High street bank to start charging some charity customers for large cash exchanges

11 Jun 2024 News

Metro Bank logo

Metro Bank

Metro Bank has announced a new small charge that will apply to large cash exchanges made by some account holders including charities, Civil Society has learned. 

From 1 October, Metro Bank is introducing a “new cash exchange charge” for five types of accounts, including its community current account which is used by UK-based clubs, societies and charities with an income of up to £250,000.

In a letter to customers, Metro Bank said “the charge will apply when you exchange cash over the till at one of our stores and is 1% of the value exchanged”. 

“This is already a part of your account tariff, but we haven’t charged it previously,” it wrote.

A Metro Bank spokesperson told Civil Society that the charge will only apply to transactions that are greater than £10,000 during a month.

“Community accounts will still get up to £10,000 of cash transactions – be that deposit, withdrawal or exchange – free each month,” they said.

“Over and above this free monthly limit we will be starting to apply a charge from October this year.”

CFG: ‘Relatively modest fee increases can negatively impact financial security’

Clare Mills, deputy chief executive at Charity Finance Group (CFG), said: “Unexpected increases in fees and charges can leave some charities and volunteer-led organisations on the back foot when it comes to managing their finances. 

“Small charities in particular have found financial stability and planning more difficult during the cost-of-living crisis.

“Sometimes even relatively modest fee increases can negatively impact financial security, particularly if income generation is already a challenge.”

Mills added that CFG was working with other sector bodies, a group of high street banks and trade association UK Finance “to improve the retail banking sector’s understanding of how charities operate and the challenges they face”. 

“We’ll soon be sharing the results of our banking survey, conducted in partnership with NCVO,” she said.

“We will use the survey’s data to progress our discussions with the banks and shine a light on charities’ experiences of modern banking services. 

“We anticipate that this work will help banks to consider the needs of charities and community groups when developing and changing their services.

“Banking services are absolutely vital if charities are to manage their funds effectively for the benefit of the people and communities they serve.”

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