From 1 April, all private property agents in England holding client money must belong to a government approved client money protection scheme. Our previous detailed post can be read here.
The government has approved the following CMP schemes:
- Client Money Protect
- Money Shield
- NALS Client Money Protection
- UKALA Client Money Protection
Further schemes could be approved by the government.
In addition to becoming a member of one of the above schemes agents will also need to:
- Hold client money in a client account with an FCA authorised bank account or building society (some schemes may offer a grace period until 1 April 2020 to open a account)
- Hold and maintain professional indemnity insurance
- Have appropriate client money protection handling procedures
- Obtain membership of a CMP scheme and display the membership certificate in a prominent place in the office/s and any website
- Provide a copy of the certificate to any person who reasonably requires it, free of charge
It is important to note that individual schemes may also set additional requirements.
Agents that fail to become a CMP member could face a fine of up to £30,000. A failure to display the membership certificate could result in a fine of up to £5,000.