Client Bank Accounts and Interest Policy
Client Bank Accounts
We hold our client account funds in accordance with the Solicitor Account Rules with Banks regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Payment to Clients of Monies in Lieu of Interest
It is the Firm’s policy to achieve a fair outcome for clients in relation to the payment of monies in lieu of interest on any funds held on their behalf. A copy of this Policy is displayed on the Firm’s website. This Policy is reviewed from time to time and at least annually by the Firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration and Directors.
Client monies are held in instant access accounts separate from the Firm’s money. Sums paid to clients in lieu of interest are calculated based on the rate of interest payable by the Firm’s Primary Bank on client designated instant access accounts and applied to cleared funds. Monies in lieu of interest will normally be calculated and paid at the conclusion of a matter.
If sums of money are held in relation to separate matters for the same client, monies relating to the different matters will normally be treated separately.
The Firm operates a ‘de minimis’ rule whereby monies in lieu of interest not exceeding £50 are not credited to clients, as it is considered that the administrative burden of dealing with any such payments exceeds the payment itself; the ‘de minimis’ is regularly reviewed.
The Firm will not pay monies in lieu of interest:
Monies in lieu of interest are paid to clients without deduction of tax, accordingly it is the responsibility of clients to account to HM Revenue & Customs for any tax due thereon. If, at clients’ request, monies are held in separate designated client accounts, banks will credit interest directly to the accounts and HM Revenue & Customs will treat interest arising on such monies as belonging to the client and require banks to deduct tax at source from that interest (subject to the tax status of the individual clients).
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
If the Banks in which the Firm holds client funds should fail the Firm reserves the right to disclose to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) the names and other details of clients whose money is held there in order for those clients to claim compensation up to the applicable limit from time to time. The Firm will not be liable for any excess over the prevailing FSCS limit. The Firm will not be liable to clients or any Third Party for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any act, omission, fraud, delay, negligence, insolvency or default of any Bank, Financial Institution, clearing or payment system nor that of the Directors, Officers, Employees, Agents or Representatives of any of the foregoing.
If clients believe that monies in lieu of interest were due and have not been paid, or that any amount paid was insufficient, they may complain to the Firm and, if that complaint is not resolved to their satisfaction, to the Legal Ombudsman (please see a copy of the Firm’s Complaints policy for further information on making complaints).