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Status: You are viewing the version of the handbook as on 2019-04-01.

CASS 13.5 Client bank account acknowledgement letters

CASS 13.5.1G

1The main purposes of a client bank account acknowledgement letter are:

  1. (1)

    to put the approved bank on notice of a firm’s clients’ interests in client money that has been deposited with such person;

  2. (2)

    to ensure that the client bank account has been opened in accordance with CASS 13.6.3R, and is distinguished from any account containing money that belongs to the firm; and

  3. (3)

    to ensure that the approved bank understands and agrees that it will not have any recourse or right against money standing to the credit of the client bank account, in respect of any liability of the firm to such person (or person connected to such person).

Requirement for and content of client bank account acknowledgement letters

CASS 13.5.2R
  1. (1)

    1For each client bank account, a firm must, in accordance with CASS 13.5.4R, complete and sign a client bank account acknowledgement letter clearly identifying the client bank account, and send it to the approved bank with whom the client bank account is, or will be, opened, requesting the bank to acknowledge and agree to the terms of the letter by countersigning it and returning it to the firm.

  2. (2)

    Subject to CASS 13.5.6R, a firm must not hold or receive any client money in or into a client bank account unless it has received a duly countersigned client bank account acknowledgement letter from the approved bank. The letter must not have been inappropriately redrafted and should clearly identify the client bank account.

CASS 13.5.3R

1In drafting client bank account acknowledgement letters under CASS 13.5.2R a firm is required to use the relevant template in CASS 13 Annex 1R.

CASS 13.5.4R

1When completing a client bank account acknowledgement letter under CASS 13.5.2R(1) a firm:

  1. (1)

    must not amend any of the acknowledgement letter fixed text;

  2. (2)

    subject to (3), must ensure the acknowledgement letter variable text is removed, included or amended as appropriate; and

  3. (3)

    must not amend any of the acknowledgement letter variable text in a way that would alter or otherwise change the meaning of the acknowledgement letter fixed text.

CASS 13.5.5G

1CASS 13 Annex 2G contains guidance on using the template client bank account acknowledgement letters, including on when and how firms should amend the acknowledgement letter variable text that is in square brackets.

Countersignature by the bank

CASS 13.5.6R
  1. (1)

    1If, on countersigning and returning the client bank account acknowledgement letter to a firm, the relevant approved bank has also:

    1. (a)

      made amendments to any of the acknowledgement letter fixed text; or

    2. (b)

      made amendments to any of the acknowledgement letter variable text in a way that would alter or otherwise change the meaning of the acknowledgement letter fixed text;

    the client bank account acknowledgement letter will have been inappropriately redrafted for the purposes of CASS 13.5.2R(2).

  2. (2)

    Amendments made to the acknowledgement letter variable text, in the client bank account acknowledgement letter returned to a firm by the relevant approved bank, will not have the result that the letter has been inappropriately redrafted if those amendments:

    1. (a)

      do not affect the meaning of the acknowledgement letter fixed text;

    2. (b)

      have been specifically agreed with the firm; and

    3. (c)

      do not cause the client bank account acknowledgement letter to be inaccurate.

CASS 13.5.7R

1A firm must use reasonable endeavours to ensure that any individual that has countersigned a client bank account acknowledgement letter that has been returned to the firm was authorised to countersign the letter on behalf of the relevant approved bank.

Retention of client bank account acknowledgement letters

CASS 13.5.8R

1A firm must retain each countersigned client bank account acknowledgement letter it receives from the date of receipt until the expiry of a period of five years starting on the date on which the last client bank account to which the acknowledgment letter relates is closed.

CASS 13.5.9R

1A firm must also retain any other documentation or evidence it believes is necessary to demonstrate that it has complied with each of the applicable requirements in this section (such as any evidence it has obtained to ensure that the individual that has countersigned a client bank account acknowledgement letter that has been returned to the firm was authorised to countersign the letter on behalf of the relevant approved bank).

Review and replacement of client bank account acknowledgement letters

CASS 13.5.10R

1A firm must, periodically (at least annually, and whenever it becomes aware that something referred to in a client bank account acknowledgement letter has changed) review each of its countersigned client bank account acknowledgement letters to ensure that they remain accurate.

CASS 13.5.11R

1Whenever a firm finds a countersigned client bank account acknowledgement letter to contain an inaccuracy, the firm must promptly draw up a new replacement client bank account acknowledgement letter under CASS 13.5.2R and ensure that the new client bank account acknowledgement letter is duly countersigned and returned by the relevant approved bank.

CASS 13.5.12G

1Under CASS 13.5.10R, a firm should obtain a replacement client bank account acknowledgement letter whenever:

  1. (1)

    there has been a change in any of the parties’ names or addresses or a change in any of the details of the relevant account(s) as set out in the letter; or

  2. (2)

    it becomes aware of an error or misspelling in the letter.

CASS 13.5.13R

1If a firm’s client bank account is transferred to another approved bank, the firm must promptly draw up a new client bank account acknowledgement letter under CASS 13.5.2R and ensure that the new client bank account acknowledgement letter is duly countersigned and returned by the relevant approved bank within 20 business days of the firm sending it to that person.