We are required by our Regulator to provide certain information to our clients concerning client bank accounts so we thought we would put together this quick guide to do just that…
A general ‘client’ bank account is a bank account set up in the name of a professional firm but with the words ‘client account’ in its title. It usually holds money of several clients and is specially created for the purpose of holding client money on trust for the client whilst the money remains in the account. A client bank account is segregated from any other bank account held in the name of the professional firm. This means if the professional firm goes bust, the clients won’t lose their money.
We generally use our client account solely for receiving funds intended to pay professional fees and disbursements from our clients.
Local Isle of Man regulations mean that all client bank accounts must be held at ‘recognised’ banks. A recognised bank is a bank which holds a licence issued by the Financial Services Authority (‘FSA’) of the Isle of Man for deposit taking or certain other qualifying overseas banks (The FSA Rule Book provides a full definition of a recognised bank).
Our client accounts are held at one of the main clearing banks who are licensed in the Isle of Man.
In the event of a default of the bank where we hold our client accounts, clients’ monies will be pooled and each client will lose an equal proportion of their money. Any loss would be adjusted by the compensation arrangements in place.
If we held funds across multiple banks (we don’t) and only one bank failed then all client funds would be affected as the loss would be pro-rated across all the banks.
In relation to fiduciary services, please note that an account held in the name of your company, or as trustee of your trust, is not a client account. It is mandated to your company or the trustee of your trust and the company or the trustee is the legal owner of the money held in that account. As the money in these accounts is not classed as client money the details relating to pooling of money in client bank accounts (as detailed above) do not apply.
We do not pay interest in client account balances unless those balances exceed £10,000.