Opening a Bank Account

These instructions are based on an application to Co-op Bank, other banks may use slightly different wording. (Community Direct Account: )

Key Contact

Person who will be managing the account on a day-to-day basis, this is usually the person who maintains your units accounts.

Organisation Details

You must use the full name of your unit as listed on GO.  Your bank account name may be shorter, but the application is in the name of the unit.

The organisation start date is the date you held your first meeting and is shown in the unit details section of GO.

The registered address/correspondence address of the unit will be the address to which you want all the paperwork sending, not your meeting place.

Units are registered charities.  However, we do not have a charity number for each unit.  In this section write “see attached” and attach a copy of Girlguiding’s statement on charitable status.

Nature of Business

Use the charitable aims of Girlguiding:

To promote the education of girls and young women to help them develop emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually so that they can make a positive contribution to their community and wider world.

Financial Details

If you are asked about the set-up costs for your unit, it is fine to say the records no longer exist if it is more than 7 years since the unit was established.

Expected turnover is your budgeted income for the coming year, it can simply be subscriptions you anticipate collecting.  If there is space you can add that trips and fundraising may take place.

You will not have customers or suppliers so these can be answered as “Not Applicable”.

Tax Status

Your organisation is not resident outside the UK.

In most cases the unit will generate more than 50% of its income from subscriptions, provision of services (trips) and donations.

Personal Details

This is completed by “all individuals who have authority to make decisions on behalf of the organisation”.  This will be Leaders and Leaders in Training regardless of whether they have access to the account or not.  If you have an external signatory (e.g. Division Commissioner) as recommended in Girlguiding’s Finance Policy they need to be included in this section.

None of your leaders have a share in the business or voting rights.

Major Shareholders

No unit will have major shareholders or Stakeholders.

Banking Requirements

This is simply to establish whether you will be banking cash and cheques at a branch/post office.  It is better to say ‘yes’ to these questions, to leave your options open.

There is no need to complete the request for a deposit facility or change giving.

A cheque book and paying in book are useful to have, they can be requested as part of your banking requirements.

Documents You Must Provide

Rules and Constitution.  You can download a simple constitution that can be signed by the leaders of the unit here [Insert download – Sample Constitution].

You need a Certificate of Charitable Status from Girlguiding.  More information about our charitable status is available here:

You can request a certificate of Charitable Status from Membership Support Service at  You need to provide the name of the unit and the bank account signatories’ names and either their membership numbers or addresses.

As long as the signatories are active members on GO, Girlguiding can issue the certificate.  Once they have produced it, they will post to your preferred address.

Please note that as from 31 March 2021 all unit accounts require three signatories. 

Account Switching

To enable account switching, the account name and account signatories must be the same on both accounts.  If this will not be the case do not request this service, simply transfer the balance of your existing account across once the new account is open.

Online Banking

Once the account has been opened there is a form to complete online to apply for online banking, it is very simple and takes a few minutes to complete and email back.  You are then issued with security devices to log in online and instructions on how to download an app to your mobile device. ( )


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