ASIC responds to charity bank complaints
ASIC has teamed up with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) after more than 1,000 complaints were received from charities which were upset with the way in which banks interacted with them.
In a statement, the ACNC said charities were complaining about the way banks and other financial services providers have tried to verify their information. This has resulted in banks denying those charities loans and grants.
ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe said these problems were caused by changes in 2012 to the reporting requirements for charitable companies.
"Prior to the establishment of the ACNC, charitable companies limited by guarantee were required to lodge reports with ASIC or notify them of common changes," she said.
"However, this has not been the case for over three years now. Since the establishment of the ACNC in December 2012, charitable companies, which account for around 10 per cent of all registered charities, have been required to report to ACNC instead."
Ms Pascoe urged the banks to verify details on the ACNC charity register, and not the ASIC register.
Both the ACNC and ASIC will write to "dozens" of financial sector representatives with a new factsheet that explains why they need to change their work processes.
"We hope that once the message filters down within these organisations it will decrease the impost that charities are currently facing," Ms Pascoe said.
"While this may sound like a minor issue, it has put many charities under significant financial pressure. Over the last three years we have been made aware of hundreds of instances where charities have been denied loans and other financial assistance."
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