First of all, we need to understand what a bank account is – see it as a wallet created by a financial institution at the request of a user to keep money. All money-ins and money-outs are also recorded in a financial statement.
Clubs, societies, and associations are organized groups of people with like interests. They have their financial sides that must be well-kept, and all activities are recorded by an appointed treasurer. The level of accountability required for this role is enormous, especially if the association or society is a big one with different revenues and levies.
This is where a bank account comes in. A bank account for a society, a club, or an association in Nigeria must be a current/checking account type as the CBN has since prohibited the opening of corporate/semi-corporate entities as savings account types.
This article will focus on how to open a bank account for a club, a society, or an association – regardless of what they stand for or their structure. We will also look at all the documentation required to set up the bank account within a short period.
Documents Required to Open a Club, Society, or Association Bank Account
Here is an expanded checklist of documents needed to open a bank account for a club, society, or an association:
Authorization Letter to Open Bank Account
The foremost document needed by a bank to open a bank account for a club, society, or association is an authorization letter from a presiding officer of the society/club/association to create the bank account.
If the association/club/society is formed within the premises of a proper corporate entity, the authorization letter must come from the presiding officer of the corporate entity. For instance, an association formed within a church must get an authorization letter from the presiding officer of the church agreeing to the creation of the bank account.
For clubs and societies that are stand-alone, the authorization letter must be endorsed by the overall president of the club/society.
This helps the bank/financial institution to confirm that the leadership of the society/club is in agreement to open the bank account.
The authorization letter must contain the following:
- The appointed signatories of the bank account
- The signing powers of the appointed signatories
- The signing mandate/arrangement of the signatories
Valid Identification of the Signatories
All the appointed signatories of the club, association, or society must present their government-issued valid ID cards and recent utility bills to the bank. In Nigeria, a government-issued valid can either be a:
- Voters’ Card
- International Passport
- Driver’s License
- National Identification Number (NIN)
Bank Verification Number (BVN) of Signatories
BVN is a unique 11-digit number used by banks/financial institutions in identifying people. All the appointed signatories MUST present their BVNs to the bank for an account to be created.
This is a serious requirement to open a bank account.
Proof of Address
This is very important to open a club or association bank account in Nigeria. A proof of address/utility bill is a receipt or invoice issued by a biller, showing the address of the user of the utility. The meeting point or verifiable secretariat of the association or club must be clearly stated in the utility bill being presented. The utility bill must be recent i.e, 1-3 months old.
Here are the types of utility bills in Nigeria:
- Telephone bill
- Tenancy agreement/rent receipt
- Electricity bill
- Water bill
- Land use charge (for Lagos only)
- Waste bill
Passport Photo(s) of Signatories
The proposed signatories of the association, society, or club to be opened must present their recent passport photos. The passport photo, preferably, should:
- Be clear
- No eyeglasses/sunshades
- No head-ties
- Lighting must be balanced, avoid glare
- Avoid laughing/frowning
- Show the signatory’s ears, neck, opened eyes, and face
Two (2) References
This is also very important in opening a club, association, or society bank account. The reference forms, to be provided by the bank, must be duly filled and signed both by the signatories of the proposed bank account, and the referee.
Here are some rules about reference forms:
- The referee account can be from any Nigerian commercial bank
- The referee’s bank account must be your account type or one that requires even more documentation to open. In this case, only an LLC, a Business Name (BN), a PLC, or another association/club can stand as a referee. Current account-holding individuals cannot stand as references for associations or clubs.
- A related party e.g., family member, self in another bank, etc. cannot stand as a reference
- A duly signed reference can only be valid for 6 months before the presentation
Constitution of the Association, Club, or Society
A constitution contains all the rules, guidelines, and regulations guiding the conduct of the members of the said body.
This document is extremely important in the account opening process, as the bank will go through the provided constitution to confirm if the activities of the association/club conform with the existing laws of the country.
Minutes of the Meeting
The association/club secretary must present a copy of the minutes of the meeting where the entire association agreed to create the said bank account. This is to confirm that the bank is not acting on the request of just a section of the club or association.
The minute should be signed by the association/club secretary and another officer.
Once all documents are in…
Well, here (above) is how to create a bank account for an association, a club, or a society.
It takes just 1 business day to create a bank account in Nigeria. Once all the documentation stated above has been received by the bank, the bank will then create a bank account carrying the preferred name of the association, club, or society.