Bank accounts

You'll find below information about:

If you've any questions relating to the matters on this page, please do not hesitate to contact info@woodcraft.org.uk.

Our switch from Co-op Bank to Unity Trust Bank

As agreed by General Council in February 2018, Woodcraft Folk is moving from the Co-op Bank to Unity Trust Bank.

What are the benefits of moving to Unity Trust Bank?

  • Moving to Unity Trust Bank enables Woodcraft Folk's trustees (General Council) and staff to have better oversight of our financial position. 
  • Unity Trust Bank has tailored its accounts to Woodcraft Folk.
  • Moving to Unity Trust Bank should reduce costs for Woodcraft Folk. There are account charges of £6 per month with Unity Trust Bank but no transaction charges (we expect this monthly charge to be reviewed and reduced in the future). In contrast, Co-op Bank has started charging monthly account fees £7 plus transaction charges (these Co-op Bank charges are being levied against Folk Office, so most Districts are not aware of them but they are costing Woodcarft Folk money).

We would like Districts to change from Co-op Bank to Unity Trust bank. We are aware that this move will require work and we don’t want to add to the burden faced by local treasurers. At present we would encourage you to think about moving and to move if you can. 

Ultimately, all bank accounts will have to be with Unity Trust Bank.

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Opening an account at Unity Trust Bank

Districts/Groups must be registered with Woodcraft Folk before they can open an account at Unity Trust Bank.

Full guidance on opening accounts is available here.

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Changing a signatory on a Unity Trust Bank account

Signatories on a Unity Trust Bank account can be changed using an online form. 

Please contact Folk Office (info@woodcraft.org.uk) with the names of the signatories before starting the process.

Note that a Unity Trust Bank Account can have up to four signatories, who must all be Woodcraft Folk members. 

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Changing a signatory for a Co-op Bank account 

If you already have an existing Co-op account and wish to change one or more of the signatories, you must complete a 'Change of Signatories form' which is from the Co-op bank website. Please complete the form to the best of your ability and return to the Co-op. In addition to submitting this form to the bank you'll also need an authorisation letter from Folk Office who will confirm that the new signatories are members of Woodcraft Folk. If some of your existing signatories are no longer available to complete the relevant sections of the form please contact info@woodcraft.org.uk who will be able to help you with this. 

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Closing bank accounts

Advantages of closing dormant/quiet accounts

There are some clear advantages to closing dormant/quiet accounts:

  • Unity Trust and Co-op Bank levy account charges on each account. (Co-op Bank charges are levied againt Folk Office instead of the Districts so you may not have noticed them but they cost Woodcraft Folk money).
  • Having fewer accounts makes the annual financial return, at the end of the year, simpler because there are fewer accounst to consolidate.
  • It reduces the risk of losing touch with signatories, which can happen when a long time passes after an account becomes dormant. (NB: if signatories can't be contacted, it can cause complications when the account is closed, even if the account has a zero balance.)

How to close Co-op Bank accounts

You can close Co-op bank accounts using one of the forms available at https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/business/help-and-support/managing-your-account/useful-forms

There are different forms to cover different reasons for closing the account. For example there's a “No longer trading” form (https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/assets/ns/bank/pdf/business/customerservices/business-account-closure-form-No-Longer-Trading.pdf). You're free to choose the form that you think most suitable. 

You need your normal signatories to authorise the closure, so it’s best to do this whilst they are around. (If you've lost contact with signatories, Folk Office can support you with closing an account - email info@woodcraft.org.uk.) 

Once the form is complete, send it to the address on the form (NB: the address may be in very small letters at the end of the form).

Using the form you can get the balance transferred to another account.

After closing an account

After closing an account you should receive a final bank statement confirming closure. You'll need to send a copy of this with the annual financial return at year end.

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Unity Trust Bank - guidance on opening an account.pdf124.27 KB