ID and source of funds checks

As solicitors, we are duty bound to protect your interests as clients and to protect any money that we hold for you on client account.  

Why we ask for ID and source of funds information

The body that governs what we do, the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (‘SRA’), imposes stringent rules on us for your protection to ensure that we identify who our clients are and where they live, whether this is by meeting you and obtaining certified copies of your passport or photo drivers licence and proof of address or using an independent ID verification app, such as ThirdFort.  If you are selling a property, we will also ask the selling agent to provide us with a copy of the ID that you provided to them.

In the last couple of years, most people will have experienced an online ‘onboarding’ process.  This might have been for opening an account with a different bank or signing up to the NHS website to get your COVID pass.  This is now familiar territory for most of us and the most difficult thing seems to be having sufficient Wifi to complete it in one go!  

How can you prove source of funds?

In addition to verifying who you are and where you live, we also need to establish your ‘source of funds’ (ie how the funds arose) and your ‘proof of funds’ (ie where you are holding the money and that you are either holding sufficient to complete your transaction in an account in your name or that we are helping you put in place lending to fund the transaction, or a combination of the two).  Sometimes, we do this via ThirdFort (where you can upload a copy of your bank statement showing the funds).  If not, then we might ask you to provide, for example, statements from your investment account, details of bonus payments from an employer, an inheritance, or perhaps a copy of the completion statement from the sale of a property to show how the funds arose or a financial reference from your bank or accountant.  

Enhanced Due Diligence

If the value of the transaction exceeds £1,000,000, the SRA requires that we undertake Enhanced Due Diligenceso you can expect us to ask you more questions about how you acquired the funds and your circumstances.  We need a clear picture of how you acquired the money.  This obligation is ongoing throughout a transaction, so we may ask you again – for example if your source of funds changes.  We really appreciate the assistance that clients give us by being ready to provide this information.  Often deals need to progress quickly, and the sooner we can satisfy the SRA’s requirements, the sooner we can get your matter underway. 

How Moore Barlow can help

Charlotte Brackley assists her clients in buying and selling high value rural property: large country houses with land, farms and landed estates. She has worked in rural property for almost 20 years and acts for high net worth individuals and families, private companies and trusts in connection with their rural property transactions.  

The bespoke service that Charlotte provides has a strong emphasis on client care: my clients are supported and guided throughout each transaction to help ensure that we reach a timely and successful outcome.  

Contact Moore Barlow’s rural property team for any advice with the purchase or sale of your rural property.