Frequently Asked Questions

These notes provide information about the Anchor Savings Account and how it relates to the work of the Scottish Community Re-Investment Trust (SCRT). They do not provide financial advice.

Further information on the general terms and conditions applicable to all Airdrie Savings Bank’s accounts can be found at savings terms and conditions.

As part of the general ‘thrift’ movement prevalent in the 19th century, Airdrie Savings Bank was founded in Scotland in January 1835. For most of its history, the bank has concentrated on looking after customers’ savings as a community based bank. During the last 30 years it has widened its range of services to encompass lending and general banking services for personal and business customers throughout Scotland and beyond. It places an emphasis on strong personal service supported by modern infrastructure and technology. Personal service takes precedence over everything else.

Airdrie Savings Bank is the last remaining independent savings bank in Britain. It has no shareholders and is governed by a Board of unremunerated trustees, appointed to represent the interests of depositors and to ensure that the bank is managed prudently and efficiently. Having no shareholders, the bank does not need to pay dividends and any surpluses are reinvested in the bank. The bank is a significant employer in its area of operation and plays an active role in the local economy through its head office and eight branches.

The bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Key members of staff and trustees must be approved by the regulators.

SCRT, the Scottish Community Re-Investment Trust is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. SCRT is the apex of a movement to develop the financial capability of the third sector in Scotland within the framework of a just financial system of shared values. This will allow the third sector, its supporters and stakeholders to invest in its own renewal and development, rather than depend on others or a trend towards commercialisation to support it.

It is a member led charity whose founding members include Penumbra, CEIS, Ekopia, Senscot, and two independent trustees, one of whom is chair of the board.

The first leg of SCRT’s work is a relationship with Airdrie Savings Bank to offer banking services to the third sector and its stakeholders.

The Anchor Savings Account is a term deposit account open initially to independent third sector organisations, their co-workers, trustees and members.

Three savings’ periods are available: 30 days’ notice; 90 days’ notice; and 1 year fixed term.

Airdrie Savings Bank does not rely on the wholesale money markets to finance its lending activities. It lends customers’ money largely within the small business community and for responsible property development in Scotland. As a community based bank it now wishes to build its relationships with the third sector through general banking services as well as lending. Growing levels of deposits in the Anchor Savings Account will support this.

The interest rates payable on deposits in the Anchor Savings Account are on a par with the bank’s other retail savings accounts. Its business model is different to the large mainstream banks. Airdrie Savings Bank operates in the real economy and does not seek to make profit from financial speculation. Its unlent balances have to be placed with a small list of counterparties including the Bank of England, approved by the regulators and on which it earns currently next to nothing. As a community based bank with an overriding emphasis on customer service, it tries to pay what it considers to be a just and sustainable financial return rather than a market leading return.

Airdrie Savings Bank provides a socially responsible home for your savings where you can know they are working in line with your values.

Although Airdrie Savings Bank is 180 years old, it has only more recently undertaken a prudent programme of expansion and profile raising. The Anchor Savings Account is very new, launched only at the end of 2014.

Airdrie Savings Bank does not offer targeted accounts. As a bank, it must decide where it lends its money based upon detailed due diligence and risk appetite. However, as deposits grow within the Anchor Savings Account, the bank will have more capacity to provide affordable low risk loans to the third sector.

Both Airdrie Savings Bank and SCRT will post information on their respective websites. SCRT will also provide a newsletter updating everyone interested.

There can be no guarantee that all borrowers will pay back their loans within the agreed terms. Airdrie Savings Bank is in the same position as any other lending institution in that respect. However, the bank has a successful 180 year track record. As a matter of prudential management, it maintains a loan loss reserve sufficient to cover the anticipated risk of loss in the portfolio. All lending is assessed rigorously and money is not lent to applicants that the bank does not think are sustainable or where the loan might put the borrower or its beneficiaries at risk. The bank has a relatively low risk profile and as an authorised bank is required to keep its lending within prudential limits.

Airdrie Savings Bank is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. In respect of deposits, an eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000 in the event that a bank is unable to meet its financial obligations. The Scheme covers individuals, unincorporated trusts and organisations, as well as smaller incorporated third sector organisations. For more detailed information on eligibility refer to the FSCS website, or call the bank on 01236 766 851.

If you are an eligible organisation or an individual aged over 16, you can open an account online at link or in person at one of the bank’s branches.

Yes there are limits. The upper limit across all of the Anchor Savings Account period options (30 days’ notice, 90 days’ notice and 1 year fixed term) is £1 million. For 30 days’ notice the minimum initial deposit is £100. For 90 days’ notice and 1 year fixed, the minimum initial deposit is £1,000.

Interest is calculated on the daily account balance.

You can make unlimited withdrawals without penalty provided you keep to the terms of the account. In the case of notice accounts you will be required to provide the bank with at least 30 days or 90 days notice of withdrawal. The 1 year fixed deposit will mature automatically on the anniversary of the deposit. If you need to break the terms of the deposit you may have to pay a penalty. It is best to discuss this with the bank once you have identified such a need.

Yes, up to the overall upper limit of £1 million.

Yes, you can donate your interest to charity. As SCRT is a registered Scottish charity you can donate your interest to SCRT. If you are a taxpayer you may be eligible for tax relief and able to gift aid your donation.

If you believe that the ethos of Airdrie Savings Bank chimes with your values, then get in touch with the bank via the website, or give them a call on 01236-766851 and discuss your needs. They enjoy listening.