Client accounts — no-cost client funds

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By Andrew Kaye

Are some solicitors going out of business due to the cost and headache of operating client accounts? Client accounts can be a big revenue earner. By holding significant sums at banks, lower charges may be obtained or other rewards provided, such as property loans offered due to a certain bank being chosen to hold the client funds. While these arrangements occur, they are at the very limit of SRA Handbook acceptability.

On the other hand, client accounts are a huge administrative and cost burden, and they take up significant and expensive staff time.

The anti-money laundering work required to receive every such payment can be burdensome and expensive, and there is always doubt over whether a good level of compliance has actually been achieved. Moreover, the added professional indemnity cost and associated fees are a significant drain…

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