United Kingdom

Agents warned over client money handling

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Letting agents have been warned that they may have unknowingly breached client money protection (CMP) rules.

Letting agent accreditation provider safeagent has written to all the agents it works with in England urging them to check that their client accounts are held with properly accredited organisations.

Under CMP rules, estate and letting agencies in England must hold their client money accounts with a bank or building society that is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Holding client money with a non-compliant provider could invalidate their CMP scheme membership, leaving them at risk of a fine up to £30,000.

Safeagent’s warning comes because of the growing range of alternative banking products now used by agents. Not all of them deposit client money with a traditional bank or building society: some have opted for other solutions like E-money wallets, which may not be acceptable alternatives unless the client account is held with an FCA-authorised bank.

PayProp users can rest assured that their client accounts are compliant with CMP requirements. PayProp accounts are held exclusively with NatWest, which is registered as a bank with the FCA.

To see if your client account holder also meets the requirements, visit the FCA website. Note that it isn’t enough to appear on the register: the provider must be registered specifically as a bank or building society, meaning that some providers claiming to be FCA-registered and CMP-compliant may not actually qualify .

Other letting agent headlines

Most agents missed a pay rise last year – report – Estate Agent Today

Finalists for the Property Reporter Awards 2023 revealed! – Property Reporter

Lettings manager pleads guilty to defrauding estate agency – Property Industry Eye

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