Charity Bank Reviews

Posted in

Read reviews from our savings and loans customers.

Reviews from Charity Bank borrowers:

“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

"Charity Bank aligns with our values, clearly understands the charity sector and took time to get to know us.” Philip Birkinshaw, Chief Executive, Abbeyfield The Dales

"The loan process was pretty straightforward. The admin team kept us on the straight and narrow and we got extra help from Jeremy Ince, which was definitely needed at times and helped us to move forward when we were stuck.” Lesley Bowlby, a director of Above Derwent Community Land Trust

“Without the Charity Bank loan, we would not have been able to grow and develop in the same way. Owning the site has given us the freedom to quickly adapt to trends, which is vital within the urban sports industry.” Mandy Young, Founder and Development Director, Adrenaline Alley

“We had a lot of handholding from Charity Bank. The staff are very personable and you’re mainly dealing with one or two people, so you get to know them. The level of professionalism and rigour of the process gives you confidence. We’re a small charity, but we could see that Charity Bank wasn’t going to lend us money unless they were satisfied that we could afford the repayments. I would definitely recommend Charity Bank.” Sue Cliffe, CEO of Age UK Herne Bay & Whitstable

I Stock 1043564886

“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, Andrew Windsor Almshouses

“I’d absolutely recommend Charity Bank. They understand loan financing for charities, and they're not fazed by new ways of doing things.” Siân Edwards, Executive Director of Andrews Charitable Trust

“Without this loan, we couldn’t have bought the building so wouldn’t be able to deliver some of our community programmes. It’s great to know that the interest we’re paying means that Charity Bank can help other organisations like us.” Adrian Cozens, Chair of Aspatria Dreamscheme

“Charity Bank guided us through the loan process, right from the initial business planning stage to completion. Our main contacts, Mark and Lisa, were fantastic at pushing things forward and supporting us with whatever issue we were trying to deal with. They were always there to talk things through and offer support.” Trevor Nicholas, CEO of Aspire Ryde

“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.” Managing Director Mark Lawler, Baltic Creative CIC

Andrew Windsor Almshouses Case Study

Andrew Windsor Almshouses

“The vast majority of the money came from Charity Bank. If they hadn't given us the loan, we’d probably still be trying to fundraise. Building costs may have risen and we’d have carried on spending money on hiring other pitches. The planning condition said that we had to start building within five years, so waiting would have been risky.” Roger Macklin, Chair at Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club

“Charity Bank and Big Issue Invest were very supportive. There were no problems at all; they were both brilliant. It’s also nice to know that our repayments will be regenerated to help other non-profits.” Ann Martin, CEO of Birmingham Supported Living 2010

“People who care about where their money is going and choose to save with a social lender like Charity Bank are directly helping social enterprises like ours to evolve and do more good.” Helen Bark, Finance & Administration, Burton Street Foundation

“The loan from Charity Bank was key in enabling us to purchase our first property and move the charity into this next phase. Being able to own rather than simply lease means we now have an independent source of income that will help ensure the sustainability of the charity.” Iain McNee, Operations Manager, Carlisle Key

“I would encourage people to think about investing their money in an ethical bank like Charity Bank because I’ve seen first-hand the social outcomes it can bring. Your money won’t be going to a faceless organisation but making real changes to real people.” CEO John Croot, Chesterfield FC Community Trust

Construction worker plastering and smoothing concrete wall

“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

“Charity Bank have always been very speedy at coming back to us if we have a question. They’ve been very helpful, particularly compared to other banks we’ve dealt with. We’re not seen as important to the bigger banks, but with Charity Bank, we’re treated fairly, as a valued customer.” Christ Church Aughton PCC’s treasurer, Mark Patterson, and former treasurer, Chris Matthews

“We do struggle with mainstream banks as they don’t understand our operating model or the kind of charity we are. I found Charity Bank really good to work with as they’re very knowledgeable and supportive. They provided us with a lot of guidance on what they needed from us and why, even down to exactly what we’d need in our board resolution. We wouldn’t have got that level of service anywhere else.” Maxine Gall, Managing Director at Chrysalis

“Thank you, Charity Bank, for helping us to change lives. This is not just a property or a loan, it’s a legacy. Now, Collaborative Women can really start to grow.” Jan Tasker, Co-director of Collaborative Women

“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.” Matthew White, CEO and Clerk, Coventry Church Municipal Charities

M5 A1126

DENS Bike Project

“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, Coventry Cyrenians

“Charity Bank understood our services and what we wanted to do. The loan repayments are comparable to the rent we’re paying on our other properties. So, we’ll be adding an asset to our balance sheet without the extra cash outlay.” Trina Myatt, Head of Finance and Resources, DENS

“Without Charity Bank, there's no way we could have purchased this building. It would have taken my lifetime to raise that amount of money.” Pastor Victor Darteh of Elpis Ministries

“The loans have made us a much more confident organisation than we otherwise would be. Other finance providers may have tried to force us to change our values to meet their requirements, but Charity Bank has never expected us to be something that we’re not. We’re close to capacity now, so may look to take out another loan with Charity Bank for a new site in another town.” Colin Bramall, Trustee, Emmaus Village Carlton

“We met with Charity Bank and got on well; they understood the business and what Energise Barnsley was trying to achieve. And they offered us a deal that was very attractive. I’m very happy to sing Charity Bank’s praises as it has been a pleasure working with them.” Andy Heald, Director of Energise Barnsley

Vonecia carswell 0a MMM Ujii EQ unsplash

“Having ethical lenders like Charity Bank who exist to help the social sector is only going to become more essential in the future. I would say to anyone thinking about investing or saving their money with Charity Bank to simply look at the end result and see all the good that’s being done.” Chief Executive Richinda Taylor, EVA Women’s Aid

"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.” Kevin Gill, Chief Executive, Faith Hope and Enterprise

“Other banks struggle to understand what charities are all about. We felt that Charity Bank would better understand our proposal because it works in the charity sector. We also thought that it would be well-placed to make us a competitive offer. Both of those things have proven to be true. And, genuinely, we’ve had a good relationship with everyone we’ve spoken to at the bank. They have a trusting, respectful way of working with clients. I’d have no hesitation at all in recommending Charity Bank.” Bob Humphreys, Chair of Finchley Reform Synagogue

“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, First Fruit

“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 of Folkestone Sports Centre Trust

I Stock 1307198953

“Without the Charity Bank loans we’ve received and the people who save with them, the lives of disabled people in our community would be significantly poorer.” Paul Silvester, Chief Executive of Foresight North East Lincolnshire

“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

“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, Govanhill Housing Association

“As a charity with an ethical policy, having the option to borrow from an ethical lender is really important. It not only stays within our ethos but also sends out a positive message. Being given money by Charity Bank is a seal of approval for the work you do. It helps smaller investors and donors to be confident that any money they give to you will be put to good use.” Jackie Eley, Administrative Director, Half Moon

“From our early conversations it was clear Charity Bank could offer us a great deal on a loan. Although I did talk to a few other banks, I didn’t need to look too far in the end to realise that Charity Bank was the right choice for us. Seeing all the similar projects and charities that Charity Bank has supported added weight to the decision and it wasn’t difficult to get our Trustees on board.” Chief Executive Hadyn Moorby-Davies, Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre

Building exterior

Twelve Apostles Church

"I wish everybody could work to the same standards as Charity Bank.” Stephen Richards, Chair of Trustees at Hill Street Youth & Community Centre

“We would never have been able to make this a reality without the support of Charity Bank and its savers. In a rural area like ours, it’s so important to have a place like this for people to come and socialise. The shop and tearoom are at the heart of our community now.” Gilly Simpson, Secretary at Holne Community Shop & Tea Room

“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

“The moment I spoke to the local Regional Manager, Chris Tweedie, I knew that Charity Bank was the right lender for us. I could tell immediately that she understood what we were trying to do and wanted to help us achieve our goal. She gave so much advice and encouragement, enabling us to make the rescue centre a reality much quicker than we ever anticipated. If we ever needed another loan, we would only go back to Charity Bank.” Vanessa Waddon, founder and Transformation Manager of Hope Rescue

“At a time of general financial instability, the Charity Bank loan enabled us to make a smart investment that has not only allowed the expansion of our services but provided us with real future security”. Jon Weller, Director of Community Services, Imago

Hope Rescue c Steve Phillips 28

Hope Rescue © Steve Phillips

If we stayed where we were, the charity had no assets and our costs would always increase each year. Owning a space has given us flexibility to grow and adapt for the future. It helped that Charity Bank were so positive and proactive throughout, helping us find additional funding and achieve all of our goals.” Catharine Des Forges, Founder & Director, Independent Cinema Office

“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

“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 are so grateful to Charity Bank because your loan has served as the enabler with the first phase of this big whole site vision for new build nursery extension and 4 key worker flats. Without that successful first phase none of the others could have followed and so your support has been massive for us. Thank you” Chris Kapnisis Director, Kingsley Hall

“Without the loan the project wouldn’t have got off the ground.” David Graham, chair, Lyvennet Community Trust

M5 A5192

Ruby's Fund

“If we’d delayed the project to raise more money, the costs would have gone up significantly. The loan meant that we could get the construction work underway and secure those prices before they went any higher.” Daryl Brown MBE, CEO, Magpas Air Ambulance

“With the support of Charity Bank, we’ve gone from this huge residential home that was losing a lot of money to a modern housing scheme with a waiting list.” Matt Larkin, Operations Manager, Mayfield Trust

“Charity Bank is interested in the social impact, not just the financial return. They want to make people’s lives better. We have a supportive lender who wants to see us succeed. If there’s an issue, they’ll work with us. It’s not a ‘computer says no’ environment. We have an ally.” Sebastian Rocca, CEO and founder, Micro Rainbow

“We’d known for a while that we needed to expand, so had already invited Peter Hughes from Charity Bank in to talk to us and our trustees. We really like Charity Bank’s ethos – they’re not just focused on the commercial aspects of a loan; they genuinely want to meet the charity sector’s needs.” Carol Scawthon, Chief Executive of New Roots

“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

Bernie Yaffe Treasurer of Manchester Maccabi

Bernie Yaffe, Treasurer of Manchester Maccabi

“The club has experienced huge ups and downs. Charity Bank have been fantastic throughout. They’ve been extremely flexible and have proactively worked with us to help us through. They used their expertise to suggest grants that we could apply for, and to help us create a new business plan. We’re in a good place now and becoming a viable, sustainable organisation. I think other banks might have taken a more clinical approach and decided to cut their losses. If that had happened, we might have had a very different outcome.” Bernie Yaffe, Treasurer of Manchester Maccabi

“Charity Bank proved to be flexible and understanding. When you’re trying to do something a bit different, you need a lender who sees things a bit differently too. Sharing an outlook and a vision was key to making this all possible.” Co-director and Treasurer Tom Heller On the Brink

“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.” Chief Executive Andrew Phillips, Parchment Trust

“Danny at Charity Bank was brilliant. He understood that paperwork would take longer as I needed to listen to it rather than read it. We’re now looking at a new project – to build a community of homes that will enable blind and partially sighted people to live independently. And we’re talking to Danny about that too.” Anne Royle, Founder of Pathfinder Dogs

"We genuinely didn’t believe that buying the property was achievable because we spoke to numerous people – financial advisors, companies, high-street banks and so on – and kept getting flat ‘no’s straight off. There were quite a few sleepless nights. But Charity Bank worked really closely with us to strengthen our application before it went to the underwriters. They were with us every step of the way.” Megan Morris, Finance Manager at Ruby’s Fund

“Securing this loan from Charity Bank was a vital step in the progress of this project. In fact, without Charity Bank there would be no Sandford Hydro.” Adriano Figueiredo, Operations Director at Low Carbon Hub

I Stock 1408432914

“A high-street bank may not have been able to help us with what we were trying to achieve. With Charity Bank, the loan wasn’t just seen as a financial transaction; we discussed what we were doing and why we were doing it and it was clear that they supported us. We felt very comfortable working with Charity Bank.” Colin Waters, CEO of The Stable Family Home Trust

“We knew we needed to buy a property to ensure we weren’t priced out of the market. We chose Charity Bank for our loan because we wanted a financial partner that shared our values.” Nichole Herbert Wood, Co-Owner, Second Floor Studios & Arts

“We looked at several lenders but chose Charity Bank because of its understanding of the charity world and the needs of charities like ours. Whereas mainstream banks are often quite conservative and can have unreasonable demands, Charity Bank takes a view of the charity as a whole.” Operations Director Matthew Nice, St George’s Crypt

“Charity Bank was the only one that was genuinely helpful. Carolyn Sims came down to meet with us. She completely bought into what we offer and was really positive.” Rosie Bensley, CEO & Education Programme Director of Strength & Learning Through Horses

“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.” Charles Roberts, Chair, Stretham & Wilburton Community Land Trust

“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

Viktor forgacs f H Yzt Tc P Zv U unsplash

“It’s also important to us and our members to know that any money we receive is coming from an ethical source. We’re in the business of improving lives. With our repayments going to help others in the same way we have benefitted from Charity Bank funds, we are remaining in line with our mission.” Centre Manager Louise Walker Swindon Therapy Centre

“I'm very glad we went with Charity Bank. It’s been a brilliant partnership over the years. It’s always felt like we were talking to a real person; it never feels corporate. They take the time to understand what we do and who we are. It feels like we’re all working together.” Shaun Needham, CEO of Target Housing

“People are becoming much more aware of where they choose to put their money and who they invest in. It’s important as a charity for your donors and potential donors to see that you are responsible and ethical in all that you do.” Matthew Cornish, Fundraising and Development Manager, The Bevern 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, The Culture Trust, Luton

“There’s a social conscience to know where your coffee comes from; why shouldn’t it be the same when it comes to your money? It’s very easy, faced with all the difficulties in the world, to feel as though your actions are inconsequential – but in fact the opposite is true. You might only have £5 to save, but you can choose where you save it and how it gets used. You can become part of a bigger movement through saving with an ethical bank like Charity Bank; that’s a very empowering thing.” Sandra Schembri, CEO, The House of St Barnabas

DSC 0559

The Light Church

“Jeremy Ince [Regional Manager of the North Lending Team] is really easy to work with. He did a great job of explaining everything, he was very friendly and nothing was ever too much bother. If we needed anything, we could just pick up the phone or drop him an email. Plus, Charity Bank’s rates are good, which is obviously important as we’re a charity.” Matt Barlow, Lead Pastor at the Light Church

“When a property is owned by a charity, loan providers aren’t interested. Without the loan, we couldn't have built the extension, so I'm really glad we found Charity Bank!” Milton Rodosthenous, custodial trustee of The Twelve Apostles church

“We are a social enterprise and working with a social lender has been important to us. Mainstream banks are looking for existing models with proven outcomes and structures. Charity Bank is different and understands how we operate and the importance of the enduring impact we are trying to make.” Managing Director Ian Bright Totnes Renewable Energy Society

“The journey that Charity Bank has walked with TLG is astounding. With Charity Bank’s support we turned our local youth centre into a national education charity.” Tim Morfin, Chief Executive of TLG

“We felt as trustees that it was our responsibility to regenerate the village… I’d heard about Charity Bank and decided it was the best option for us as a charity. We met with Peter Hughes from Charity Bank several times to discuss the loan. It’s been so helpful to have one point of contact.” Harvey Jennings, Chair of War Memorial Village Derby

AR D02839 018

Second Floor Studios & Arts

“Charity Bank has been with us every step of the way. It’s been a very comfortable working relationship. Lee’s approach and ‘down to earthness’ was really appreciated. It felt like he was a colleague – part of the team that was making this all happen.” Jane Pattinson, Chief Executive of Watford Mencap

“And a huge thank you to Charity Bank savers! With their help, we’re now able to support over 100 vulnerable people with their housing needs, as well as supporting the wider community with vital services.” Chief Corporate Officer, Jill Law, YMCA Black Country

"The communication has been fantastic. I’d fully recommend Charity Bank to other organisations in the voluntary sector. We felt really supported throughout the whole process.” Jon Metcalfe, Deputy Chief Executive of YMCA Together

“We felt that commercial banks were just looking at the transaction. Charity Bank see us as a partner, not just a client.” Paul Setterfield, Executive Director of Finance & Resources at YMCA Thames Gateway

I Stock 591985500

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 £350m 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.