We have discovered that some banks and building societies are carrying out checks on bank accounts that were set up a long time ago to make sure that they have enough information on file to satisfy modern requirements. If your unit has used the same bank account for a very long time, you may be contacted with a request for more information.
If you receive a request for information, here are three tips to make sure you keep your unit account safe:
1. Don’t panic
You might find you are asked for a LOT of information, ranging from whether you have a constitution through to personal details about your account signatories.
Your bank will be approaching charities and community groups of all shapes and sizes using a template list of information requirements. Some of these requirements will simply not apply to your unit account.
If you are not sure about how to answer any of your bank’s questions, please contact your District Commissioner for help, particularly if you are new to your unit team or have just taken on the accounts for your unit.
2. Do not provide information by email
Never provide information about your unit bank account via email. If your bank contacts you by email, always call the bank using the telephone number on their website or your unit bank statement (not the telephone number given the email), or visit a branch. There are a lot of scam emails about, so don’t get caught out.
3. Do not provide personal information about your account signatories without their permission
One unit in Bath was recently asked for the address, contact telephone number and tax residency status of each of their account signatories. You should never give personal information about another member of Girlguiding to anyone without their permission – even if they are from your unit’s bank! It is best to ask the signatory to visit the branch or contact the bank so they can give the information directly.
If you are in any doubt, please contact your District Commissioner before you do anything, and they will help you decide if the request is genuine, and how to respond.