Rowberry Morris Interest Policy
As part of carrying out your instructions to us, we may need to hold your money in our client account. In holding client money, we may pay interest on that money in which case it will be at a fair and reasonable rate. Therefore, we are required to put in place an interest policy; this policy sets out the guidelines for when interest will be paid and is summarised below.
Due to changing regulations and fluctuations in the Banks interest rates which are beyond our control, this policy will be subject to review and change over time and may change during your case.
We aim to account to you for interest at a reasonable rate of interest, but 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 when depositing the money we hold on your behalf yourself. In most cases, we must ensure that money held on client account is immediately available and therefore may require an instant access account or a notice account that allows us to make an immediate withdrawal at the sacrifice of interest. All of this is taken into consideration when we set our interest rate.
We align our interest rates paid on monies held on general client account to the rates paid on an instant access deposit account by Barclays Bank. This rate is likely to change from time to time.
Where your money is held on our general client account, any interest paid to you is paid without any deduction for income tax. As such it is your responsibility to inform HM Revenue & Customs of amounts of interest received from us, and the implications of this will depend upon your own financial circumstances.
Any interest credited in relation to funds held on behalf of clients is held on account and therefore may be earmarked to be transferred against any outstanding bill balances.
Interest will be calculated on cleared funds for interest purposes. On cheques or banker’s drafts this will be 2 days after the cheque or draft has been deposited with our bank. For amounts received by debit or credit card, interest will start to accrue from the date of the actual receipt, usually 1 day after the transaction has been authorised. For direct transfers or same day payments the funds become cleared on the day of receipt. Interest will be calculated on a daily basis and calculated on amounts held overnight from the day the funds become cleared for interest purposes.
There will often be situations in which interest will not be paid on client held money. These include any of the following situations:-
- If the amount calculated is £50.00 or less (as a de minimis amount);
- On money held for the payment of professional disbursements, once counsel etc has requested a delay in settlement;
- On money held for the Legal Services Commission;
- 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 account;
- If there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy
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.
Rowberry Morris will normally account to the client for interest at the conclusion of the matter. Where we consider it appropriate on ongoing matters we will calculate and credit interest on a quarterly basis and annually at the end of March each year.