The network has a diverse relationship with many banks, investment funds, and service providers e.g. for electronic payments such as contactless collections and direct debit provision. There has been no joint relationship built and as a consequence many partners feel they receive a poor service from the institutions they interact with.
The complexity of modern finances mean that many have steered away from this and as a result we see many collecting cash from service users which then needs to be transported, counted, banked and accounted for which is expensive at every level.
We have been able to understand the needs and to start talking to key institutions in order to establish standard services and costs for the partners benefits.
If you would like any further information, want to share your experience, or get involved, please contact us on NetworkInfrastructure@ageuk.org.uk
Latest Update – 29/09/20
Money Money Money!
We know that many Partners do not have excess reserves and therefore wondering what to do with surplus funds is only a dream.
However for some they have the fortune to have reserves or to benefit from a large legacy. The decision on where and how to invest that money is one for management and Trustees but in the meantime what to do if you hold more than £85k? This is above the governments guarantee scheme so we have seen some partners have to spend considerable time and money managing multiple accounts as they scatter money across a number of institutions.
One Partner with this issue discovered the Flagstone platform via CAF Bank. This is a way of using one platform to do the hard work for you whilst providing better returns and a controlled reporting system.
Partners may wish to look at this as an alternative to spending their own team’s time trying to manage multiple accounts: www.cafonline.org/charities/savings/charity-deposit-platform
You can also approach Flagstone directly but they have a minimum investment requirement of £250k and set up fees that are avoided by the CAF route: www.flagstoneim.com
We know that both CAF and Flagstone would be delighted to offer demonstrations on how the platform works and if you would like to know more please contact us at NetworkInfrastructure@ageuk.org.uk
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Pre-Covid, we had met with a number of institutions to explore how they could offer competitively priced services for the network. Those discussions have been recently re-started and will be developed in the next few months.
One specific example surrounds the provision of direct debiting facilities. We have identified a supplier who acts for around 16 partners. They have offered a range of options for us which we now need to evaluate to identify how best to use their facilities.
We have identified a group of 15 partners who use the same direct debit origination facility and are now looking to work with them to identify how we can best use this facility. Once we have had the opportunity to see how partners are using this we will share the findings and also look at other providers.