Alder King’s policy regarding the handling of Client Money meets the standards and guidelines as set by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) rules of conduct. Alder King adheres to the RICS Client Money Handling Professional Standard (1st edition, October 2019). This details how and where client money should be held and must be followed at all times to ensure Alder King’s compliance with legislative and regulatory guidelines and refers to RICS Client Money Protection Scheme rules.
Employees who are discovered contravening this policy may face disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to gross misconduct and could result in the employee’s summary dismissal.
Client money relates to any money of any currency, whether in the form of cash, cheque, draft or electronic transfer which a registered firm holds or receives for, or from a Client, including money held by a regulated firm as stakeholder, and that is not immediately due and payable on demand to the Registered firm for its own account.
Client Money Accounts
As outlined within the RICS Client Money Handling professional statement, all client money received or held by Alder King LLP under exclusive control, is either banked into a general clients’ bank account, a designated discrete client account or held in a client controlled bank account.
Client monies are held separately from Alder King’s own monies and are easily identifiable and immediately available. Within the general clients’ bank account, each client’s money is recorded in individual client ledgers to maintain the segregation of funds.
All monies received, whether in the form of cash, cheque, draft or electronic transfer are paid into the relevant client money account which are held at either the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) or at Lloyds Bank.
All monies withdrawn from a Client account, whether in the form of cash, cheque, draft or electronic transfer is subject to the Firm’s internal operating procedures and the authorisation of two signatories.
Physical transfers out of any client account are authorised only by Senior accounts staff and/or Partners.
All payment requests are supported by the appropriate paperwork, verification and authorisation.
All monies received, whether in the form of cash, cheque, draft or electronic transfer are paid into the relevant client money bank account. Electronic receipts are recorded daily and cash and cheques are banked promptly.
Any initial unidentified funds are held in a client suspense account and investigated to ensure that they are allocated as soon as possible. Where it has not been possible to allocate funds received, or to contact and obtain information from the sender, funds may be returned to the account from which they came. If this has not been possible, and funds have been unidentified for a period of at least three years – as per RICS regulations, a payment may be made to a registered charity.
CONTROLS FOR PAYMENTS MADE FROM CLIENT ACCOUNTS
All payment requests are approved prior to being processed for payment. All payments are logged and staff ensure that sufficient funds are available in the relevant bank account in order to make payments.
Interest and Charges
Client monies held in discrete bank accounts at RBS and Lloyds are interest bearing, whereas any accounts operating as multi-client accounts are not.
Any interest earned is credited to the client discrete account to which it belongs.
Any bank account maintenance charges, or other bank charges are paid for by Alder King directly and not through the client bank accounts.
All receipts are recorded on a daily basis and all Client bank accounts are reconciled at monthly and approved at Partner level.
Client reporting takes place monthly, quarterly or annually as required and agreed with the Client. Information relating to funds held are shown on the Client reports.