Firms affected by the RBS payments crisis will be indemnified for any losses incurred.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority today confirmed a number of firms have been impacted by the computer system problems affecting the RBS Group of RBS, NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts.
Since yesterday, payments made by clients through direct debit and direct deposits have been delayed.
Firms have reported their concerns that they could be overdrawn on their accounts if they are looking to complete transactions – particularly with conveyancing.
The SRA said it has discussed the problems with RBS and the bank has confirmed solicitors will not be penalised.
The SRA said: ‘RBS has confirmed that where firms have used best endeavours to ensure that payment has been made into their account, for example by contacting lenders (or buyers’ solicitors) direct for confirmation of payment, they are prepared to give appropriate undertakings to indemnify solicitors.’
Firms are advised to contact their bank relationship managers and keep a full note of dates and times of conversations with lenders. Details should also be confirmed immediately by email.
The SRA has also stated that solicitors that gave an undertaking with regard to completion should not be subject to disciplinary action.
‘Equally, should there be a breach of the SRA accounts rules due to the present system failures, or through solicitors - even though acting in their clients’ best interests - failing to complete transactions, no disciplinary action will be taken.’
RBS has said delayed payments will be processed no later than Saturday.