in existence for very many years.  A good number of parishes have raised concerns in particular about HSBC's ‘safeguard’ process, which is their response to these laws.  They have now issued a guide for churches on their safeguard compliance process https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/images/documents/safeguard-guide-for-religious-organisations.pdf.

 

Notifying NatWest of management changes

It is very important that you notify the bank of any changes for the following, to ensure ease of communication and operations:

  • Authorised main account contact
  • Authorised bank signatories

Switching your account to NatWest from another bank

  • To switch to NatWest and join the Cash Management Scheme, please contact the Finance Manager at the DBF, with the following details and these will be forwarded to our contact at NatWest:
    • Account name:
    • Legal entity: e.g., Unincorporated body/ Charitable Incorporated Organisation/ Incorporated body etc.
    • Turnover: Less than £100k/ Amount
    • Name of person completing application:
    • Email address: 
    • Mobile number:
    • The contact will receive a new account application link via email which will need to be completed online. If this is an issue, please advise so that a telephony appointment can be arranged instead.
  • To switch to NatWest but not join the Cash Management Scheme, please contact the Businessline team – 0345 711 44 77 or follow this link to open an account and complete the relevant forms.

Churches, Charities and Local Authorities (CCLA)

CBF Deposit Fund

This is an instant access account and is a place to keep money which is not needed immediately but is expected to be spent in the next 2 – 5 years.

CBF Investment Fund

This is not a bank account, but pooled fund investment. The CCLA Investment managers invest in a range of products which meet the Church of England ethical guidelines. The capital and income returns are not guaranteed, so this is more suited for longer term investments, particularly if the PCC wishes to generate an income stream.

For further information on the options that CCLA offer please click this link.

Investing a PCC’s cash reserves

The national stewardship team has produced a short paper to guide PCCs through the wide range of alternatives for investments which are not equity linked, along with guidance on developing a policy on the level of reserves.

Accepting payments by credit card

If you accept payments by credit card, there are a couple of matters you need to be aware of:

  • PCI DSS compliance - This is the credit card industry standard to ensure that the payment card information (PCI) you collect when someone pays you by credit card is securely processed, stored and transmitted by you (on paper, by phone or electronically). There are severe penalties for breaching the Regulations. Read more on the UK Cards’ Association website.

  • Unsolicited donations - You should be cautious of accepting any large unsolicited donations, especially if made by credit card, from a donor not known to the PCC, especially if the donor requires you to pass on some of the donation.  This could be part of a scam or a money-laundering scheme. The Government has advised that there has been a spate of frauds involving credit card donations.  Read more on the gov.uk website.