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Grant FAQs

About the Bank Workers Charity grants

  • Is the grants process means-tested?

    Yes, whilst each case will be reviewed on its own merits, BWC will use the Household Below Average Income (HBAI) 100% median income figure after tax and household costs to assess an application for support. The 100% median figure, provided by the Department of Work and Pensions is reviewed and updated annually, usually in July.

    BWC would also consider any savings and can support eligible applicants with financial assistance where they have savings of less than £16,000* and can demonstrate they are experiencing financial hardship as a result of an unforeseen event.

    *This limit would increase where there are dependent children by £3,000 per child.


  • What can the Bank Workers Charity grants cover?

    Grants are financial support for those who have experienced some unforeseen event outside of their control, which has resulted in a drop in income or sudden increased expenditure.

    BWC recognise that people’s needs are varied and an unexpected event has the potential to disrupt even the best laid plans, so there isn’t a definitive list of circumstances under which you can apply.

    Subject to application form and assessment, they may be able to provide support with:

    • Short term costs, such as general living expenses
    • Long term costs, such as disability aids or home adaptations
    • Respite breaks for carer or person being cared for, or both
    • Transport costs, such as hospital or treatment facility visits
    • Funeral expenses

    Check out our client stories for more examples.

  • What is the Bank Workers Charity unable to fund?

    Examples where BWC would not provide support are as follows:

    • Personal debt repayment
    • Retrospective expenses or items already purchased
    • Maintaining business activities after start-up, such as cash flow injections
    • Private medical fees
    • Financial assistance where someone has overspent on non-essential items and could not pay essential bills i.e. they had not had a change of circumstances which had triggered their financial situation
    • A fine e.g. parking ticket, legal charge or legal costs (including wills)
    • Car expenses particularly ongoing costs (tax, insurance)
    • Situations where statutory funding is available or repayment of state benefits
    • Pure home improvements; however essential repairs may be eligible if relating to independent living, safety and security for disabled or the elderly
    • Legal fees
  • Is there a requirement to repay the grant?

    No, the grant is non-repayable.

  • How long do I have to have worked at a bank to apply for a grant?

    The level of banking service will be taken into account as part of assessing access to services and financial assistance. BWC aims to prioritise support for those clients in necessitous circumstances with a solid background in the banking industry.

    Their banking service criteria is made up of four elements:

    a)         Confirmation of having worked for a bank incorporated in the UK (Bank of England list)

    b)         Length of service

    c)         Previous or current employee

    The level of banking service will be taken into account as part of assessing services and financial assistance. BWC aims to prioritise support for those clients in need with a marked background in the banking industry and we are unlikely to agree a grant for someone with less than a year's banking employment.
    However we would encourage anyone to contact us as there may be additional financial support they can help them access.

Applying for a grant

  • How do I apply?

    If you think you’re eligible and want to make an application, call BWC on 0800 0234 834. The helpline is open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

    If you would rather not call, you can chat to someone from BWC via Live Chat at www.bwcharity.org.uk (same hours as the helpline) or complete an online enquiry form on their website.

    You will be asked for proof that you are working or have worked for a bank in the UK, which would take the form of a payslip, pension statement or evidence from HMRC.

  • How much can I apply for?

    BWC will review your individual circumstances and needs and, if you are eligible, a grant will be awarded that will reflect your need. The average grant awarded by BWC is just under £1,000 but that does not mean that grants above or below this amount will not be approved.

  • What is the definition of 'dependents'?

    Dependents include:

    • Spouse/partners - Partners who are married, in civil partnerships or co-habiting.
    • Children - Children (including adopted children) under the age of 18.
    • Adult dependent children - Children over the age of 18 who are deemed to have long-term physical, mental or learning difficulties.
    • Separated couples - Consideration may be given if the non-banking individual is separated or in the process of divorce from the ‘bank colleague’ and has sole custody of children.
    • Divorced couplesThe Bank Workers Charity may be able to help individuals who are divorced from the ‘banking colleague’, if they are in receipt of their bank pension.
  • What is the application process?

    When you contact BWC, an adviser will talk to you to fully understand your situation. They may be able to do this immediately or they may arrange for a suitable time to speak to you. If it looks like you may be eligible for a grant they will send you a form to complete.

    BWC are not an emergency service but they will use their judgement where the case may be urgent for example, someone being made homeless and in exceptional cases, assessments can take place the same day subject to client adviser availability.

    BWC will ask for evidence of your income and some of your expenditure and that you currently work or have worked for a bank in the UK.

    The adviser will take a holistic approach to exploring your circumstances before establishing what financial or other support may be appropriate. They may suggest other ways BWC can help you, for example to external sources of support like Relate. These are services funded by BWC.

  • What evidence will be required to support my application?

    There are three types of evidence required to support your application as below:

    Proof of banking service – BWC would accept one of the following:

    • A Payslip, P60 or P45
    • An email from current bank email address
    • A permanent or fixed term contract which shows the name of the bank as your employer
    • A pension statement or letter

    In extreme cases, for example, for former employees where no documentation is available, applicants can complete an HMRC document to request confirmation of employment history. In these cases, BWC would usually process the grant whilst waiting for letter from HMRC. For more information or to access the application form, visit the dedicated HMRC webpage here.

    Proof of income – BWC would require one or a combination of the below:

    • Bank statement (2/3 months) (this may show all income so other proof not needed)
    • Payslip
    • Pension statement
    • Benefits confirmation
    • Accounts (if self-employed)

    Proof of key household related outgoings:

    • Water bill
    • Rent/mortgage (inc ground rent/service charge)
    • Council tax/rates

    If the grant is for something specific, BWC would also expect to see the bill/invoice outlining their liability or two quotes outlining the likely cost.

    If the grant is for equipment, BWC would expect medical confirmation it is appropriate for their condition (or in some cases may be able to arrange an Occupational Therapist). 

  • Are there any eligibility exclusions based on salary?

    No, there may be legitimate reasons why someone who is relatively higher paid may also be in hardship, and so we would not set any eligibility exclusions based solely on salary. The scheme would consider someone’s income but also their key expenditure (mortgage/rent etc) so a colleague may have high income but if they have a significant expenditure they may still be considered as eligible for support.
  • I am currently working for the Bank on a fixed term contract, am I eligible to apply for support?

    Yes, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

  • Will my employer know that I have applied for support?

    No, applications are completely confidential. BWC will not share any personal information.

  • Will BWC carry out a credit check?

    No, BWC do not carry out credit or reference checks to process applications.

  • If I am eligible for a grant how long will this take to be processed and how will it be received?

    The processing of agreed grants can vary depending on their complexity but on average it takes about ten working days once you’ve submitted your application form and required evidence. Payments for any goods or services would be made directly to the provider upon receipt of an invoice and financial assistance payments would be made directly to the applicant by BACS. Any BACS payments would appear with the reference 'BWC-Payment' or 'BBF-Payment'.

  • How will I be notified of the outcome of my application?

    In most cases individuals are initially contacted by phone to inform them of the outcome, and to confirm bank details for making payment. This will be followed up by an email (or letter) to confirm the details of the grant. If individuals are not available by phone an email will be sent.

  • How would funds be transferred in the situation where the applicant may not have a bank account, for example in the circumstance of domestic abuse?

    If an individual does not have a bank account, BWC would explore various options with them. They would look at whether they are able to set up their own bank account or they may pay the landlord/provider/supplier directly if possible, or provide vouchers depending on the item to be purchased. BWC may also explore if there is a trusted third party who could receive the payment on the individual’s behalf. These conversations would all be applicant led to explore ways around that would suit the individual’s situation.
  • Do I have to be UK National to apply?

    No, individuals don’t have to be UK national to apply but their banking service should be based in the UK.

  • Would sabbaticals or any periods of paid or unpaid leave impact the length of service eligibility?

    No, your length of service continues during periods of paid and unpaid leave.

  • My colleague received a grant but I didn't and we earn the same salary

    We recognise everyone’s circumstances are different, and all grant applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • I've been declined a grant - can I appeal?

    There is no appeals process for grant decisions. If an individual feels the grant was not dealt with in line with process or inappropriately they can make a complaint via BWC’s complaints policy.

  • How many times can I receive a grant from BWC? Is there a limit?

    Grants are designed to support individuals with one-off financial events. However, we do recognise that over time people’s situations can change. If you find yourself facing difficulty a second time you can contact BWC again. BWC will take previous grant awards into account when considering further applications.

  • I’m currently under notice of redundancy/resignation, can I still get support?

    Yes, redundancy would be considered an unexpected event which may cause unexpected financial difficulties for an individual.

    Any redundancy payments would be classed as savings and BWC would discuss with the individual how they are utilising this for example if they are using to pay off all their debts etc.

  • If I receive a grant could there be an impact with regard to any other means tested benefits that I currently receive?

    You should be aware that these grants may impact your benefit entitlements. Due to the personal nature of individual benefit claims we are unable to give any detailed guidance so please refer to the guidance and information on GOV.UK regarding benefits and reporting a change of circumstances here.

  • Can BWC offer support for people whose first language is not English?

    Yes, BWC can offer support subject to availability and where necessary, can do this through an interpreter service like Language Line.

Feedback and complaints

  • How can I give feedback about the service I have received?

    We encourage your comments and any complaints because your views will help us to review and continuously improve the service. To capture your views, BWC will send a client feedback form to colleagues where they have provided support or information.

  • How do I make a complaint?

    A complaint can be made verbally or, preferably, in writing to any BWC staff and in particular frontline staff with whom you have direct contact. Complaints must be made within six months of the incident occurring.  BWC will endeavour to resolve your complaint immediately. However, if this is not possible, your complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and will be passed on to the appropriate manager, who will investigate and send a written reply within ten working days. Further information regarding can be found in BWC’s complaints policy.

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