This document sets out Mark Liell & Son LLP’s procedures and processes for handling client money. Our controls and procedures have been designed to be in accordance with RICS Regulations and Guidance. Mark Liell & Son LLP is a member of the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme.

Definition of Client Money (RICS Client Money Handling 1st Edition, October 2019)

Clients’ money is money of any currency (whether in the form of cash, cheque, draft or electronic transfer) that:

  • A RICS regulated firm holds for or receives on behalf of another person including money held by a regulated firm as stakeholder and;
  • Is not immediately due and payable on demand to the RICS regulated firm for its own account.

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.

How and Where Client Money is held

All client monies held or received by Mark Liell are held in a designated discreet bank account set up to hold client money for a single client. The name of the client will be incorporated into the account name unless the client requests otherwise. Mark Liell & Son LLP do not have any general client bank accounts.

The bank accounts are held by a UK banking institution with a minimum rate of BBB+ which is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Access to Funds

Only Full Partners are signatories to client accounts and have the authority to make payments in excess of £10,000.

Only Full Partners can authorise bank mandate changes and authorise new signatories to client money accounts.

Timescales for Payments into Client Accounts

All cheques received by post are logged and banked promptly, usually within 3 working days of receipt and paid into the appropriate client account. Cheques are stored securely in the fireproof safe in the office until banked.

Any unallocated monies are reviewed regularly and any monies remaining unallocated for 28 days are returned to the sender, following approval by a partner.

Any unidentified funds are investigated as soon as possible. If it is not possible to identify what the monies relates to and if within 3 months no-one has claimed the monies, despite all avenues of investigation having been exhausted, we will ask the bank to return the payment. If it is not possible to return the payment, we will hold onto it for 3 years and thereafter donate it to a registered charity of our choice.

Authorisation of payments from a client account

All payments made from the client account require prior written approval from the client in line with our Management Agreement (except where the terms of the Management Agreement give Mark Liell & Son LLP the authority to agree, approve and authorise items of expenditure up to £1,000 plus VAT) and all invoices are authorised for payment by an Associate Partner or Full Partner.

All bank transfers to clients and HMRC require authorisation by a Full Partner.

Where the client instructs Mark Liell & Son LLP to pay their fees from the client account, funds are only transferred once an invoice has been approved in writing by the client.

Interest and Bank Charges

Mark Liell & Son LLP’s client accounts are generally current instant access accounts which do not bear interest. Where monies are held in deposit accounts which do bear interest, Mark Liell & Son LLP are entitled to retain any interest to offset general bank charges and administration costs.

Mark Liell & Son LLP bear all the account maintenance and transactional banking costs associated with the operation of client accounts.

Bank Account Reconciliations

Bank accounts are reconciled on a monthly basis using a three way reconciliation between the bank, general ledger and individual client ledgers as required by the RICS.

Information provided to clients about monies held in their accounts

Mark Liell & Son LLP agree reporting requirements with all clients when instructed, these are documented in the Management Agreement and provided in line with each client’s requirements.

Disputes or complaints

Mark Liell & Son LLP has a Complaints Handling procedure, a copy of which is attached to the Management Agreement.

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