Interest Policy on Client Funds
This policy sets out how we apply interest in relation to funds held in our general client bank account.
Wace Morgan Ltd (‘the Firm’) is authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA ID 623618); in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2019 (‘the SAR’), it is the Firm’s policy to account to its clients for interest on a fair and reasonable basis for both the client and the Firm.
As required under the SAR, the Firm 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.
Upon receipt of money from a client, the money will be paid into a general client account with the Firm’s bank – currently Handelsbanken. The general client account is an account that pools all client money in an instant access account to ensure immediate access to funds and, as such, it is unlikely you will receive as much interest on monies held as you would do if you held the funds and invested them yourself.
If the bank in which the Firm holds funds should fail, the firm reserves the right to disclose to the FSCS the names and other details of clients for whose money is held in the general client account in order for the client to claim compensation, in line with the existing limit – currently limited to an aggregate of £85,000 per individual client.
In addition, eligible deposits which are categorised as ‘temporary high balances’ are protected above £85,000 for 6 months after the amount has been credited or from the moment when such eligible deposits become legally transferable. These are eligible deposits connected with certain events including the sale of private housing, termination of employment, inheritance or insurance compensation. The maximum allowance is £1m for 6 months.
Application of Interest to Client Funds Held
We will account to you for interest when it is fair and reasonable to do so for monies held in the general client account or for money held under our control, which should have been held in a client account but was not. We will calculate the gross interest to you on the following basis:
- We will normally calculate and pay gross interest once your matter has been concluded, however there may be instances where it might be more appropriate to account for interest at intervals throughout the matter.
- Interest will be calculated and applied at a rate we believe reflects the market rate of interest paid on an instant access current account held by a UK high street bank. The firm’s accounts department will prepare the calculation as instructed by the fee earner.
- We will retain interest paid to us by the bank on the aggregate of all client money held in the general client account.
- We will not pay interest on money held:
- If the sum calculated is less than £250 in total for the full period during which we hold your money in our client account because we consider that the administrative costs of dealing with the funds would exceed the interest due.
- For payment of a professional disbursement once counsel or other professional has requested a delay in settlement.
- For the Legal Aid Agency.
- On 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 account.
- If there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy.
We will review this policy from time to time to ensure that it continues to deliver a fair outcome to clients.