- 28 Aug 2018
All letting agents operating in Scotland, who hold or handle client money, are required by the Letting Agent Code of Practice to hold client money in one or more separate and dedicated client bank accounts.
Following reported difficulties by some agents in opening an undesignated (pooled) Client Bank Account, officials from the Scottish Government have liaised with UK Finance, UK Government, individual banks and industry stakeholders to seek to increase the availability of suitable accounts.
A number of banks are in the process of implementing a new approach which should allow those yet to meet this requirement to apply to open a suitable pooled client account. The deadline for existing agents to make an application to join the Scottish Letting Agent Register is the 1st October 2018. Recognising that some letting agents are still in the process of obtaining an appropriate account, the Scottish Government has changed the online application form to allow letting agents without a suitable client bank account and client money protection insurance to submit an application.
Agents who don’t yet have a suitable client bank account should continue to try to obtain one and explore all options open to them. For example, there are a number of client bank account products available to those businesses who are members of certain professional bodies, those subject to the UK Money Laundering Regulations and users of some online automated payment and reconciliation platforms.
Applicants to the Register will be asked to confirm whether or not they have a suitable account and insurance as part of the application process for joining the Register. Where an applicant indicates that they do not have these in place, the registration team will contact the applicant for further information about the steps they have taken, and continue to take, in order to comply with these legislative requirements.
While agents in the process of meeting the client money requirements of the Code will be able to submit an application to join the Register by the 1st October deadline, applicants must have a suitable client bank account and insurance in place before they are admitted to the Register.
Letting Agent Registration
0300 244 6439