RECEIPT OF CLIENTS MONIES
As a solicitors practice we are subject to strict regulations relating to the receipt of and dealing with monies for and on behalf of clients. The directors are dedicated to ensuring the highest level of service and with this in mind it is important for clients to understand the scope of the obligations we are subject to in order to ensure that our compliance with those obligations in relation to money laundering does not affect your transaction or matter.
Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 dictate the people from whom and the manner in which we can receive monies on behalf of a client. This policy sets out who can send us monies, how they can send / transmit it and from where it can be sent.
1. WHO CAN GIVE US MONEY
We can only accept money from Clients whom have provided us with evidence of their identity and proof of their residence. We require appropriate photographic ID (passport, driving licence, or armed forces ID) AND a utility bill not more than 3 months old. Mobile phone bills are not acceptable. We are required to see the originals of the identity documents and NOT photocopies.
2. FROM WHERE MONIES CAN BE SENT
Monies must originate from a Bank or Building Society Account of the client and NOT from anyone else. If you wish a third party to pay us funds then we will require from that person the same evidence of their identity that we require from the client (1 above) AND a copy of the Bank Statement from where the monies are being sent to us.
3. HOW CAN MONIES BE SENT
Monies can be paid by post via Cheque or by bank transfer (either BACS or CHAPS) from your Bank or Building Society Account. Where you pay a cheque drawn from your Building Society we are required to take a copy of the pass book to validate that it has been drawn from your account and not some other persons account.
We cannot take cash save for small amounts less than £250 and the total amount of cash we can accept on any matter is £500.
4. PAYMENTS INTO OUR ACCOUNT AT A BRANCH OF HSBC
You must NOT under any circumstance pay cash or cheques into our account at a branch of Santander Plc.
If you do there are several adverse consequences namely:-
- The clearance time for a cheque raises from 5 working days to 9 working days due to the manner in which such payments are processed.
- We are obliged to ensure that the cheque is actually from your Bank Account. Accordingly we need sight of the cheque and until we see the cheque we cannot utilise the money. Unless you take a copy of it you will have to ask your Bank to copy it and send it to you when they honour it. This will take some time - up to 3 weeks in some cases during which period the funds cannot be used.
- If cash is paid in then we are unable to verify its source. If it is over £250 then we cannot use it nor can we give it back to you and we have to report the matter to The National Crime Agency (NCA).
5. REPORTS TO National Crime Agency
Money Laundering is monitored / investigated by NCA - The National Crime Agency which is a police body. If any breaches of the money laundering regulations arise we are required to notify them of the circumstance which they investigate and make a judgement upon. We cannot tell you that we have reported a matter but we can tell you that under money Laundering Regulations until the matter is cleared with them any monies paid into our account in breach of the regulations cannot be utilised nor can it be returned to you unless the source of the funds is validated.
6. FAILURE TO COMPLETE AND THE LOSSES YOU MAY SUFFER
Needless to say the above matters may lead your matter being delayed. This practice cannot be held responsible for any losses, charges or expenses you suffer or incur if you fail to adhere to the rules regarding payments into our account. It is the Directors’ policy to work hard to identify the risks faced by them and their business and make arrangements to ensure that the chances of those risks becoming a reality are minimised. The Directors believe that risk cannot be eliminated but it can be actively managed.
This policy has been formulated in order to address Principle 8 and SRA Code of Conduct.