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CASS 7.15 Records, accounts and reconciliations

CASS 7.15.1G
  1. (1)

    This section sets out the requirements a firm must meet when keeping records and accounts of the client money it holds.

  2. (2)

    Where a firm establishes one or more sub-pools, the provisions of CASS 7.15 (Records, accounts and reconciliations) shall be read as applying separately to the firm's general pool and each sub-pool in line with CASS 7.19.3 R and CASS 7.19.4 R.

CASS 7.15.2R

A firm must keep such records and accounts as are necessary to enable it, at any time and without delay, to distinguish client money held for one client from client money held for any other client, and from its own money.

[Note: article 16(1)(a) of the MiFID implementing Directive]

CASS 7.15.3R

A firm must maintain its records and accounts in a way that ensures their accuracy, and in particular their correspondence to the client money held for clients.

[Note: article 16(1)(b) of the MiFID implementing Directive]

CASS 7.15.4G

The requirements in CASS 7.15.2 R to CASS 7.15.3 R are for a firm to keep internal records and accounts of client money. Therefore, any records falling under those requirements should be maintained by the firm and should be separate to any records the firm may have obtained from any third parties, such as those with or through whom it may have deposited, or otherwise allowed to hold, client money.

Record keeping

CASS 7.15.5R
  1. (1)

    A firm must maintain records so that it is able to promptly determine the total amount of client money it should be holding for each of its clients.

  2. (2)

    A firm must ensure that its records are sufficient to show and explain its transactions and commitments for its client money.

  3. (3)

    Unless otherwise stated, a firm must ensure that any record made under the this chapter is retained for a period of five years starting from the later of:

    1. (a)

      the date it was created; and

    2. (b)

      (if it has been modified since the date it was created), the date it was most recently modified.

CASS 7.15.6G

Unless required sooner under another rule in this chapter, in complying with CASS 7.15.5 R (1) a firm should ensure it is able to determine the total amount of client money it should be holding for each client within two business days of having taken a decision to do so or at the request of the FCA.

CASS 7.15.7R

For each internal client money reconciliation and external client money reconciliation the firm conducts, it must ensure that it records:

  1. (1)

    the date it carried out the relevant process;

  2. (2)

    the actions the firm took in carrying out the relevant process; and

  3. (3)

    the outcome of its calculation of its client money requirement and client money resource.

Policies and procedures

CASS 7.15.8G

Firms are reminded that they must, under SYSC 6.1.1 R, establish, implement and maintain adequate policies and procedures sufficient to ensure compliance of the firm with the rules under this chapter. This should include, for example, establishing and maintaining policies and procedures concerning:

  1. (1)

    the frequency and method of the reconciliations the firm is required to carry out under this section;

  2. (2)

    the resolution of reconciliation discrepancies under this section; and

  3. (3)

    the frequency at which the firm is required to review its arrangements in compliance with this chapter.

Receipts of client money

CASS 7.15.9R

A firm must maintain appropriate records that account for all receipts of client money in the form of cash, cheque or other payable order that are not yet deposited in a client bank account (see CASS 7.13.32 R and CASS 7.13.33 R).

CASS 7.15.10G

Firms following one of the standard methods of internal client money reconciliation in CASS 7.16 are also reminded that they must, as part of their internal client money reconciliation, take into account all receipts of client money in the form of cash, cheque or other payable order that are not yet deposited in a client bank account (see CASS 7.13.32 R and CASS 7.13.33 R).

Payments made to discharge fiduciary duty

CASS 7.15.11R

If a firm draws a cheque, or other payable order, to discharge its fiduciary duty to its clients (see CASS 7.11.40 R),1 it must continue to record its obligation to its clients until the cheque, or other payable order, is presented and paid by the bank.

Internal client money reconciliations

CASS 7.15.12R

An internal client money reconciliation requires a firm to carry out a reconciliation of its internal records and accounts of the amount of client money that the firm holds for each client with its internal records and accounts of the client money the firm should hold in client bank accounts or has placed in client transaction accounts.

CASS 7.15.13R

In carrying out an internal client money reconciliation, a firm must use the values contained in its internal records and ledgers (for example, its cash book or other internal accounting records) rather than the values contained in the records it has obtained from banks and other third parties with whom it has placed client money (for example, bank statements).

CASS 7.15.14G

An internal client money reconciliation should:

  1. (1)

    be one of the steps a firm takes to arrange adequate protection for clients' assets when the firm is responsible for them (see Principle 10 (Clients' assets), as it relates to client money);

  2. (2)

    be one of the steps a firm takes to satisfy its obligations under CASS 7.12.2 R and CASS 7.15.3 R and, where relevant, SYSC 4.1.1R (1) and SYSC 6.1.1 R, to ensure the accuracy of the firm's records and accounts;

  3. (3)

    for the normal approach to segregating client money (CASS 7.13.6 R), check whether the amount of client money recorded in the firm's records as being segregated in client bank accounts meets the firm's obligations to its clients under the client money rules on a daily basis; and

  4. (4)

    for the alternative approach to segregating client money (CASS 7.13.62 R), calculate the amount of client money to be segregated in client bank accounts which meets the firm's obligations to its clients under the client money rules on a daily basis.

CASS 7.15.15R
  1. (1)

    A firm must perform an internal client money reconciliation:

    1. (a)

      each business day; and

    2. (b)

      based on the records of the firm as at the close of business on the previous business day.

  2. (2)

    When performing an internal client money reconciliation, a firm must, subject to (3), follow one of the standard methods of internal client money reconciliation in CASS 7.16.

  3. (3)

    A firm proposing to follow a non-standard method of internal client money reconciliation must comply with the requirements in CASS 7.15.17 R to CASS 7.15.19 G.

CASS 7.15.16R
  1. (1)

    A firm which has adopted the normal approach to segregating client money (see CASS 7.13.6 R) must use the internal client money reconciliation to check whether its client money resource, as at the close of business on the previous business day, was equal to its client money requirement at the close of business on that previous day.

  2. (2)

    A firm that adopts the alternative approach to segregating client money (see CASS 7.13.54 G) must use the internal client money reconciliation to ensure that its client money resource as at the close of business on any day it carries out an internal client money reconciliation is equal to its client money requirement at the close of business on the previous day.

Non-standard method of internal client money reconciliation

CASS 7.15.17R

A non-standard method of internal client money reconciliation is a method of internal client money reconciliation which does not meet the requirements in CASS 7.16 (The standard methods of internal client money reconciliation).

CASS 7.15.18R
  1. (1)

    Before using a non-standard method of internal client money reconciliation, a firm must:

    1. (a)

      establish and document in writing its reasons for concluding that the method of internal client money reconciliation it proposes to use will:

      1. (i)

        (for the normal approach to segregating client money) check whether the amount of client money recorded in the firm's records as being segregated in client bank accounts meets the firm's obligation to its clients under the client money rules on a daily basis; or

      2. (ii)

        (for the alternative approach to segregating client money) calculate the amount of client money to be segregated in client bank accounts which meets the firm's obligations to its clients under the client money rules on a daily basis;

    2. (b)

      notify the FCA of its intentions to use a non-standard method of internal client money reconciliation; and

    3. (c)

      send a written report to the FCA prepared by an independent auditor of the firm in line with a reasonable assurance engagement and stating the matters set out in (2).

  2. (2)

    The written report in (1)(c) must state whether in the auditor's opinion:

    1. (a)

      the method of internal client money reconciliation which the firm will use is suitably designed to enable it to (as applicable):

      1. (i)

        (for the normal approach to segregating client money) check whether the amount of client money recorded in the firm's records as being segregated in client bank accounts meets the firm's obligation to its clients under the client money rules on a daily basis; or

      2. (ii)

        (for the alternative approach to segregating client money) calculate the amount of client money to be segregated in client bank accounts which meets the firm's obligations to its clients under the client money rules on a daily basis; and

    2. (b)

      the firm's systems and controls are suitably designed to enable it to carry out the method of internal client money reconciliation the firm will use.

  3. (3)

    A firm using a non-standard method of internal client money reconciliation must not materially change its method of undertaking internal client money reconciliations unless:

    1. (a)

      the firm has established and documented in writing it reasons for concluding that the changed methodology will meet the requirements in (1)(a)(i) and (ii), as applicable;

    2. (b)

      an auditor of the firm has prepared a report that complies with the requirements in (1)(c) and (2) in respect of the firm's proposed changes; and

    3. (c)

      the firm provides a copy of the report prepared by the auditor under (2) to the FCA before implementing the change .

CASS 7.15.19G

A firm is reminded that, under SUP 3.4.2 R, it must take reasonable steps to ensure that its auditor has the required skill, resources and experience to perform its function.

External client money reconciliations

CASS 7.15.20R

A firm must conduct, on a regular basis, reconciliations between its internal records and accounts and those of any third parties which hold client money.

[Note: article 16(1)(c) of the MiFID implementing Directive]

CASS 7.15.21G

The purpose of an external client money reconciliation is to ensure the accuracy of a firm's internal records and accounts against those of any third parties by whom client money is held.

Frequency of external client money reconciliations

CASS 7.15.22R

A firm must perform an external client money reconciliation:

  1. (1)

    as regularly as is necessary but without allowing more than one month to pass between each external client money reconciliation; and

  2. (2)

    as soon as reasonably practicable after the date to which the external client money reconciliation relates.

CASS 7.15.23R

When determining the frequency at which it will undertake external client money reconciliations, a firm must have regard to:

  1. (1)

    the frequency, number and value of transactions which the firm undertakes in respect of client money; and

  2. (2)

    the risks to which the client money is exposed, such as the nature, volume and complexity of the firm's business and where and with whom client money is held.

CASS 7.15.24R
  1. (1)

    A firm must make and retain records sufficient to show and explain any decision it has taken under CASS 7.15.23 R when determining the frequency of its external client money reconciliation. Subject to (2), any such records must be retained indefinitely.

  2. (2)

    If any decision under CASS 7.15.23 R is superseded by a subsequent decision under that rule then the record of that earlier decision retained in accordance with (1) need only be retained for a further period of five years from the subsequent decision.

CASS 7.15.25G

In most circumstances, firms which undertake transactions on a daily basis should conduct an external client money reconciliation each business day.

CASS 7.15.26R
  1. (1)

    Subject to (3), a firm must review the frequency it conducts its external client money reconciliations at least annually to ensure that it continues to comply with CASS 7.15.22 R and has given due consideration to the matters in CASS 7.15.23 R.

  2. (2)

    For each review a firm undertakes under (1), it must record the date and the actions it took in reviewing the frequency of its external client money reconciliations.

  3. (3)

    A firm need not carry out a review under (1) if it is conducting external client money reconciliations each business day.

Method of external client money reconciliations

CASS 7.15.27R

An external client money reconciliation requires a firm to:

  1. (1)

    compare:

    1. (a)

      the balance, currency by currency, on each client bank account recorded by the firm, as set out in the most recent statement or other form of confirmation issued by the bank with which those accounts are held; and

    2. (b)

      the balance, currency by currency, on each client transaction account as recorded by the firm, as set out in the most recent statement or other form of confirmation issued by the person with whom the account is held; and

  2. (2)

    promptly identify and resolve any discrepancies between those balances under CASS 7.15.31 R and CASS 7.15.32 R.

CASS 7.15.28R

A firm must ensure it includes the following items within its external client money reconciliation:

  1. (1)

    any client's approved collateral a firm holds which secures an individual negative client equity balance (see CASS 7.16.32 R); and

  2. (2)

    any of its own approved collateral a firm holds which is used to meet the total margin transaction requirement in CASS 7.16.33 R.

Reconciliation discrepancies

CASS 7.15.29R

When a discrepancy arises between a firm's client money resource and its client money requirement identified by a firm's internal client money reconciliations, the firm must determine the reason for the discrepancy and ensure that:

  1. (1)

    any shortfall is paid into a client bank account by the close of business on the day that the reconciliation is performed; or

  2. (2)

    any excess is withdrawn from a client bank account within the same time period.

CASS 7.15.30G

Where the discrepancy identified under CASS 7.15.29 R has arisen as a result of a breach of the client money segregation requirements, the firm should ensure it takes sufficient steps to avoid a reoccurrence of that breach (see Principle 10 (Clients' assets), as it relates to client money, CASS 7.15.3 R and, where relevant, SYSC 4.1.1R (1) and SYSC 6.1.1 R).

CASS 7.15.31R

If any discrepancy is identified by an external client money reconciliation, the firm must investigate the reason for the discrepancy and take all reasonable steps to resolve1 it without undue delay, unless the discrepancy arises solely as a result of timing differences between the accounting systems of the party providing the statement or confirmation and that of the firm.

CASS 7.15.32R

While a firm is unable to immediately resolve a discrepancy identified by an external client money reconciliation, and one record or set of records examined by the firm during its external client money reconciliation indicates that there is a need to have a greater amount of client money or, if appropriate, approved collateral than is the case, the firm must assume, until the matter is finally resolved, that that record or set of records is accurate and pay its own money into a relevant account.

Notification requirements

CASS 7.15.33R

A firm must inform the FCA in writing without delay if:

  1. (1)

    its internal records and accounts of client money are materially out of date, inaccurate or invalid so that the firm is no longer able to comply with the requirements in CASS 7.15.2 R, CASS 7.15.3 R or CASS 7.15.5 R (1);

  2. (2)

    it will be unable to, or materially fails to, pay any shortfall into a client bank account or withdraw any excess from a client bank account so that the firm is unable to comply with CASS 7.15.29 R after having carried out an internal client money reconciliation;

  3. (3)

    it will be unable to, or materially fails to, identify and resolve any discrepancies under CASS 7.15.31 R to CASS 7.15.32 R after having carried out an external client money reconciliation;

  4. (4)

    it will be unable to, or materially fails to, conduct an internal client money reconciliation in compliance with CASS 7.15.12 R and CASS 7.15.15 R;

  5. (5)

    it will be unable to, or materially fails to, conduct an external client money reconciliation in compliance with CASS 7.15.20 R to CASS 7.15.28 R; and

  6. (6)

    it becomes aware that, at any time in the preceding 12 months, the amount of client money segregated in its client bank accounts materially differed from the total aggregate amount of client money the firm was required to segregate in client bank accounts under the client money segregation requirements.

Annual audit of compliance with the client money rules

CASS 7.15.34G

Firms are reminded that the auditor of the firm has to confirm in the report submitted to the FCA under SUP 3.10 (Duties of auditors: notification and report on client assets) that the firm has maintained systems adequate to enable it to comply with the client money rules.