Client Interest Policy
BENNETT GRIFFIN LLP
We are required under the Solicitors Regulation Authority Account Rules to draw your attention to our Interest on Client Monies Policy below.
INTEREST ON CLIENT MONIES POLICY
This Policy expands upon paragraph 5.1 of the Terms and Conditions Brochure and seeks to achieve a fair outcome for both the client and the firm.
Whilst acting on your behalf, we may need to hold your money in respect of your legal transaction in our Client Account and, in doing so we have an obligation to pay interest on that money at a fair and reasonable rate. This Policy sets out the guidelines for how interest will be calculated and when it will be paid.
We will hold money in a general Client Account along with other clients’ money and in doing so earn enhanced interest but will pay a sum of interest to you based on the rate applicable to each matter balance, and this sum of interest will be less than the amount we receive from the bank.
We aim to account to you for interest at a fair and reasonable rate. However, as the holding of your funds is incidental to the carrying out of your legal instructions, the rate is unlikely to be as high as the rate you may be able to obtain if you were depositing the money elsewhere and in the event of base rate being very low could be zero. In most cases we must ensure that Client Monies are immediately available and therefore the need for instant access is taken into account when setting the rate of interest payable by us.
We align our interest rates paid on monies held on general Client Account to the RBS Client Deposit Manager Interest Rates. We review our interest rates annually and also when there are changes to the Bank of England base rate.
Interest on monies held in general Client Account will be calculated on a daily basis on amounts held overnight, from the day the funds are considered cleared for the purpose of calculating interest.
Once a cheque is drawn in your favour, interest will not be paid on this money.
Interest will be paid to you at the conclusion of the matter.
Interest will not normally be paid if the total amount calculated for the period that cleared funds are held is less than £30.00.
If money is held on your behalf in a separate Designated Deposit Account (only used in special circumstances), we will account to you for all the interest earned on that account. The rates of interest will be a rate negotiated by Bennett Griffin LLP with RBS based on instant access terms and may vary from time to time.
Where amounts are held outside of a general Client Account or separate Designated Deposit Account, the rate of interest and the date that interest is credited, will depend on the relevant Institution where the funds are held and, as such, fall outside the requirements of this Policy. The relevant interest information can be obtained at your request.
If you request that we hold funds in a manner not attracting interest there is no requirement for us to pay interest.
Tax on Interest Paid
As from 6th April, 2016 all interest will be paid without any deduction of Income Tax (unless you are resident overseas – see below). As such, it is your responsibility to inform HMRC of amounts of interest received from us and the implications of this will depend on your own financial circumstances. Prior to 6th April’16, where your money was held on a separate Designated Deposit Account, interest earned up to 5th April’16 will usually have been paid net of tax (unless you have signed a Declaration confirming your entitlement to receive Bank interest gross).
Where you reside outside the UK and EC we are required to deduct Income Tax at the current basic rate and account for this interest to HMRC directly and pay you the net amount.
Fair and Reasonable
We are required to account to you for interest on money held in our Client Account when it is fair and reasonable to do so in all the circumstances and the interest paid must be a fair and reasonable sum. If you feel that we have not achieved this, please let us know, either by contacting the person directly handling your matter or our Managing Partner and we will review your concerns.
This policy will be reviewed annually.
21st September, 2016