Xavi & Co The Deposit Protection ServiceThe Property Ombudsman

Client Money Handling Procedure

Xavi and Co is a member of The Property Ombudsman. As a member we must publish our client money handling procedures on our website, as well as making copies available to customers upon request. Xavi and Co hold clients’ money in one main ring-fenced client account, which is separate from all other monies. Client money is available on demand. The bank account is correctly titled to include the name of the Firm and the word “Client” to distinguish the account from an office or any other account. Xavi and Co adheres to the Client Money Rules of Conduct, using the following procedures:

  • All Client Money is held in a Client Money Account with RBS, an authorised bank.
  • We operate a Client Money Account into which all Client Money is paid.
  • We ensure that Client Money Accounts are designated as such and are easily distinguished from any other account.
  • We have confirmed with our bank holding the Client Money Account that the bank acknowledges that monies in the Client Money Account must not be combined with, or transferred to, any other account maintained by the Firm, and the bank shall not be entitled to exercise any right of set off or counterclaim against the money in that Client Money Account in respect of any sum owed to it in respect of any other account of the firm.
  • Records and accounts are retained which show all dealings with Client Money and demonstrate that all Client Money held by the Firm is held in a Client Money Account.
  • We will provide a copy of its procedures for handling Client Money to any person who may reasonably require a copy, free of charge, upon request.
  • Records are retained which provide a history of all dealings with Client Money.
  • Client Money is repaid as soon as possible if there is no longer any requirement to retain that money.
  • Client Money may be repaid to the client upon request
  • We hold appropriate Professional Indemnity insurance cover
  • We hold appropriate Client Money Protection insurance cover

Surplus Client Funds

In the event that Xavi and Co receives surplus client money into our client account, the following best practice is followed. First, efforts to trace the clients or owners of the money are made, and any surplus money is held within a client account for at least six years. If, after six years, the client or owner of the money has not been found and no true claimant to the money has come forward it may be donated to a registered charity chosen by the Agent.

General Controls

Xavi and Co, its accounts team ensure that;

  • Any employees with client money contact will always have clear segregation of duties and responsibilities
  • We employ competent and knowledgeable staff or appropriate third party accounts teams who are responsible for processing clients’ money and who are familiar with Client Accounting rules
  • Our accounting systems and client data are securely controlled and protected
  • Our IT and Computer systems are adequately protected for access, firewalls, back-ups and disaster recovery
  • We provide adequate cover for holiday and long-term absence
  • Principals cannot override controls surrounding the accounting system
  • All areas of the business apply the same level of controls in relation to the client accounting function.

Client Accounting Systems and Controls

  • Accounting records and systems are appropriate to the nature and volumes of client account transactions.
  • Systems provide details of all money received into and paid from all client accounts and show a running balance of all client money held in that account
  • Systems identify all receipts and payments to the client to which they relate
  • Client ledgers show cash balances held on behalf of clients at all times
  • Trial balance reports are run regularly to show the breakdown of funds held within our client account
  • Accounting records are completed promptly
  • Current balances and period reports are available upon demand to its auditors
  • All ledgers include the client name and reference
  • Overdrawn balances on client ledgers are prevented by systems controls
  • Adequate controls are in place over unidentified client money to ensure that such funds are kept securely.
  • A list of client bank account details will be maintained
  • Daily reconciliations are performed
  • Further reconciliations are completed at least once every month where clients’ money is held in a general client account.
  • Any unresolved differences or adjustments are fully investigated and explained.
  • Any errors identified in the reconciliation process are promptly rectified.
  • Reconciliations are reviewed and signed off by appropriate senior staff.
  • Client accounting records, including copies of reconciliations, are securely kept for at least six years plus the current year.

Controls over the payment of Client Money

Xavi and Co ensures that:

  • Checks are made to ensure that sufficient funds are held on behalf of the relevant client before payments are made
  • Adequate authorisation procedures are in place for payments made by electronic methods.
  • All payment requests have supporting evidence and that documentation has been authorised in advance by a Manager
  • We do not accept any payments by cash or cheque
  • Effective controls are in place over the setting up of new supplier accounts on our systems

Complaints

We are committed to providing you with the highest level of service possible, but sometimes, things can go wrong. By letting us know when you have a problem, we can work with you to understand what’s happened and put it right. This easy-to-use guide tells you how to make us aware of your views so that we can address any concerns you may have, quickly and professionally

How do I report a complaint?

The first thing you need to do is contact us and let us know what part of our service you are unhappy with. You can report your concerns to us by phone, in writing by post, or you can send us an email. We will aim to resolve any issues immediately, however if this is not possible then your concerns will be escalated to a manager who will investigate the matter.

We can be contacted at the following;

196 High Street
Brentford
TW8 8AH

What happens next?

When we receive your complaint, we will:

  • Send you a written acknowledgement within three working days which will outline who is responsible for investigating the issues raised.
  • Collate as much information as possible and liaise with the various departments involved to establish all the facts.
  • Send a detailed response within fifteen working days, informing you of the outcome and ask if the suggested resolution is satisfactory. If we need more time to resolve your concerns however, you will receive a written explanation for the delay.

All complaints are kept confidential and will be dealt with in a fair and unbiased way. If we do not hear from you within eight weeks of our response, we will assume the matter has been resolved and the complaint will be closed.

Should you have concerns in the meantime however, please contact the member of staff whose name appears on the letter of acknowledgement.

We are members of The Property Ombudsman

If you feel your complaint has not been satisfactorily dealt with by ourselves, you can send your complaint to the property ombudsman. Go to the property ombudsman website to download a complaint form. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, misuse of client money, failure to uphold high standards of ethical and professional practice, and failure to answer correspondence.

01722333306
admin@tpos.co.uk
https://selfserve.tpos.co.uk/

If you have a complaint relating to insurance, these will be dealt with separately to ensure we are complying with regulation rules. Any insurance-related matters will be acknowledged within five working days and issues can be reported by phone, in writing by post, by email, or you can pop into your local branch and talk to one of advisors. Please allow up to eight weeks for us to issue a final response, however we will aim to get back to you much sooner than this. If we are unable to respond fully within four weeks of receiving your complaint, we will update you on our reasons for this. Following our final response, if you are unhappy with the outcome, you can refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service:

Financial Ombudsman Service Exchange
Tower Harbour Exchange Square
London
E14 9SR
08000 234 567
complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
www.financial ombudsman.org.uk

Please note: if you are looking to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, you will need to have followed our complaints procedure first, and then passed the matter to the Ombudsman within six months of receiving our final response.

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