SRA Handbook

Joint accounts

Version 21 of the Handbook was published on 6 December 2018. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 9: Joint accounts

9.1

If, when acting in a client's matter, you hold or receive money jointly with the client, another practice or another third party, the rules in general do not apply, but the following must be complied with:

(a)

rule 29.11 - statements from banks, building societies and other financial institutions;

(b)

rule 29.15 - bills and notifications of costs;

(c)

rule 29.17(b)(ii) - retention of statements and passbooks;

(d)

rule 29.21 - centrally kept records;

(e)

rule 31 - production of documents, information and explanations; and

(f)

rule 43A.1- reporting accountant to check compliance.

A joint account is not a client account but money held in a joint account is client money.

Operation of the joint account by you only

9.2

If the joint account is operated only by you, you must ensure that you receive the statements from the bank, building society or other financial institution in accordance with rule 29.11, and have possession of any passbooks.

Shared operation of the joint account

9.3

If you share the operation of the joint account with the client, another practice or another third party, you must:

(a)

ensure that you receive the statements or duplicate statements from the bank, building society or other financial institution in accordance with rule 29.11, and retain them in accordance with rule 29.17(b)(ii); and

(b)

ensure that you either have possession of any passbooks, or take copies of the passbook entries before handing any passbook to the other signatory, and retain them in accordance with rule 29.17(b)(ii).

Operation of the joint account by the other account holder

9.4

If the joint account is operated solely by the other account holder, you must ensure that you receive the statements or duplicate statements from the bank, building society or other financial institution in accordance with rule 29.11, and retain them in accordance with rule 29.17(b)(ii).

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