Client interest policy
We will pay interest on monies held in our general client account if it is fair and reasonable to do so in all the circumstances. This will be determined by the general terms and conditions of the bank the firm has a business relationship with at the time monies are held. At the time of the preparation of this Policy the nominated bank is: National Westminster Bank Plc. It is also reflected in other factors determined important to the safe and proper handling of client money, for example: security of funds; access to funds; flexibility of service benefits.
Separate designated deposit accounts
If circumstances dictate that money needs to be held in a separate bank account, designated to an individual client, the client will be informed of the interest rate at the time of opening the account. All interest earned on that account will be credited directly to that account for the benefit of the client. Again, the payment of interest will be determined by the general terms and conditions of the nominated bank and account benefits.
When interest will not be paid
We will not pay interest on the following:
- Monies held for the payment for a professional disbursement (i.e. Council expert fees etc.) if the payee has requested a delay in settlement
- On an advance from Kirbys Solicitors to fund a payment on behalf of a client or trust in excess of funds held for that client or trust
- If there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this Policy
- If the amount calculated is £100.00 or less (this figure will be regularly reviewed in the light of current interest rates).
The SRA Accounts Rules require that money held in client account must be immediately available, even at the sacrifice of interest, unless the client instructs otherwise, or the circumstances clearly indicate that it is not appropriate. We are therefore obliged to hold client money in an instant access account and the rate of interest earned reflects that. The rate may not be as much as might be obtained if the client invested the money themselves, but we aim to pay a fair rate in accordance with the current market. The rate of interest will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is still appropriate. This will be undertaken with the input of the firm’s nominated bank advisor: Tracey Palmer, Relationship Manager, Business Banking, National Westminster Bank, 25 High Row, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7QP (support line number: 0345 7114477).
Any interest credited will be made on a monthly basis, up to date of termination of instruction. We will usually account to the client for interest at the conclusion of the matter, but if it is appropriate we may account to the client at intervals throughout our retainer.
If we hold money jointly, interest earned on the account will be for the benefit for the client unless otherwise agreed. If money is held jointly with another practice, the allocation of the interest earned will depend on the agreement reached for that deposit.
If we hold money as a stakeholder we must pay interest to the person to whom the stake is paid, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.