Best bank or building society account for personal injury trust

To create a trust for personal injury compensation you need a trust deed. This is a legal document which creates the trust and appoints your trustees.

Once your trust document is complete the next step is for the trustees to open a separate bank or building society account to hold your personal injury trust fund. Opening an account should be easy as the trustees are simply opening a joint account.

First create the trust with a deed and then open an account. You cannot create a trust by simply opening a separate bank account, you need to first create the trust with a deed. Many people turn up at a bank without a deed and this is why confusion is created. I suggest you waste no time on banks before the trust deed is complete.

I recommend you open an account in a convenient local branch. The trust account should be cheque book only, with at least two signatures being required for a financial transaction, so there will be times when you need help at the branch.Bank or building society account wanted for personal injury trust

The first step is to have a trust document, called a trust deed, prepared for you  It is the trust document which creates the trust, not the bank or building society account. There should be no need to ask the bank to get involved in the trust itself. All you want from the bank or building society is the facility of an account.

You need a current account to make a start but do remember you can open other accounts and investments, provided the accounts and investments are held by the trust.

There should be two trustees as a minimum. If the compensated person is to be a trustee there should be at least two other trustees. The bank account should be a joint account, and should require joint signatures. The account for a personal injury trust should use the title of the trust. A trust for compensation set up for me in 2015 would be called the Mark Thompson Personal Injury Settlement 2015.

So what you need is a joint account for the trustees, and the account must have a particular name. That should not be difficult as businesses and organisations have accounts in the name of the organisation rather than the individuals who are to sign the cheques.

Help on personal injury trust 0330

It seems that as soon as the words “personal injury trust” are used in a bank the transaction immediately becomes complicated. If you are lucky you will find a member of the bank staff who has dealt with a personal injury trust before, but where that experience is lacking opening the account can become complicated. Some refer to head office, and some call in the bank’s own trust or legal department. The worst recent experience of a client was to be told off at a well-known building society for trying to hide money from the government. That is just ignorance of the law. Creating a personal injury trust is perfectly legitimate and based on benefit regulations which specifically allow trusts to protect compensation from the means-testing for certain State benefits and entitlements.

Please do not be put off, as accounts have been opened by all clients. It is a question of finding someone at the bank or building society with a bit of experience. There are two banks which cannot help you as they seem unable to give an account a name which differs from the signatories. I think the best way to approach the bank or building society is:

  1. Do not ask at the window or counter where staff are dealing with basic transactions.
  2. Do not contact telephone advice lines as the call handlers are unlikely to be able to help.
  3. Ask for an appointment to see a private banker or financial adviser.
  4. Have a copy of the trust document available.
  5. Explain you want to set up a joint account for the trustees, and that the account must have a particular name.

This approach gets the best results. If you turn up at a bank or building society and say you want to set up a personal injury trust you will be met with a blank expression. What you actually want is to open a joint account for the trustees.

Call without obligation on 0330 223 1708

Some banks do promote accounts for trusts. I have not come across one with a reasonable level of interest. Most accounts can be opened by trustees provided you approach them as I suggest.

I would like to hear from those who have been compensated for accidents and injuries. Please let me know the bank or building society and branch you use, as there are differences between branches, and lets discover which bank or building society has got its act together and understands the needs of those with personal injury trusts.

My second request is for information about banks and building societies which pay a decent rate of interest, and allow easy access to the trust money. One bank has tried to persuade me that interest is only to be paid on a trustee account if the balance is more than £50,000.

In the interests of those trying to open accounts please share your experience by commenting below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

About Mark Thompson

Personal injury and accident specialist solicitor
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166 Responses to Best bank or building society account for personal injury trust

  1. Mulino says:

    In setting up a PIT with a solicitor is it mandatory for them to charge a fee in excess of £900 setting up the trust? I understand that a trust deed needs to be setup prior to a building society able to setup the account for the trustees to manage, so I’m trying to understand the financial implications I need to accommodate in this regard. Would this be the trust deed costing advised by my solicitor?

    I to am in the process of receiving a large amount, so I’d would likely use Natwest moving forward for the trustees. Are my trustees required to be present when I setup the account?

    • Mark Thompson says:

      You could ask me for a fixed price quote for preparing the trust. I do not publish my price, as if I make a small increase my website will be out of date.
      The account opened is a joint account for the trustees, so the bank will need to see all trustees.

  2. Kate W says:

    You have been of great help from start to finish and I am grateful.
    My experience with trying to open the trust was with the co-operative firstly, who said that they do not normally deal with things like this and that I should contact their head office to try and continue, but it seemed a no- starter so I moved onto Barclays as I’d heard of good experiences.
    I called to make an appointment at a branch, which was not as simple as it should have been. In branch they said the person I was supposed to see was sick, so two other employees took details separately from me and my trustees.
    I had a letter a couple of weeks afterwards stating they needed more information.
    I called to make an appointment again, and the person on the phone did not really understand and booked me in for a business account meeting. No use! So they squeezed me in with the right person.
    Due to strict ID requirements I had to arrange to return again! The lady I dealt with personally was very helpful though, and it all got finally sorted out. My first appointment with them to set this up was in early December. The date the account was finally ready for use was early February.
    Although it has not been the simplest experience, and their phone staff not the most knowledgeable, I found that in branch they were friendly and helpful, and Barclays have everything setup so that you can do this in your local branch instead of dealing with head office. It is now all properly set up and I am happy with the account.
    Advice: make sure everyone has up to date ID, expect more than one visit to the bank, and follow the simple steps that Mark tells you, as this made the process simpler for me to understand when setting the account up.

  3. Sean says:

    I approached NatWest bank to set up a PI Trust in Wakefield branch. The advisor knew what it was but it took weeks and a lot of reminding for them to send me the correct forms. After waiting weeks I decided to approach Barclays upon advice from Mark.

    At the appointment in branch everything seemed ok and all I had to do was get the other Trustee to go to their local branch in York. My wife is a Trustee and she came along to the appointment with me and signed all the forms.

    Sadly the communication at the York bank wasn’t brilliant so a few minor issues occurred when the Trustee went to sign forms but it did get sorted.

    I had to wait around 1 week for the cheque book and since then all seems well. I have sent several cheques without any issues and so far so good. I wish I had stayed wih Barclays in the first instance.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      There are always different experiences with banks and their branches. At the moment, for a current account for trustees, Barclays and NatWest seem to be the most consistent banks.

  4. Julie Fish says:

    Hi What a nightmare! I haven’t yet received my money and don’t need access to it immediately but trying to see if I would be able to put it into the best one year bond for now ! You would think I was asking for the moon! Until I rang Skipton Building society in Newcastle upon Tyne and I will be sorted without any problems whew! Wish I had rung there first!

  5. Sonnie says:

    Thank you for your help in setting up my wife’s PIT. We like others below used NATWEST, we made an appointment to see one of their Senior Personal Bankers and as we already had an account, there was no need for proof of ID etc, apart from our daughter who is also a trustee. We were warned it might take up to two months to set the account up, it actually took six weeks. Unfortunately they have spelt my wife’s middle name (trust name) wrong on the cheque book and are continuing to pester us via text and email to log on to internet banking and that our debit card is on its way!!! Nobody said it would be easy! Looks like another visit to the Personal Banker who I believe is away to have her baby, the plot thickens.
    I have a few questions for Mark or anyone else that might have any experience.
    Is it not possible to have Internet Banking or even a Debit card but only use them to view the account? I find it quite disconcerting that I/We (trustees) have to wait for a statement or go in to the branch.
    You mention in some of the questions below about give a loan from the trust and having the repayments paid back into the trust. How is this achieved, does it require some kind of written agreement. For example giving a loan to a family member or as mentioned giving yourself a loan to buy a house.
    Hope I’m not rambling on to much I understand there has to be a paper trail I’m just unsure how to achieve it and don’t want to make a silly mistake and undo all this hard work.
    Thanks in advance

    • Mark Thompson says:

      Please note this reply relates to a trust I prepared, so I know the terms of the trust. Whether this answer applies to you depends on the trustee powers contained in your trust.

      Your wife is a trustee. If she has the opportunity to access the trust fund direct, the trust fails. A debit card or internet banking would provide the opportunity of personal access, so the trust would fail. Such access is one of the areas which the benefit agencies question so great care is necessary in the operation of the account.

      Even if your wife were not a trustee, the trustees have to operate collectively which means they must operate on the basis of at least two signatures. This provides security to the beneficiary, as one trustee cannot control the trust fund. It is also protection for the trustees, as a collective action is much less likely to be criticised by the beneficiary.

      I appreciate it is frustrating, but for the benefit of retaining benefits I think the inconvenience is worthwhile.

      The trust prepared for your wife allows loans to be made by th etrust. A written agreement is necessary between the trustees and the person taking the loan. The repayment terms must be clear. If the money is being provided to a family member as a deposit for a property purchase, the money could be given as a gift if your wife is in agreement. If a loan is made a charge should be registered against the property to ensure repayment if the property were sold. However, if a mortgage is necessary to buy the property, the mortgage lender would demand the first charge against the property to ensure they are repaid first. The trust can receive the loan repayment, even if it exceeds the amount loaned. An increase in the stake in the property, or payment of interest, can be received by the trust as it is income or capital gain derived from personal injury compensation.

      • Sonnie Denslow says:

        Hi, Mark
        Would other investments/accounts opened by the trust have to have the trust name as does this one, ie: another bank account called. The (name) personal injury trust. It obviously can’t have my wife’s name, that would defeat the object.
        Thanks again for your help.

        • Mark Thompson says:

          My usual advice is to open a current account for the trust. very few current accounts pay a decent interest rate, so the trust can open other accounts and investments.
          I suggest an account have the same name as the trust, so its link to the trust is clear. Some assets, like a house for instance, are held in the name of the trustees, as trustees. The important point is the trust must hold the asset, not the compensated person.

  6. Gary Kentish says:

    We used Mark Thompson to set up a Personal Injury Trust for a family member who was seriously injured in a car accident.

    Mark talked us through every step of setting up the trust deed and then advised us to go to the Bank and set up account, We chose Natwest by the way, mainly because we already bank with them; so it cut a lot of paperwork out.

    The process appeared fairly daunting at first, but it really is a simple process with quite a lot of boxes to sign.

    Natwest took around two weeks to set up the Trust account, which is basically their standard “Select” account with the three trustees being joint account holders, of which any two can sign the cheque book. As advised we opted not to have the debit card or internet banking and made the name of the account specific to the trust as per Mark’s advice.

    Our local Natwest branch had never done a trust account before but they have their full procedures available to them online (internally) and the counter staff just followed the online requirements.

    We can only speak from experience and have to say we are so glad we had such a knowledgeable and experienced Solicitor to set up the Trust fund for us. Thank you Mark!

  7. Karen says:

    I am due to receive a very large amount of compensation from an injury at work. I’ve been advised to open a injury trust account by my solicitor. I have chosen my two trustees and the trust documentation as been drawn up.
    My only problem is I can not find a bank that will do this for me. I currently bank with lloyds but they say they do not have any accounts available that can be opened in two peoples names for the purpose of myself.
    Can you advise me of any that will do this please. Thanks.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      Based on recent client experience, the most consistent banks are Barclays and NatWest. The most consistent building society is the Skipton.
      The problem with Lloyds is they used to have a basic type of current account, which I think they called a community account, which was used for trusts and organisations. They have stopped that account. There is nothing to stop them opening a “Classic Account” and not providing a debit card or internet banking. Bank staff think a “trust account” has something special, but all the trustees need is a current account with a cheque book with the account having the same name as the trust.
      Let me know how you get on.

  8. N P Collington says:

    Thank you Mark, my personal injury trust has been set-up with Natwest, it’s not a straight forward process, but they seem to be the bank that’s geared up to trusts, when enquiring, it’s essential that you get the right person at the bank to fill out all the forms, someone who has or does deal with trusts, they are then sent off to a H.O. to be set-up at the branch of your choice…unless all the ‘T’s are crossed & ‘I’s dotted it will be a lot longer process, but once set up, seems straight forwards enough. Do’s and don’t are easy, do have a chq book for the account, do have at least 2 to sign, don’t use online, don’t have a debit card, use money for the person named on the trust.

  9. MISS MAXINE R BEDWARD says:

    Thanks for the invaluable information on this site provided by Mark Thompson. Armed with my trust document I made an appointment with my local Natwest bank in Crawley from start to finish it was a joy, all the staff where very helpfull during the process of setting up the trust account. Be aware that it does take some time filling in forms and having ID checked and photocopied for myself and trustees. So when you make an appointment to have a trust account set up bare this in mind. Just awaiting account details and cheque book, I was told this could take up to 10 days to arrive.

  10. s-c says:

    NAT WEST

    With welcomed and professional advice my trust was deed was set up by Mark Thompson with myself and 3 other trustees. That it seems was the easy bit…Opting for a local high street bank I selected Nat West as the staff seemed to know what they were talking about and one staff member had a son with a trust so knew something of it’s requirements. The branch staff were very helpful, however it was a lengthy process to get the trust set up correctly via head office; after the issue of over a dozen incorrect cheque books, some paying in books and even debit cards (which are not actually allowed for a trust), numerous branch visits and head office phone calls were required to get things corrected. Apparently the system has to set up the trust as a joint account first before adding trustees and turning it into a trust account. Eventually everything was set up correctly and sufficient apologies have been made by head office. It was a stressful process but it’s all done now and Mark Thompson was forever helpful with any questions.

  11. Ray says:

    Hi,

    I am due to recieve a PIC and i am aware of the PIT needed to protect funds and i am seeking to set one up.
    Firstly do i need to secure someone in my local area to do this ?
    Secondly, i own my home outright but wish to relocate, can i use the trust fund to purchase a new house then put the funds from the sale of my old house into the fund to compensate the money used. This would ensure i can move at ease with no chains and no limbo inbetween house sales.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland you will need a local solicitor as the trust will be different to those used in England and Wales. If you are in England or Wales I can assist you as I prepare must trusts by email or post as it is essentially a paper work exercise.
      I understand what you are trying to achieve with the property. A trust for personal injury compensation can only hold compensation or money and assets derived from the compensation. So if you used the compensation to buy a property, the trust would hold the property as an asset. If the property was sold in the future the trust would receive all of the sale price, even if greater than the purchase price, as the asset was derived from the compensation. If the property purchased by the trust was rented out the trust could receive the rent.

      That is a long answer to your question. No, you could not do as you suggest as the funds from the sale of your house could not go into the trust as they are not derived from compensation.

      An alternative approach would be for the trust to make you a loan to make the purchase which you could repay once your property was sold.

      There are benefits in holding a property in a trust as a local authority would have to ignore the property if you sought financial support for your care.

  12. Emma says:

    We are currently setting up a PIT and I want to pay off a loan with HSBC. I called to get a settlement figure and they told me that they will not be able to receive payment from any account other than my current or savings account. This completely defeats the purpose of the PIT. Is this allowed? I cannot possibly put the money in my own account as I’m currently claiming tax credits. My solicitor has just said that it could effect me but has no solution. Can you help?

    • Mark Thompson says:

      It is a long time since I have heard such nonsense. Find someone in the branch with grey hair and common sense. They must be able to set up a transfer from a trust account to repay the loan.

  13. P Burford says:

    I just wished to leave some useful information for anyone wishing to set up a Personal Injury Trust. Firstly Mark Thompson is your man if you want to set up the Trust. I spoke to several local Solicitors who didn’t really know what I was talking about, and then wanted to charge me in excess of £900 to process the Trust. Mark has expert knowledge of PI Trusts and whenever I had a query, either by email or telephone Mark personally got back to me straight away.
    I found two banks, where all staff were knowledegable of PI Trusts, Skiptons in St Albans and Metro Bank both in St Albans and Milton Keynes. I went with Metro as they were able to offer an account where I have a cheque book. This makes it easier for me to make payments, as although I have set up the account with 4 Trustees to include myself, I arranged it so that only two signatories were required, my own and another whom I live with. The account at Metro took a few days to set up. All Trustees have to be present when opening the account with required ID. I set up the account so that I did not have access to online banking or have a debit/cash card, as recommended by Mark, but have set up quarterly bank statements to be sent to me, although this can be monthly or annually if you prefer.

  14. Angela says:

    Hello,
    Can I start getting trust deed sorted before I receive the cheque?
    Are there any other payments required after payment to get trust deed? Like every time I withdraw or annually.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      The compensation figure is included in the compensation, so if you have that figure I suggest you have the trust prepared. The trustees will be able to open a bank account ready and waiting to receive the compensation.
      The ideal situation is to pay the compensation straight into the trust account.
      I charge a one-off fixed fee. I think the sort of arrangement you are thinking of is where a professional trustee is involved and a charge is made for actions taken and time spent by the professional trustee. A professional trustee is not usually necessary.

  15. patricia says:

    Thank you for your advice and clarity. Due to a traumatic accident,my son is unable to work and is in receipt of benefits including housing benefit and we have now set up a PIT for his compensation through your helfpful advice.
    He would like to buy a property to be owned by the trust to rent out to bring in a small income as the interest is very low from the PIT.
    Firstly, if the trust owns the house, is he still entitled to Housing Benefit for the flat he lives in as the house will be an investment.
    Secondly, if the bank holdng the trust went bust, would he lose the house as it was held
    by the trust or is it just money over £85.000 that is unprotected in one account. Thank you

    • Mark Thompson says:

      You will have to check the trust deed to see if the trust can purchase a property. If that power is included in the trust deed then the trustees can buy a house and receive rent. The property must be owned by the trust and the rent paid to the trust account and that will ensure both the property and rent are disregarded for benefit and local authority care purposes.
      Under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme the first £75,000 (as of January 2016) of your savings (or £150,000 if your money is held in a joint account) is protected in the event that a bank or building society goes bust. So it is the first £75,000 held with each bank which is protected. The trustees can open accounts with more than one bank to gain the maximum protection.

      • Sue says:

        Hello Mark

        I, too, am having trouble finding a bank that will take the money! A Lloyds manager told me yesterday that these “trust” accounts were stopped about 8 months ago due to a lack of demand. I will persevere.

        I thought I read somewhere that the FSCS protection for PI compensation is up to £1m, not £75000. Did I misread this please?

        • Mark Thompson says:

          A number of my clients opened accounts for their trust with Lloyds. The bank recently wrote to clients to say it was no longer offering that particular type of account any more and asked them to change to a different type of account. I think Lloyds called the account a “trust and community account,” or something along those lines. The answer for all with this Lloyds account was to open another account with Lloyds making sure the account had the same name as the trust, the trustees were joint account holders and that at least two signatures were required for a transaction. The account operated by cheque book alone, so no debit card or online banking. Lloyds stopped offering an account with the word “trust” in its title, but they were still capable of operating an account which fulfilled the needs of a trust.
          The message is that it does not matter what a bank calls its accounts, it is the facilities an account offers which matters. The facilities of an account can usually be tailored to your needs when completing the account mandate. Banks give their accounts names for marketing purposes, but most banks are perfectly capable of setting up an account for trustees.

  16. ELAINE says:

    Thanks Mark. I’ve been into Nat West again with some info that their club and charity dept gave me and we have filled the forms in for a current account with a trust mandate attached to it so both trustees have to sign. Fingers crossed.

  17. Elaine Bradburn says:

    I’ve got the paperwork for my personal injury trust but having a nightmare with banks. Have explained that I need an account with a cheque book with the name of the account and we have two trustees. All I get is that they can only open the account in the name of the trustees. Not the injury plan name. I have been to Lloyds twice, Nat west, santander. And then I would have to open it online or over the phone then take ID into branch but they don’t open the accounts there. HELP

    • Mark Thompson says:

      I can only tell you the recent experience of my clients, but it strikes me you are struggling with bank branches with limited experience of these trusts.
      The banks which seem unable to help are Santander and Halifax. I would be delighted to hear I am wrong about this.
      Most other banks seem perfectly capable of opening the account and giving it the correct name. The reason I advise clients to name the account after the trust is to satisfy the enquiries of benefit agencies when they ask for proof the compensation is held separate from your personal funds.
      The most consistent bank for opening accounts for trusts is Barclays. Barclays have a central department which handles accounts which are out of the ordinary, so you are not reliant on finding someone in a branch with experience of these trusts. You mention Lloyds and Natwest, both of which have opened accounts for clients.
      For a savings account Skipton Building Society have been consistently good. Skipton seem to provide an old-fashioned building society account with a book, so you will need a separate current account so you have a cheque book.
      Let me know how you get on.

  18. Graham says:

    Have just opened a Personal Injury Settlement Trust Fund bank account (cheque book only) with the RBS at 30 London Road, Enfield Town, Middlesex, EN2 6DT. I dealt with Tansu Caran at the RBS, however, all the other staff at this branch of the RBS would have opened a Trust Fund account for me (one of the trustees). FYI, Halifax bank, a couple of doors away from the RBS, wouldn’t open a Trust Fund account for me because “they don’t deal with them here”. Halifax’s loss is RBS’s gain. Thank you Mark Thompson for all your help in drawing up a bare Trust Deed document for my mother’s personal injury award. The process of dealing with you was a lot simpler and a lot less time consuming than finding a bank that would open a Trust Fund account for me. Thank you.

  19. Pedro Reis says:

    Hi Mark! Very usefull information indeed! I need your advice about my case! I’m going to receive a Personal Injury Compensation and I’m on Benefits! Can I use some of the money to buy personal items and bills and then create a trust with the rest of the money, or all of the money needs to go to the trust for I continue to receive Benefits?

    • Mark Thompson says:

      I always advise that you put all of the compensation into the trust. It can be a mistake to spend some compensation and then out the rest into trust. You are much better to put all in a trust and make your expenditure from the trust. Expenditure from the trust is not analyzed, but expenditure from your personal account can be analyzed by benefit agencies. It is the trust which protects the compensation, not the fact it is compensation.

      People with compensation become confused by what is sometimes called the 52 week rule. Compensation for personal injury is ignored by the benefit agencies is ignored for 52 weeks, but your expenditure of compensation in and after the 52 week period can be analyzed and you will be judged against the rules that say we will not pay benefit if you are judged to have blown the money. The 52 week period is there to allow you time to set up a trust, not to blow the money without consequence.

      First set up the trust, put all compensation in the trust and then spend from the trust.

  20. Martin says:

    When we needed to open a bank account for our Trust Fund my own bank, the HSBC and my wife’s Nationwide Building Society weren’t interested.
    The next bank we tried was the NatWest and they were happy to help. We actually saw one of their Financial Advisors and went through the process rather quickly although we did have to amend some details over the following week as certain details were omitted from the forms. The lady that we saw was very helpful setting up the account but we had the impression that she hadn’t much experience with Trust Fund accounts but it was all sorted out in the end.

  21. Ian says:

    I have spoken to two banks , Cater Allen private bank and Metro Bank who have a local branch in Reading the response from Cater Allen private bank was surprising as they informed me that they will now deal direct with personal clients and offer two types of accounts ,one with restricted withdrawals and fixed terms and interest which is rate dependent on the account balance , another with almost unlimited withdrawals but no interest.

    Everything is done via post and having a trustee in another country is no problem, the only disadvantage seen was the additional time that this would take due to the post.the young lady with whom I spoke double checked my requests with her superior whilst I was in conversation with her,everything was confirmed by her superior . Their website is fully comprehensive as to their requirements and like yourself you are encouraged to contact them if unsure about . Their requirements for Identification are similar to yours but all photocopies used for Id will need to be verified by a public Notary which Poland and Wroclaw where Aneta lives has a plentiful supply of them.

    With the Metro bank it was not quite so straight forward although they have a local branch. I took copy of your email with me on Friday afternoon and there was no Business manager on site and I asked the questions as you stated to me and these were emailed to him.and was contacted late this afternoon to be told that they will only deal with trustees with a UK address who are able to personally avail themselves to the bank in the UK for Identification purposes .

  22. Richard Hall says:

    Hi, I’m so glad I found this website. I really need some help.
    I have been granted compensation from my accident. I am currently receiving some state benefits.
    I would like my compensation to go into a trust fund so this is protected.
    Can someone please advise me on my exact first step…… Do I need to approach a solicitor or find a bank first.
    I’m confused as I have read that you need a Trust document to set up the trust fund with the bank, where would I get this document?

    Thank you all in advance.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      Hi Richard,
      I quite understand your confusion. The first step is to have a trust deed drawn up for you. It is this deed, or document, which creates the trust. Only when you have this trust deed should you approach a bank.
      The bank account set up for the trust is simply a joint bank account for the trustees to hold the trust fund. The bank account is not part of the trust, it is simply a bank account.
      I hope to be able to offer you a reasonable fixed fee to prepare the trust document.
      Take one step at a time.
      Mark

  23. simon says:

    after travelling up and down the though street I finally entered nat west. you are correct in saying that it is really which individual you talk to. I have set up a current account and a savings account both in the trusts name. however I still have to locate another bank savings account, so as not to have more than the recommended level of recoupable money should the bank crash.
    you can tell people until you are blue in the face that the trust is a legal document and not a type of account. until you can get them to understand its just wording on an account walk away or speak to a different advisor.
    I would like to thank mark for his excellent advice.

  24. Alan Thornton says:

    Hi, Fantastic information here thank you, my enquiry is, I was awarded personal injury compensation and set up a PIT however the compensation recovery unit claimed back £25,000 that I had received in benefits during the nearly five years my case dragged on for and nobody has clearly explained to me why this is allowed I can no longer work because of my injury

    • Mark Thompson says:

      When an insurer pays compensation to a claimant it has to separately repay, to the compensation recovery unit, any benefits the claimant received. So the liability to repay rests with the insurer.
      Within the calculation of your compensation you have to give credit for benefits against certain parts of your financial loss.
      In very simple terms if you lost £100 per week in earnings and received benefits of £40 each week your loss would be £60 per week. You claim the £60 in your claim and the insurer pays the £40 to the dear old government. Overall you have received £100 (£40 in benefits and £60 in the claim) and the insurer hands the £40 back.
      There are rules about how much credit for benefits you have to give within your claim and you can click here to see more detail.
      I think you can see the sense of the system, the problem here being your solicitor has not explained it to you.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    The firm of financial advisers with which my solicitor put me in touch when my claim was settled told me that they use two banks for Personal Injury Trust accounts: Metro Bank and Cater Allen (private bank owned by Santander). Metro Bank gives 0.5% interest on balances (and somewhere I read that it also gives 0.5% to the financial advisers although I did not confirm this).

    I contacted both of these to set up the Personal Injury Trust bank account myself rather than through the advisers. Cater Allen do not accept customers directly but only through a financial adviser, not only the firm but any registered financial adviser. The person I spoke to on the ‘phone was pleasant and helpful.

    The telephone number for Metro Bank displayed on its website goes through to a central office. The person I spoke to was not that familiar with PI Trust accounts, particularly the details of what was involved in setting one up, but she was aware that Metro Bank accept them. As I am not a Metro Bank customer, though, I would have to go in person into a branch with my identity and trust documents to set it up; the trustees would have to go in person in to the branch (or possibly ‘a’ branch) with their proof of identity documents as well. They would not accept copies of these documents in the post or via email.

    I chose a branch closest to relatives with whom I could stay overnight, a branch that was also convenient for my trustees to get to – Metro Bank’s branches all seem to be in London and the south-east. (Perhaps if I had gone through the firm of financial advisers, this would not be necessary, as the bank would accept that the firm had confirmed my identity. The firm works throughout the country, not just the south-east.)

    The person I spoke with at the Metro Bank central office gave me the telephone number of this branch (Croydon), and also the direct line of the business manager – I learnt that for a bank in general a PI Trust account is considered to be a business account, not a personal account.

    I telephoned the branch number; the person at the end was very helpful, and very knowledgeable about what was required to set up a PI Trust account. I also telephoned the business manager and left a message. He called me back the next day, arranged to send the required forms via email so I could fill in beforehand, and asked when I might be coming in so he could see me in person or alert the other staff, and when my trustees might go in for the same reason. The business manager of the local branch was the most informed of anyone I had spoken to so far in the banking world about PI Trust accounts: polite, helpful, pleasant, prompt – all reassuring.

    That said, I chose to follow the advice and experience written up on Mark Thompson’s website here, particularly when considering (future) access to means-tested benefits, as my benchmark. Access to the PI Trust account seems to be a key issue: the beneficiary should not be able to have sole access to satisfy benefit authorities, so it seems – yet even Metro Bank appear to allow for this possibility.

    Metro Bank does allow the Trustees to have internet banking and also provides a facility whereby someone (eg. beneficiary) can see the account(s) online but is not able to access it (them). This seems to me to be very helpful in today’s electronic world.

    I had also made an appointment, however, to see the manager of my local bank, Lloyds, with which I have banked for many years. By this stage, I was not expecting much and was preparing to make a trip up to Metro Bank in London. But the manager did agree to set up the account. Although familiar with trust accounts, he was perhaps less familiar with PI Trust accounts. For example, he was trying to arrange it so that I could have sole access the money on the grounds that it was my money. When someone is speaking with authority, I find it easy to assume they know what they are talking about . . . but decided in the end to stick with all the advice contained on Mark Thompson’s website here, ie. not to have access without the approval of at least one Trustee as well.

    I stressed to the bank manager that the money would not remain with the bank for very long as interest rates are so low at the moment. There was no higher interest rate he could offer me, and agreed that it was sensible to move it elsewhere. He did not suggest or mention that I see any financial advisers connected with the bank. He was aware, therefore, that the bank would in essence be providing a cheque book facility only. He suggested a current account with a linked savings account. No online banking facility, not even to see the amounts.

    He made the point several times that as I was an existing bank customer, the bank would be prepared to provide a PI Trust account for me. I took this to mean that if I was not a customer, they would not.

    Proof of identity was needed for the trustees. They need to go in person to a branch of the bank, not necessarily the branch where the account is opened. But as one of my trustees also banks with Lloyds, this was not necessary. I had guessed this might be the case, so had asked for the trustee’s bank details in advance. I gave these to manager who checked whether they were genuine, and then agreed that no visit in person was necessary.

    We discussed the account ‘mandate’ at some length: how many people need to sign the cheques. The bank follows my instructions. Once again, the advice on this website is invaluable, especially if the bank manager is not necessarily up-to-date with PI Trusts and benefits. I have three trustees including myself. We agreed that at least two must sign. Three cheque books are issued, which all come to me and then I give one each to the other trustees. When a cheque needs to be signed, I will contact a trustee, who will write out the cheque, post to me, and then I will send it wherever it needs to go. Only one person, however, is needed to move the money from the savings account to the current account.

    Signatures of the trustees are required on the bank’s paperwork to set up the PI Trust account. I took away the completed form, posted it to the trustees, who posted it, signed, back directly to the bank manager. I contacted the trustees to let them know to look out for it.

    If I want to know the balance of the accounts, I have to go into the branch in person, or telephone the bank manager.

    I opted for the Lloyds route in the end rather than Metro, because it saved me a two-day trip up to London, which was not that convenient at the time. If I had not been under time pressures, I might well have opted for Metro. Perhaps Metro, like Cater Allen, would accept an account opening via a financial adviser intermediary, so that such a visit would be unnecessary? With Metro, it would also be clear that the compensation money is kept separate from any other money and accounts I may have, as I don’t have any other Metro accounts.

    It seems to take quite a few days to set up an account like this, even after all the paperwork has been completed. I was given the account numbers last week but am still waiting for cheque books – and to hear that the money from the settlement has been transferred into the account. Both of these processes seem to take 10 days each.

  26. Sue Weston says:

    Thank you for all your help, advice and guidance with setting up my trust. I was able to open a trust bank account with Barclays without any hassle or problems. I just made an appointment with the adviser which I attended with only one of the trustees and they allowed me to take the paperwork home for the third trustee to sign, which I returned to the bank the following day and ten working days later the account was up and running, simples

    • Pam says:

      Hi Sue, Could you tell me which branch of Barclays you used please and if possible the name of the person/s who helped you as I approched my local Barclays and spoke to the Financial Advisor and he didnt have a clue.

      Many thanks

      Pam

  27. Maryam says:

    Hi Mark
    Thank you for this lovely website. I have some questions please?

    I had a small PIC which I put it into a trust and open a saver account with Lloyds Bank. They refused to use PI account name. Is this going to cause trouble in future?
    1. Am I allowed to give loan from this money to my family?
    2. and am allowed to return the money back into the trust account when they pay me back?
    3. I must fill in a tax return for the first time this year. How does having a trust account effects on my tax?
    Kind Regards

    Maryam

    • Mark Thompson says:

      The banks and building societies all have different ways of opening accounts. The refusal to use the name of the trust was probably caused by their computer system. Some banks might open a business account as that allows an account to have a different name from the account holders. It is not a matter of law it is a question of how banks computer systems are set up to open accounts. It is not the end of the world. If you are ever asked to prove the money is personal injury compensation make sure you can prove it. If the bank account has the trust name a photocopy is usually sufficient proof.
      Trustees can make a loan provided the trust gives them power to do so. When the loan is repaid that repayment and any interest can be paid into the trust account.
      If you have a bare trust you are personally responsible for the payment of tax on trust income and capital gains. It should be included in your personal tax return. If the income is low and tax has been deducted by the bank you will find there may be nno need to file a tax return just for the trust income.

  28. Stephanie Fraser says:

    Hi Mark. Just discovered this excellent resourse and hoping for some help. I set up a pif trust with investco a few yrs ago and interim payments have been paid into it. Now awaiting final award, only to have received letter from investco advising me it’s withdrawing this account and I need to make further arrangements. I paid a considerable fee for this account and feel I have not really had much benefit from it as yet. What do I do now, is there any recompense for initial fee? Have read all your above advise from self and others regarding high street banks etc, but no mention of fees really. I thought I needed specialist bank. Finally, about to purchase investment property for children(minors) using funds from pif, what’s my best option?

    Thanking yourself and fabulous contributors for sharing advice, experiences and help!

    • Mark Thompson says:

      As I understand your position a bank called Investec are withdrawing from the provision of bank accounts for trusts. I have spoken with a few other people in the same situation, but do please correct me if I have misunderstood.
      If I am right Investec run the bank account for the trust fund. What the trustees must do is open a new account with another bank or building society. Trustees need a joint account and I always advise the account should have the same name as the trust. If you are ever asked to prove the trust fund is held separately from your personal funds it is very helpful to have the name of your trust as the name of the bank account.
      There is one bank I know of which calls its accounts trust accounts, that being Cater Allen which is part of the Santander Group. I do not think this is necessary as all you need is a bank account and with a few exceptions most banks or building societies can help you.
      If you paid a fee for opening the account you should ask the bank to repay it. I suspect the terms and conditions allow the bank to stop offering a particular type of account. If you get nowhere you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service
      On the property purchase I do not know if you are buying a property to be owned by the trust, or is the trust buying a property to be owned by a family member. The process will be dealt with by the solicitor you instruct to deal with the property transaction.

  29. Julie Sultana says:

    When wishing to set up a Personal Injury Trust account, I found that Mark’s advice was sound. Follow this to the letter when approaching banks. In my own experience, it was a lot easier to go to my own bank, as they already knew me and had details which sped up the process. Tell the bank that you require a current account for Trustees and that it should require a second Trustee signature for withdrawals. Do not allow yourself to be the only individual required to sign. Once the basic Trust account is set up and the funds are safely received, then you can research the best way to maximise your investment, because no basic current account pays a decent return. Mark Thompson is definitely the best person to work with!

  30. Alison says:

    Mark really helped me through this process. I rang the contact centre for my local branch of the NatWest and explained that I wanted to open a joint bank account for my Personal Injury Trust, in the names of two of the trustees (myself being one). An appointment was made at the branch on this basis. I filled in the forms along with the other Trustee. No problems whatsoever. All set up very simply.

    • Pam says:

      Hi Alison,

      I approached Natwest, and asked to speak to the Financial Advisor, and he didnt have a clue. Please could you tell me which branch you approached and if you can remember who dealt with opening the account. I can then ask them to call a colleague at my local branch to advise them how it is done.

      Many thanks

      Pam

  31. mina mir says:

    I suggest people to try Metro Bank in Bromley high street. they are friendly, understanding and flexible. very very helpful.

  32. Louise says:

    Hi, Ive been a awarded an extreamly large PIC. If I buy a house out of the trust, using my trust money, and the bank went bust, would i loose the house? As I know you can only claim £85000 back in money, so I think i need to set up several trust funds! Also when I died and the house is left to my husband, would he pay inheretence tax?
    thanks….

    • Mark Thompson says:

      A bare trust is usually what is required to hold personal injury compensation and I will answer your question on that basis.
      A trust can own a property. If you rent out the property rent can be paid into the trust account and will be ignored for the purposes of means-tested benefits. The additional benefit of owning property in trust is that it must be ignored for means-tested benefits and a local authority care financial assessment.
      You are not limited to holding only one bank account and I agree the bank guarantee limit of £85,000 should be taken seriously. You can open more than one bank account and a wide variety of other investments with a trust. Provided the property, accounts and investments are held by the trust rather than you individually, they will be ignored for the purposes of benefits and care.
      A bare trust is tax neutral which means you are personally liable for any tax on income or capital.

  33. Sue says:

    I have had very bad personal experience with NatWest in two decades banking with them so I approached Lloyds Bank given they have branch in town I live, unlike NatWest. I had no problems with opening Trust Fund account, however there has been other mishaps so to speak. Firstly I received Pay In booklet and First Statement with 0 balance each having same sort code but different account numbers. I was told it was an error and that statement is to be shreded as the account was opened with wrong tarrif. I was glad PayIn booklet was with correct account details. I was told cheque book will be sent once when my PI Settlement cheque has been processed. Today I went to the bank as it has been quite some time since I deposited Settlement cheque, and no cheque book has arrived. I was informed in different branch that the PI Trust Account applied for on 6th November has cheque book ordered on same day and should have arrived within 4 working days regardless if I have deposited Settlement cheque or not. I was told the cheque book has been sent and as it has not arrived they need to cancel whole book, cheques 1-25 and order next one today. I now have to wait another 4 working days. I am furious. I could not think of NatWest to open it in due to dispute I have with them, I could not go to Barlcays as my ex is working there, and the only one nearby was Lloyds. Those I had dealings with have been curteous and pleasant to deal with but said they very rarely have requests for these kind of accounts to be opened. Halifax does not deal with them at all. HSBC where I live had no idea what is Trust Fund nor how to open such account. Overall very unpleasant expereince where I am left wondering if cheque book has been sent out who has got it. I am very private person and the thought that a neighbour may have my chequbook and my full name on is upsetting let alone that they know I have received compensation award. I wonder how can one receive cheque book but for it not to be sent to home address but collected in the local branch. If I had this situation happen with personal account I would close it immediately and look for another bank to bank with, that is, if there is any bank and their admin that anyone of us can trust will do basic service right and not blame someone else for it. In this case Royal Mail is blamed but no one can prove cheque book was really issued and sent.

  34. Mr Jeff Gair says:

    i would like to thank you for your efforts putting up this imformation, i am in the prossess of being paid PIC and need without a doubt a trust, unfortunatly i have had interim payments over the last 3yrs, not knowing i should have already had a trust to pay them into, however i was aware of not being allowed to have more than 3k in my personal account at anyone time,or loose my much needed help with homecare and benefits entitlement so limited my payments i recieved to only that, and belive homecare/support is very very expensive, and getting benefits is so incredibly difficult also, especially when your incapasitated, plus all the stress of Doctors, specialists, surgeons, physio, meetings and solicitors, and atyring to rebuild your life after such a life changing event, you have to accept and live with forever, thanks again for the input

    • Mark Thompson says:

      The 52 week time limit is not absolute. For instance it stops running if the compensation is spent within the period. The important point many solicitors miss is that the time available runs from receipt of the first payment of compensation, no matter how small.
      You may have a professional negligence action against your solicitor, but such an action requires a financial loss. You will not know if you have a loss until you set up a trust and give notice to the agencies handling your claims. In most cases the 52 week point is not identified or taken against the benefit claimant, so benefits continue to be paid and there is no need to act against your solicitor.
      If anyone has received an interim payment and is worried about this 52 week time limit the best thing to do is set up a trust now. You do not have to wait for the final settlement of your case before setting up a trust. A personal injury trust can be set up on the basis of an interim payment and any later compensation can be handled by that trust.

      • A says:

        Mark
        My son was involved in an accident and a decision on liability has not been made yet. He has received an interim payment (albeit small) for the bike as it was written off.
        He is not working and due to the accident he is awaiting an operation. The small amount of money he had has dwindled away. He is not in receipt of any benefits but has recently submitted an application to see if there is some financial help available with rent and awaits this decision.
        Should the interim payment he received be protected by a PIT in the event he does get some financial help?

        Kind regards

        • Mark Thompson says:

          The ideal time to set up a trust is on receipt of the first payment of compensation, so yes the trust should be set up now. The reason is what is called the 52 week rule. The benefit agencies will ignore compensation for 52 weeks, but if a trust is not set up in that time the agencies can examine how the compensation has been spent. If the agencies do not think the spending was appropriate they will treat your son as still having the money even though he has spent it. When final compensation is received it will be too late to set up a trust. There is more information on this point here.
          I would suggest a trust now to protect benefit options.

  35. Alaina says:

    After being unsuccessful with my local banks such as Nationwide and Santander I have now opened the joint account with Skipton Building Society (Southport Branch). It is called a Clubs and Charities account, however within this account is a personal injury option. It was the first time they had dealt with this type of account even though it was readily available. They were very helpful and efficient. You have one form to fill out and they take copies of all the documentation they needed (trust document, ID of all trustees) before sending all of the account information to head office to be completed. I am now awaiting confirmation and the passbook. With this account I am also entitled to a free Will which I am very pleased about.

  36. alex says:

    Hi Mark,
    I forgot to mention the drawback with Natwest,albeit slight.The adviser forgot to mention that we would need a card reader to transfer money, this resulted in delays paying various bills which wouldn’t be a problem if everyone was as gracious as you. We did indeed book appointments with advisers in most of the other high street banks but as you said it’s dependant on the knowledge of the person on the day, still struggling to find someone with info on buying to let through the trust. Thanks again Mark

  37. Jessica Malory says:

    I have just set up a PIT account with Metro Bank. They were very helpful and knowledgable. I have just one question though, if I may:
    My PIT account has three trustees – myself and two others. Does it matter that I am able to transfer money in and out of this bank account without a second trustee signature being required in the account mandate with the bank? Ie, if I have full control over the money in that account is it still protected by the Trust?
    Thank you.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      You should not have direct access to the trust fund.
      The possibility of direct access comes about as many compensated people want to be a trustee. It is your compensation and it is held in trust for your benefit alone, so I can appreciate why many people want to be a trustee. You should be advised to have at least three trustees in such a situation.
      A trust is a device which holds your compensation separate from your personal money. A financial transaction should require at least two signatures. Direct access by the compensated person to the trust fund will allow a benefits agency to ignore the trust and take the trust fund into account.
      This is the major inconvenience of trusts, but it is necessary. You should avoid transferring money to your personal account and you should avoid withdrawing cash as that becomes your money once in your hands. If two signatures are required you should not have a debit card or internet banking. You can purchase items with a cheque but we do live in a plastic world. The trustees can set write a cheque to pay off the balance on a credit card. I guess you can think of a number of other methods – the management of the trust account should require at least two trustee signatures.

  38. Alex says:

    Hi, thanks for your excellent help and advice. Thanks for preparing the trust document so quickly. The best bank by far was the Nat West as they were the only ones who understood the concept and need for haste.

    • Mark Thompson says:

      I think the truth is you are dependent on the ability and experience of the person you are dealing with at a bank. It is best not to make an enquiry at the window and arrange to see an adviser, or whatever your bank calls its people. Someone with at least a touch of grey hair may prove to be the answer.

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