This document is to be taken as the Firm’s written procedures for Handling Client Money in accordance with RICS Regulation, RICS Client Money Protection Scheme and the Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents (Approval and Designation of Schemes) Regulations 2018.
Copies of the above documents are available on request.
The aim of these procedures is to ensure that client money is held in accordance with Rule 8 of the RICS Rules of Conduct, which states:
- A Firm shall preserve the security of clients’ money entrusted to its care in the course of its practice or business.
General Procedures and Controls
- All client money is held in a client money account with a bank authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Acknowledgement is held from the bank that client monies will not be combined with any other account maintained by the firm, and that the bank is not entitled to exercise any right of set-off.
- Clients will be notified of the account name, bank sort code and account number for the account into which their client money has been deposited.
- The bank account will be titled “Gould Property Consultants LLP Client No _ account” to distinguish it from any other.
- Partners oversee all client accounts, but do not override controls surrounding the accounting system.
Client Accounting Systems and Controls
- Accounting records are completed chronologically with details of all money received into and paid from client accounts and show a running balance of client money held in that account, details of which can be requested at any time.
- Monthly bank reconciliations are reviewed by a partner of the firm. Any unresolved differences are fully investigated and promptly rectified.
All monies held in a client account are available on demand.
- Controls are in place to ensure that client money is repaid when there is no longer any requirement to hold it.
- Controls are in place to ensure that unidentified client funds are kept securely. The client will be located and reimbursed as soon as possible. Such funds held for more than three years will be donated to a registered charity.
- Client accounting records, including copies of reconciliations, are securely kept for six years.
Receipt of Clients Money
- All receipts are banked into a client account within 3 working days, and are kept secure until deposited.
- Fees received in advance for professional work are paid into a client account pending completion of the work. These however are not covered by the Client Money Protection Scheme.
- Bank charges will be paid by the firm unless otherwise agreed in our Conditions of Engagement.
- Bank interest will be paid as agreed in our Conditions of Engagement.
Payment of Clients Money
- All monies will be used only for the client’s matters.
- Controls are in place to ensure that all payments are in accordance with instructions agreed with the client.
- Adequate authorisation and supervision procedures are in place for payments.
- Checks are made to ensure that sufficient funds are held on behalf of a client before payments are made.
- Written notification or an invoice will be issued to the client when fees are due and payable.