Content Options

CASS 5.6 Client money distribution

Application

CASS 5.6.1R
  1. (1)

    CASS 5.6 (the client money (insurance) distribution rules) applies to a firm that in holding client money is subject to CASS 5.3 (statutory trust) or CASS 5.4 (Non-statutory trust) when a primary pooling event or a secondary pooling event occurs.

  2. (2)

    In the event of there being any discrepancy between the terms of the trust as required by CASS 5.4.7 R (1)(c) and the provisions of CASS 5.6, the latter shall apply.

CASS 5.6.2G
  1. (1)

    The client money (insurance) distribution rules have force and effect on any firm that holds client money in accordance with CASS 5.3 or CASS 5.4. Therefore, they may apply to a UK branch of a non-EEA firm. In this case, the UK branch of the firm may be treated as if the branch itself is a free-standing entity subject to the client money (insurance) distribution rules.

  2. (2)

    Firms that act in accordance with CASS 5.4 (Non-statutory trust) are reminded that the client money (insurance) distribution rules should be given effect in the terms of trust required by CASS 5.4.

Purpose

CASS 5.6.3G

The client money (insurance) distribution rules seek to facilitate the timely return of client money to a client in the event of the failure of a firm or third party at which the firm holds client money.

Failure of the authorised firm: primary pooling event

CASS 5.6.4G

A primary pooling event triggers a notional pooling of all the client money, in every type of client money account, and the obligation to distribute it.

CASS 5.6.5R

A primary pooling event occurs:

  1. (1)

    on the failure of the firm; or

  2. (2)

    on the vesting of assets in a trustee in accordance with an 'assets requirement' imposed under 55P(1)(b) or (c) (as the case may be) of the Act; or

  3. (3)

    on the coming into force of a requirement for all client money held by the firm; or

  4. (4)

    when the firm notifies, or is in breach of its duty to notify, the FCA, in accordance with CASS 5.5.77 R1, that it is unable correctly to identify and allocate in its records all valid claims arising as a result of a secondary pooling event.

CASS 5.6.6R

CASS 5.6.5 R (4) does not apply so long as:

  1. (1)

    the firm is taking steps, in consultation with the FCA, to establish those records; and

  2. (2)

    there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the records will be capable of rectification within a reasonable period.

Pooling and distribution

CASS 5.6.7R

If a primary pooling event occurs:

  1. (1)

    client money held in each client money account of the firm is treated as pooled;

  2. (2)

    the firm must distribute that client money in accordance with CASS 5.3.2 R or, as appropriate, CASS 5.4.7 R, so that each client receives a sum which is rateable to the client money entitlement calculated in accordance with CASS 5.5.66 R; and

  3. (3)

    the firm must, as trustee, call in and make demand in respect of any debt due to the firm as trustee, and must liquidate any designated investment, and any letter of credit or guarantee upon which it relies for meeting any shortfall in its client money resource and the proceeds shall be pooled together with other client money as in (1) and distributed in accordance with (2).

CASS 5.6.8G

A client's main claim is for the return of client money held in a client bank account. A client may claim for any shortfall against money held in a firm's own account. For that claim, the client will be an unsecured creditor of the firm.

Client money received after the failure of the firm

CASS 5.6.9R

Client money received by the firm (including in its capacity as trustee under CASS 5.4 (Non-statutory trust)) after a primary pooling event must not be pooled with client money held in any client money account operated by the firm at the time of the primary pooling event. It must be placed in a client bank account that has been opened after that event and must be handled in accordance with the client money rules, and returned to the relevant client without delay, except to the extent that:

  1. (1)

    it is client money relating to a transaction that has not completed at the time of the primary pooling event; or

  2. (2)

    it is money relating to a client, for whom the client money requirement2, calculated in accordance with CASS 5.5.66 R or CASS 5.5.68 R2, shows that money is due from the client to the firm including in its capacity as trustee under CASS 5.4 (Non-statutory trust) at the time of the primary pooling event.

    2
CASS 5.6.10G

Client money received after the primary pooling event relating to an incomplete transaction should be used to complete that transaction.

CASS 5.6.11R

If a firm receives a mixed remittance after a primary pooling event, it must:

  1. (1)

    pay the full sum into the separate client bank account opened in accordance with CASS 5.6.9 R; and

  2. (2)

    pay the money that is not client money out of that client bank account into the firm's own bank account within one business day of the day on which the remittance is cleared.

CASS 5.6.12G

Whenever possible the firm should seek to split a mixed remittance before the relevant accounts are credited.

Failure of a bank, other broker or settlement agent: secondary pooling events

CASS 5.6.13R

If both a primary pooling event and a secondary pooling event occur, the provisions of this section relating to a primary pooling event apply.

CASS 5.6.14R

A secondary pooling event occurs on the failure of a third party to which client money held by the firm has been transferred under CASS 5.5.34 R.

CASS 5.6.15R

CASS 5.6.20 R to CASS 5.6.31 R do not apply if, on the failure of the third party, the firm repays to its clients or pays into a client bank account, at an unaffected bank, an amount equal to the amount of client money which would have been held if a shortfall had not occurred at that third party.

CASS 5.6.16G

When client money is transferred to a third party, a firm continues to owe a fiduciary duty to the client. However, consistent with a fiduciary's responsibility (whether as agent or trustee) for third parties under general law, a firm will not be held responsible for a shortfall in client money caused by a third party failure if it has complied with those duties.

CASS 5.6.17G

To comply with its duties, the firm should show proper care:

  1. (1)

    in the selection of a third party; and

  2. (2)

    when monitoring the performance of the third party.

In the case of client money transferred to a bank, by demonstrating compliance with CASS 5.5.43 R, a firm should be able to demonstrate that it has taken reasonable steps to comply with its duties.

Failure of a bank

CASS 5.6.18G

When a bank fails and the firm decides not to make good the shortfall in the amount of client money held at that bank, a secondary pooling event will occur in accordance with CASS 5.6.20 R. The firm would be expected to reflect the shortfall that arises at the firm's bank in the periodic client money calculation by reducing the client money resource and client money requirement accordingly.

CASS 5.6.19G

The client money (insurance) distribution rules seek to ensure that clients who have previously specified that they are not willing to accept the risk of the bank that has fails, and who therefore requested that their client money be placed in a designated client bank account as a different bank, should not suffer the loss of the bank that has failed.

Failure of a bank: pooling

CASS 5.6.20R

If a secondary pooling event occurs as a result of the failure of a bank where one or more general client bank accounts are held, then:

  1. (1)

    in relation to every general client bank account of the firm, the provisions of CASS 5.6.22 R and CASS 5.6.26 R to CASS 5.6.28 G will apply;

  2. (2)

    in relation to every designated client bank account held by the firm with the failed bank, the provisions of CASS 5.6.24 R and CASS 5.6.26 R to CASS 5.6.28 G will apply; and

  3. (3)

    any money held at a bank, other than the bank that has failed, in designated client bank accounts is not pooled with any other client money.

CASS 5.6.21R

If a secondary pooling event occurs as a result of the failure of a bank where one or more designated client bank accounts are held then in relation to every designated client bank account held by the firm with the failed bank, the provisions of CASS 5.6.24 R and CASS 5.6.26 R to CASS 5.6.28 G will apply.

CASS 5.6.22R

Money held in each general client bank account of the firm must be treated as pooled and:

  1. (1)

    any shortfall in client money held, or which should have been held, in general client bank accounts, that has arisen as a result of the failure of the bank, must be borne by all the clients whose client money is held in a general client bank account of the firm, rateably in accordance with their entitlements;

  2. (2)

    a new client money entitlement must be calculated for each client by the firm, to reflect the requirements in (1), and the firm's records must be amended to reflect the reduced client money entitlement;

  3. (3)

    the firm must make and retain a record of each client's share of the client money shortfall at the failed bank until the client is repaid; and

  4. (4)

    the firm must use the new client entitlements, calculated in accordance with (2), when performing the client money calculation in accordance with CASS 5.5.63 R to CASS 5.5.69 R1.

CASS 5.6.23G

The term 'which should have been held' is a reference to the failed bank's failure (and elsewhere, as appropriate, is a reference to the other failed third party's failure) to hold the client money at the time of the pooling event.

CASS 5.6.24R

For each client with a designated client bank account held at the failed bank:

  1. (1)

    any shortfall in client money held, or which should have been held, in designated client bank accounts that has arisen as a result of the failure, must be borne by all the clients whose client money is held in a designated client bank account of the firm at the failed bank, rateably in accordance with their entitlements;

  2. (2)

    a new client money entitlement must be calculated for each of the relevant clients by the firm, and the firm's records must be amended to reflect the reduced client money entitlement;

  3. (3)

    the firm must make and retain a record of each client's share of the client money shortfall at the failed bank until the client is repaid; and

  4. (4)

    the firm must use the new client money entitlements, calculated in accordance with (2), when performing the periodic client money calculation, in accordance with CASS 5.5.63 R to CASS 5.5.69 R.1

CASS 5.6.25R

A client whose money was held, or which should have been held, in a designated client bank account with a bank that has failed is not entitled to claim in respect of that money against any other client bank account or client transaction account of the firm.

Client money received after the failure of a bank

CASS 5.6.26R

Client money received by the firm after the failure of a bank, that would otherwise have been paid into a client bank account at that bank:

  1. (1)

    must not be transferred to the failed bank unless specifically instructed by the client in order to settle an obligation of that client to the failed bank; and

  2. (2)

    must be, subject to (1), placed in a separate client bank account that has been opened after the secondary pooling event and either:

    1. (a)

      on the written instruction of the client, transferred to a bank other than the one that has failed; or

    2. (b)

      returned to the client as soon as possible.

CASS 5.6.27R

If a firm receives a mixed remittance after the secondary pooling event which consists of client money that would have been paid into a general client bank account, a designated client bank account or a designated client fund account maintained at the bank that has failed, it must:

  1. (1)

    pay the full sum into a client bank account other than one operated at the bank that has failed; and

  2. (2)

    pay the money that is not client money out of that client bank account within one business day of the day on which the remittance is cleared.

CASS 5.6.28G

Whenever possible the firm should seek to split a mixed remittance before the relevant accounts are credited.

Failure of an intermediate broker or settlement agent: pooling

CASS 5.6.29R

If a secondary pooling event occurs as a result of the failure of another broker or settlement agent to whom the firm has transferred client's money then, in relation to every general client bank account of the firm, the provisions of CASS 5.6.26 R to CASS 5.6.28 G and CASS 5.6.30 R will apply.

CASS 5.6.30R

Money held in each general client bank account of the firm must be treated as pooled and:

  1. (1)

    any shortfall in client money held, or which should have been held, in general client bank accounts, that has arisen as a result of the failure, must be borne by all the clients whose client money is held in a general client bank account of the firm, rateably in accordance with their entitlements;

  2. (2)

    a new client money entitlement must be calculated for each client by the firm, to reflect the requirements of (1), and the firm's records must be amended to reflect the reduced client money entitlement;

  3. (3)

    the firm must make and retain a record of each client's share of the client money shortfall at the failed intermediate broker or settlement agent until the client is repaid; and

  4. (4)

    the firm must use the new client money entitlements, calculated in accordance with (2), when performing the periodic client money calculation, in accordance with CASS 5.5.63 R to CASS 5.5.69 R.1

Client money received after the failure of a broker or settlement agent

CASS 5.6.31R

Client money received by the firm after the failure of another broker or settlement agent, to whom the firm has transferred client money that would otherwise have been paid into a client bank account at that broker or settlement agent:

  1. (1)

    must not be transferred to the failed thirty party unless specifically instructed by the client in order to settle an obligation of that client to the failed broker or settlement agent; and

  2. (2)

    must be, subject to (1), placed in a separate client bank account that has been opened after the secondary pooling event and either:

    1. (a)

      on the written instruction of the client, transferred to a third party other than the one that has failed; or

    2. (b)

      returned to the client as soon as possible.

Notification on the failure of a bank, other broker or settlement agent

CASS 5.6.32R

The provisions of CASS 5.5.61 R apply.