08/12/10

By Claire West

According to the latest research by Fair Investment Company, charities are still massively unimpressed with their current savings providers, with a staggering 98 per cent saying they are unhappy with their savings account rate.

In June, our survey revealed 97 per cent were unhappy with their savings rates, in September it was 100 per cent, and now, it is 98 per cent; Julie Smith, head of savings at Fair Investment Company says nothing's changed so it is not surprising that charities are still despondent.

"Charities have been getting a raw deal when it comes to savings for months now. While all savings rates are low, it is charities, businesses and other groups that are suffering the most, and that is something we want to try and change."

And it seems charities are at a loss as to why they are being offered such poor rates in comparison, with one respondent to the survey saying: "I do not understand why the high interest rate savings accounts for individuals are not available for charities," and another suggesting the banks may consider charities to be "easy pickings that will enhance their profits."

Not only are charity savings account rates low, but they are still falling. In June, the average instant access account was 0.57%, in June it was 0.39%, and now it is just 0.27%. Even fixed rates are poor — the average 12 month bond is offering just 1.65%, this compared to the average rate on a personal 12 month bond, which is 2.66%.

Another respondent to the survey said he could not understand, in the present economic climate, why higher rates cannot be given for charity savers.

"Businesses are crying out for money so that they can get on with their work. The banks do not seem keen to lend money- the fat cats keep taking bonuses out, surely there is a happy medium where each can help the other without breaking anyone?" he said.

Julie says she understands charities' anger. "It really is not good enough," she said. "Charities are non profit organisations, desperately trying to make the most of the reduced donations they are getting (charitable giving fell by 11.4% last year) but with rates like this, they are barely earning anything on their deposits.

"We could see that there was not enough help out there for charities and decided to do something about it."

Julie says that although there are countless comparison services available to individuals looking for a better deal, there was nothing for charities, which is why Fair Investment Company decided to launch its charity savings accounts comparison service.

"Our service compares a range of different accounts, from 7 day notice accounts to 12 month bonds.Through our service, charities can get up to 4.10% on three year fixed rate accounts and up to 2.00% on 9 month fixed rates."