Report Launch: Financial Access for Nonprofit Organizations

February 7, 2017




Financial Access for Nonprofit Organizations:
An Evidence Base for Policy Action



Sue Eckert

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security; and Adjunct
Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve Law School

Financial Access Overview

In recent years, access to financial services has become increasingly difficult for civil society organizations that must conduct international financial transactions in order to operate overseas where their work is needed most. Financial institutions may delay, or refuse to make, transfers between organizations. Sometimes, nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are turned away as customers or have their accounts closed.

Webcast Available

 Financial Access
 for Nonprofits


Did you miss our February 7 report launch at CSIS? You can now view the webcast of both the panel discussion and the Q&A.
Speakers included:

Sue Eckert, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security; and Adjunct Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve Law School

Emile van der does de Willebois, Global Lead, Financial Market Integrity & Asset Recovery, World Bank Group

Michael Pisa, Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development  

Scott Paul, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisory, Oxfam America

Moderated by:

Shannon N. Green. Senior Fellow and Director, Human Rights Initiative, CSIS

Webcast available here


Two-Thirds of U.S. Nonprofits Have Financial Access Difficulties, New C&SN Report Finds

The scope and prevalence  of challenges that U.S.-based nonprofits face in accessing financial services are far more vast than previously understood, according to a comprehensive new report by the Charity & Security Netowrk, Financial Access for U.S. Nonprofits.

Two-thirds of U.S.-based nonprofits working abroad are facing problems accessing financial services, the report finds. These include delays in wire transfers, account closures and account refusals, requests for unusual additional documentation, and inccreased fees. 

The report is based on the first-ever empirical study of the global phenomenon known as "derisking," as it relates to U.S.-based NPOs. The report also reflects information from a number of focus group sessions and interviews with stakeholders over the last year. 

Read more

FATF Issues Guidance on Correspondent Banking Services

October 21, 2016

In a guidance document issued October 21, 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) advises financial institutions that may terminate or restrict business relationships with entire countries or classes of customer in order to avoid, rather than manage, risks in line with the FATF’s risk-based approach (RBA), a practice known as de-risking. Although the guidance is focused on correspondent banking and does not address the financial access plight of nonprofit organizations (NPOs), it does have implications for NPOs' ability to access banking services. 

Banking Woes of NPOs Highlighted in World Bank/ACAMS De-Risking Report

October 18, 2016

The financial access problems faced by nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are a significant part of the findings from a workshop hosted last summer by the World Bank and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). The report, Stakeholder Dialogue on De-risking: Findings and Recommendations, summarizes the main findings of the May 31-June 1 meeting as well as the recommendations made by participants. These recommendations are simply a reflection of the discussion rather than any endorsement by the World Bank or ACAMS.