Charity Bank Reviews

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Read reviews from our savings and loans customers.

Reviews from Charity Bank borrowers:

“It was obviously important that we got a good rate of interest for our loan. With Charity Bank, we also have the added advantage of working with a lender that understands charities and wants to help.”
Mike Fowler, Chief Executive at Coventry Cyrenians

“Of the lenders I’ve ever worked with, Charity Bank has been one of the easiest. There’s a lot of trust and understanding of the not-for profit and housing sectors in the bank.”
Shannon Watson, Head of Finance & IT at Govanhill Housing Association

“Right from the outset, Charity Bank has been excellent – the team really understood us. It felt more of a partnership than a client relationship! We’d definitely recommend Charity Bank to other charities and social enterprises.”
Jill Law, Chief Corporate Officer at YMCA Black Country Group

“Working with Charity Bank has always been easy. They are co-operative, flexible and what you sign up for is what you get; there are no surprises.”
Richard Hadfield, Treasurer at Fivehead Village Hall

“Working with Charity Bank you receive more than just a loan. You also get a supportive relationship you wouldn’t normally find with a mortgage provider. Our account manager has always been very interested in what we do and is always available to talk. We know that Charity Bank is as committed to the continued success of the centre as we are, and we would always look to them first if we needed a loan.”
Louise Walker, Centre Manager at Swindon Therapy Centre

“Charity Bank offered us a loan and were brilliant. Some challenges and unexpected difficulties came up along the way, but Charity Bank remained supportive and flexible throughout.”
Gilly Simpson, Holne Community Shop & Tea Room

Kingsley Church

Child using the facilities at Charity Bank borrower Kingsley Hall Church & Community Centre. © Lucy Hunter

“As soon as we met the team at Charity Bank we could tell there was an excellent alignment of values and we were really keen to work with them. We didn’t want to simply take out a loan from a commercial lender but rather to develop a partnership with a lender that understands and shares our sense of community and social impact. This has been clear with Charity Bank throughout the whole process and it’s been really rewarding working with them.”
Chris Kapnisis, Director and Church Leader at Kingsley Hall Church & Community Centre

“It’s invaluable to have a lender who truly understands your model and who can fully support your ambitions and social objectives. It was immediately clear from our first meeting with Charity Bank that they met these needs. It’s been such a rewarding relationship and we’re now in the process of taking out a second loan.”
Mark Lawler, Managing Director at Baltic Creative CIC

“This has been my first experience of social investment and it’s really opened my eyes to what’s available out there. Through Charity Bank we’ve not only received a loan but have been introduced to a whole network of organisations that offer additional support that goes beyond funding.”
Alexis Michaelides, Founder and Managing Director at Big Creative Education

“As a social enterprise, we would have struggled to get the funding we needed from a high-street bank, even though it wasn’t a risky project. Thankfully, Charity Bank understand charities and social enterprises. They listened to us and we’ve had a good relationship with them from day one. As with any new business, the first couple of years were quite hard for us, but Charity Bank team were very supportive. It was important to us to have a real person we could talk to and Charity Bank gave us that. If we ever needed another loan, they’d be our first port-of-call.”
Dafydd Jones, Business Consultant at Gwesty Seren

“It’s been so amazing and refreshing working with Charity Bank and we’ve built up a great relationship with the team. None of what we’ve achieved would have been possible without Charity Bank. It was their initial investment in us that led to other grants and loans becoming available so that we could continue to grow.”
Tessa Stickler, General Manager at Folkestone Sports Centre Trust

Cosgarne Hall

Cosgarne Hall. © Lucy Hunter

“Working with Charity Bank, you can actually call your manager and have a conversation, knowing full well that they will understand you, have been to see you and will always be flexible. Charity Bank’s sector experience has brought invaluable support and knowledge to us. They have always acted with our best interests in mind.”
Malcolm Putko, Asset and Operations Director at Cosgarne Hall

“I can honestly say that it’s been excellent working with Charity Bank. All our interactions have been both helpful and supportive. I think this primarily comes down to the fact they really took the time to get to know us and understand our specific needs.”
Matthew Cornish, Fundraising and Development Manager at The Bevern Trust

“We are a social enterprise and working with a social lender has been important to us... Charity Bank is different and understands how we operate and the importance of the enduring impact we are trying to make.”
Ian Bright, Managing Director at Totnes Renewable Energy Society

“Working with Charity Bank was simply a logical fit for us. We are a values-based charity and finding a lender with a similar ethos was important. Most banks simply exist to make money. Having access to a social lender like Charity Bank, who care about creating a positive social impact is critical for supporting charities like ours.”
Andrew Phillips, Chief Executive at Parchment Trust

“The primary reason we chose to work with Charity Bank was because of its social values. As a charity, we’re really keen to make sure we trade with people who share our ethos of doing good. This shared philosophy also shows in the way Charity Bank has interacted with us over the years. At annual reviews, they don’t simply ask about the balance sheet and the bottom line but are always more interested in what it is we’re doing for people and the impact we’re having.”
Mark Sharman, Chief Executive at Help & Care

“We chose Charity Bank because we could see their approach fitted well with our ethos of working ethically. We’ve developed a close working relationship with Charity Bank and its staff, some of whom now even come to volunteer with us.”
Jon Weller, Director of Community Services at Imago

“It was a significant step for us to take out debt against our main asset. Charity Bank’s personal way of working was the key to easing this process. They really listened to us and our concerns and came up with tailored solutions to help. Their support has been ongoing with regular contact. It’s quite a unique thing to know someone is always at the other end of the phone to answer any queries.”
Sandra Schembri, former CEO at The House of St Barnabas

“Charity Bank is ethically compatible with us. It was a case of charity talking to charity and understanding each other’s needs. The ethos of the organisation sat well with us and the initial discussions progressed well. The rate of interest was as good as we’d get elsewhere. Our Loans Manager came to visit me at my house. I told him the charity’s requirements and we went forward from there.”
Michael McAleenan, Chair at Andrew Windsor Almshouses

“I’d recommend Charity Bank as a lender. They’re easy to work with, flexible, willing to listen and efficient. Jubilee Hall has always been an amazing space, but it really has been transformed.”
Phil Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Jubilee Hall Trust

“We never fail to be impressed with how much our Charity Bank regional manager knows about our business. You don’t get that if a file gets passed from person to person. Tim knows the team, and we communicate well and therefore every conversation we have, we can hit the ground running.”
Marie Kirbyshaw, Chief Executive of The Culture Trust, Luton

"Commercial banks seem to be scared of dealing with charities. Charity Bank accepts charities as charities. They understand our ethos; they can see what we’re trying to do. Without their help, I would have had to watch one of our houses being sold into the privately rented sector.”
Christina Baby, CEO of First Fruit

“Charity Bank really gets our organisation and what we’re trying to do. They’re very aligned in terms of values and also are just really nice people to work with. Not all bankers fall into that category!”
Richard Beard, Chief Executive, Jericho Foundation

“Charity Bank doesn’t just provide a loan, but really connects with you and what you’re trying to achieve.”
Alan Andrews, Managing Director, Chooselife Wales

“You need a lender that understands what you’re trying to achieve rather than just going down the tick box approach. Tick box will only take you so far with commercial lenders and if you don’t fit the mould then they’re not really interested. That’s why it was so wonderful to have Charity Bank’s understanding and alignment of objectives. We got on very well with Peter at Charity Bank. He understood the nature of our trust and what we were trying to achieve and had a sensible, balanced view of risk.”
Charles Roberts, Chair, Stretham & Wilburton Community Land Trust

“What I loved about Charity Bank is that they helped us negotiate challenging moments with solutions, rather than just leaving us to deal with it alone.”
Tracee McAtear, Executive Pastor, Connect Church UK

"It didn’t feel like this was a purely monetary transaction for Charity Bank. They just understand and really get it. It really mattered to us that it wasn’t just about the money. Having a named, understanding manager like Peter Hughes was brilliant. With other organisations, where you have to deal with someone different every time, you don’t get that level of personalised interaction and it can make things difficult. Nurturing individual connections is what we do here at Faith Hope and Enterprise; that’s how I prefer to work and that’s how Charity Bank works too."
Kevin Gill, Chief Executive, Faith Hope and Enterprise

“We talked to a few lenders when we were starting up. Charity Bank was the most enthusiastic and really believed in what we wanted to do. Charity Bank has been a 100% supportive partner from the start and I know I can just pick up the phone if I want any advice.”
Susan Aktemel, Director, Homes for Good

"If you apply for a loan at a mainstream bank, the conversation starts with ‘How much do you want and how much can you afford?’ With Charity Bank, the starting point is ‘What do you want to achieve and how can we help you get there?’ It’s a different approach and shows that Charity Bank genuinely cares about what we’re doing.”
Will Martel, Operations Manager, Footprints Family Centre

“Charity Bank gave our Board of Trustees an immediate confidence in their knowledge of almshouses, how we work, our structure and our needs. The fact that they are an ethical lender was also important as this aligned with our overall aims and aspirations. This was a complex build and we had many complications. Throughout, Charity Bank was transparent about their requirements, understanding and helpful.”
Matthew White, CEO and Clerk, Coventry Church Municipal Charities

“Charity Bank was able to offer us a loan that met all our requirements at a competitive rate. The current financial climate is extremely challenging, so it’s now even more important to have a loan provider that really understands the charity sector. Charity Bank worked with us to sculpt a deal that gives us the stability and flexibility we need. We now have extra confidence that we can continue with our core work, knowing we have the security of a major asset that should appreciate in value.”
David Holmes CBE, Chief Executive, Family Action

“We were able to raise some money for the renovation through donations and a grant, but nowhere near enough to cover the full cost of the project. Without the loan from Charity Bank, we wouldn’t have been able to refurbish the cottages and may well have ended up losing the estate altogether. The joy of Charity Bank is that the team really understands trusts and the charity sector. If I called up our Regional Manager with a problem, you can bet he would have come across it a hundred times before. It meant the loan process went really smoothly and there were no hiccups at all.”
David Skellum, Treasurer, Glover’s Trust

“Charity Bank proved itself to be head and shoulders above the rest from the very first meeting. The expertise of our regional manager, Adam Ruffinato, was immediately clear and he offered us invaluable guidance on the spot. Ever since, he has continued to be incredibly helpful and supportive, always talking sense and doing what he can to make things easier for us. Not only did Charity Bank put up the initial loan, and not only were they fantastic to deal with, they also went off and found the rest of the money we needed. Charity Bank absolutely saved the day.”
Nolan Taylor, Chief Executive, Abbeyfield South Downs

“I like the personal relationship I have with Charity Bank. I can ring up and someone knows who we are and understands what we’re going through. If I rang a highstreet bank and said I had a problem, they wouldn’t really care. Charity Bank does.”
Marion Kenyon, CEO, NewStarts

“The number of women turning to us for support has quadrupled in the last six years. Around 70% of these women have mental health issues, and so many just fall through the gaps left by other service providers. We knew we needed to offer a specialist safe house and that we wanted to work with a finance provider who ‘gets us’ and sees the social value in what we’re trying to do, rather than just the monetary value. Charity Bank gives us that.”
Richinda Taylor, Chief Executive, EVA Women’s Aid

“As well as choosing a finance provider that would offer us a competitive rate, we felt that working with the Charity Bank brought the added benefit of dealing with people who share our values and want to make a difference. It is part of their DNA – the clue is in the name! We have built a collaborative relationship and the people at Charity Bank will always go the extra mile.”
Robin Roberts, Chief Executive of Sutton Housing Society

“We have a strong social purpose and high ethical standards, so Charity Bank is a good fit for us. We’ve built an excellent relationship with the bank – our finance team like having a named person to contact, who understands us and is genuinely interested in how we’re progressing.”
Ali Akbor, Chief Executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise

Reviews from Charity Bank savers:

“The service we’ve received through Charity Bank has been first rate. It’s good to know there’s a team of people working behind the scenes to support services that enhance what we do. We need reserves in place to ensure our future, so it’s great that our money can be put to good use, even when we’re not directly using it ourselves.”
Carlton Smith, CEO at Bradford Trident

“I like initiatives that enable people to earn money in a sustainable way and find their own solutions to problems, rather than just having things done for them. It’s those types of organisations that are bringing about real change and I want to support them. Charity Bank helps me to do that. I’ve had my ISA with the bank for over a year now. It’s really encouraging to read about the organisations that Charity Bank supports. You can see that your money is genuinely doing something good.”
Rebecca Fricker, Ethical ISA customer

“It’s important to me that my money isn’t being used for harm. I don’t want it invested in companies that treat workers poorly, for example. I also want to know that it’s doing something positive right now, not just sitting there waiting for a time when I might need it in the future. Charity Bank works with some tremendous projects; they’re often ones I would have wanted to support anyway.”
Clem McCulloch, Ethical ISA customer

“I try to live ethically but didn’t feel that my personal investments were really reflecting that. So I decided to take action. I have a few different ethical finance accounts now. The fact that Charity Bank specialises in charities and social enterprises was a big draw for me. Working in the sector, I know how difficult it can be for smaller organisations, in particular, to raise funds. Charity Bank is helping to fill that gap, so it has a really important role.”
Sunit Bagree, Charity Bank saver

“As with any charity, we need to keep funds in reserve, so that we can plan for the future. It’s important that those savings aren’t then used to do harm. We wouldn’t want our money to end up being invested in cosmetic companies that test on animals, for example.”
Julie Toben, Director of Development at Wadars


About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1000 loans totalling over £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.