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safeagent urges Government to extend banking reforms to protect the private rented sector

2nd August 2023

In light of the Treasury’s recent announcement of reforms aimed at enhancing customer protections for personal bank accounts, safeagent is calling upon the City Minister to consider extending these reforms to cover business accounts; particularly client accounts held  by lettings and management agents.

By doing so, safeagent states that the Government can demonstrate its commitment to supporting the PRS and ensuring that agents can operate with stability and confidence while upholding the highest industry standards.

“To ensure the proper functioning of those operating within the PRS, it is imperative to address the challenges that agents face concerning the sudden and unexplained closure of their client accounts by banks,” explains Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive of safeagent. “These accounts securely hold landlords’ rental income and tenants’ deposits, as is legally required, and we have seen a a number of instances where these accounts have been subjected to unexpected closures, significantly disrupting business operations.”

“The current situation forces agents to navigate a labyrinth of obstacles when attempting to open new client accounts with other banks; most notably the stringent criteria set, rendering the process nearly unachievable for many agents, especially small businesses.,”

“If the Government is committed to elevating industry standards within the PRS, swift action must be taken to address this pressing issue. The inability of lettings and management agents to access reliable and compliant client accounts hinders their ability to operate effectively and ethically, undermining the Government’s goal of fostering a thriving and secure rental market.”

View letter to Andrew Griffith MP, City Minister, H M Treasury HERE

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