Bell Lamb & Joynson Interest Policy
This policy sets out how Bell Lamb & Joynson (BLJ) applies interest in relation to funds held in our client bank account, in accordance with regulatory requirements. Bell Lamb & Joynson is committed to compliance with its obligations under the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs, the SRA Accounts Rules 25th November 2019
Our interest policy seeks to provide a fair outcome for clients whilst recognising that money must be on demand unless clear instructions are received to the contrary.
As required under the regulations, BLJ must ensure that client money is kept safe and available for the purpose for which it is provided and separate from funds belonging to the firm.
Client money must be held in a client account as defined by the Banking Act and in accordance with Section 85 of the Solicitors Act 1974 . In doing this, funds are protected from being used to cover any liability to the bank by the firm.
There are two types of client account:
- A general client account where the majority of client money is held. This is on an instant access basis to ensure immediate access to funds and means it is unlikely you will receive as much interest on money held as might have been obtained had you held and invested the funds yourself.
- A designated client account. This account is set up specifically for an individual client and will include in its title a reference to your These are sometimes set up when there are specific contractual requirements to do so.
3 Application of interest for client funds held.
- Money held in a designated client account - we will account to you for all the interest earned on that account (net of any tax deducted at source).
- Money held in a general client account (or money under our control which should have been held in a client account but was not) - we will account to you for interest when it is fair and reasonable to do so in all the circumstances having regard to the principles and practices as detailed below.
- We will compound interest
- We will normally calculate and pay interest at the end of a matter , however there may be instances where it might be more appropriate to account for interest at intervals throughout the
- Due to regulatory requirements and administrative costs involved we will not pay interest if the sum calculated is less than £50 in total for the full period during which we hold your money in client account.
- We will retain interest paid to us by the bank on the aggregate of all client money held in the general client
- We will not pay interest on money held:
- For payment of a professional disbursement once counsel or other professional has requested a delay in
2. For the Legal Aid Agency.
3. On an advance from us into our general client account to fund a payment on your behalf in excess of funds already held for you in that a
4. If there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy.
This policy will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it continues to deliver a fair outcome to clients.
5 Calculation of interest payable
Interest will be calculated and paid by reference to applicable rates over the period for which we hold cleared funds.
Unless otherwise agreed, where we are conducting more than one matter for you, balances will not be aggregated for calculation purposes.
Any interest paid to you is paid without any deduction for income tax. As such it is your responsibility to inform HM Revenue and customs of amounts of interest received from us, and the implications of this will depend upon your own financial circumstances.
We also reserve the right to charge negative interest if the Bank of England base rate were to fall below 0.01%. We would absorb any cost less than £50, however, any charge above this would be re-charged onto you.
FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) is the UK’s statutory deposit insurance and investors compensation scheme for customers of authorised financial services firms. This means that FSCS can pay compensation if a firm is unable, or unlikely to be able to pay claims against it.
The FSCS protects UK authorised banks, building societies and credit unions up to £85,000 per depositor in the event of their insolvency. FSCS protection is free and automatic.
We may have more than one client account held across different banking institutions. This is to spread the risk and protect our client funds. As our client accounts are pooled together, if a banking institution goes into insolvency, then to calculate the split for the purpose of the FSCS, this will be based on the percentage split of our client accounts across the current banking institutions.