Client Money Handling Policy
Definition of a Client
Any person, firm, trust, body corporate or other organisation that is a client of an RICS-regulated firm.
RICS Client Money Handling 1st Edition October 2019.
Definition of Group
Fexco Property Services Limited or any direct or indirect subsidiary of Fexco Property Services Limited.
Definition of Client Money
Money of any currency (whether in the form of cash, cheque, draft or electronic transfer) that:
- A Group company holds for or receives on behalf of another person.
- Is not immediately due and payable on demand to a Group company for its own account, but
- excluding fees paid in advance for professional work agreed to be performed, and clearly identifiable as such, unless the fees are for work undertaken as a property agent as defined by the Rules of the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme for Property Agents.
RICS Client Money Handling 1st Edition October 2019.
Holding Client Money
- All client money held or received by Group is banked into a general client bank account which holds pooled client money for multiple clients. Group retains exclusive control of all client money accounts held with NatWest (Financial Services Register number: 12188) or Barclays (Financial Services Register number: 759676) who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
- As a long-term RICS member, our firm maintain multiple client money accounts into which all client money is paid. Group ensures that all client money accounts are designated as such and easily distinguished from other accounts. Clients are advised the details of which account their money is held in.
- Group confirms in writing with NatWest and Barclays that they acknowledge that monies held in any Client Money Account must not be combined with or transferred to, any other account maintained by Group, and they shall not be entitled to exercise any right of set up or counterclaim against money held in any Group Client Accounts in respect of any sum owed to them in respect of any other account by Group.
- Group keep records and accounts which show all dealings with Client Money and demonstrate that all client money held by the firm is held in a client money account.
- We repay any client money, including where feasible any interest earned, without delay if there is no longer any requirement to retain that money or the relevant client requests it.
- Notional or actual balances held in client current accounts may be brought into a pool for calculation of interest and/or commission, depending on the arrangement with the bank. Where this is applicable Group may retain such commission and/or interest.
- Group holds and maintains Professional Indemnity Insurance cover that is appropriate to our size, income, type of work and amount of client money held.
Treatment of Funds – Receipts
- Our Client Finance team at Group log all client monies received the next working day and allocate, where possible, to the appropriate client ledgers.
- Cheques are generally received to the Group head office and are banked usually within 1 week of receipt. Cheques are stored securely in the relevant office until banked.
- Any deposit accounts which are in receipt of interest accruing from client deposits are payable to the client.
- In the event that we receive surplus client money in a client account, we follow RICS best practice and ensure that all efforts are made to trace clients or owners of the money, hold the surplus in a client suspense account, and hold it for at least 3 years.
Treatment of Funds – Payments
- Group will only use each client’s money only for that client’s matters.
- Payments to clients are initiated as soon as possible once there is no longer any reason to retain those funds.
- All payments from client money accounts are made to or on behalf of a client and on that client’s written instructions or as agreed in the management agreement. Before payments are made checks and controls are in place to ensure there are sufficient funds in place before making any payment from any client account.
- Any banking maintenance and UK transactional banking costs are settled by Group and a nominal charge to each client account to cover the costs.
- Payments are set-up by our Client Finance team and approved by a Senior Manager of the Group through a banking platform. Where payments are made by cheque, two signatures are required in accordance with the bank mandate if over £10,000.
- Changes to bank payment details are requested in writing from a known email address belonging to the client and may be followed by a confirming telephone call.
Treatment of Funds – Records and Controls
- Bank reconciliations are completed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis on all accounts. Bank reconciliations are reviewed weekly by a principal or senior staff member of Group.
- Group ensures that accounting records and systems are appropriate to the nature and volumes of client account transactions. The systems used provide details of all money received, paid and balances held by Group in client money accounts.
- In the unlikely event that a client account becomes overdrawn, the balance of the overdrawn funds are immediately transferred from the Group accounts. An investigation into the control failures is carried out with a senior staff member and rectification of the issue is completed as soon as possible. Controls and processes are reviewed to avoid client accounts becoming overdrawn for the same reason.
- Group accounting systems and client data are suitably protected by internal controls alongside firewalls, back-ups and disaster recovery.
Information provided to Clients
- The details of where client monies are held are detailed in the relevant service charge accounts.
- Bank Statements will be provided if requested.