SRA updates guidance to firms who are NatWest or RBS account holders

The SRA has added an update to the guidance it issued last week following the technical issues experienced by NatWest and RBS Banks.  
The update is shown below:
We are informed that banking systems are now rectified and work is continuing on bringing account entries up to date. Some CHAPS, inward and outward payments may have been recorded twice. The banks are working to rectify this and remove ghost entries. Some payments to client account may show in a reverse chronological order so that payment out will appear to have taken place before payment in. The relevant time period for these entries is between 20 June and 29 June 2012. The banks apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank the legal sector for their support during this difficult period.

The SRA is aware that this may cause some firms to fall foul of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. Should a firm be experiencing these problems, then details of such entries, time, date, amount should be kept so that your reporting accountant can cover these inaccuracies in his report with the reasons for any double entries.

We would like to reassure those solicitors who have been put in breach of the SRA Accounts Rules, as a consequence of the present system problems, that on the basis they have satisfied themselves that client money is properly accounted for, we cannot foresee a situation where disciplinary action would be taken due to problems that arise as a result of these difficulties. Should you require any further guidance, please contact the Professional Ethics helpline 0870 606 2577.

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