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 current 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. I will recommend banks to clients on the basis of recent client experience. The trust account should be cheque book only, with at least two signatures 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 2019 would be called the Mark Thompson Personal Injury Trust 2019.

So what you need is a joint current account for the trustees, and the account must have a particular name. That should not be difficult as businesses and other 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”  or “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 some banks which cannot help you as they seem unable to give an account a name which differs from the signatories. I will direct you to the banks which are most helpful.

I think the best way to approach a 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 at a branch for an appointment for the trustees to see a private banker or financial adviser to open a joint current account.
  4. Have a copy of the trust document available.
  5. Trustees must take identification documents – check the bank website for a list of acceptable documents.
  6. Explain you want to set up a joint account for the trustees.
  7. Make sure the account has the same name as the trust.

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 current account for the trustees.

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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 the institution 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
This entry was posted in Personal injury trust and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

199 Responses to Best bank or building society account for personal injury trust

  1. Chris says:

    My daughter is due to receive a substantial compensation amount, I have a copy of the trust document that states my wife & I as trustees, I have made 2 appointments with Lloyds stating the reasons for opening an account only to be told twice that “we don’t do them accounts” Does anybody know of a Bank/building society & a contact name in West London that can help?

    • Mark Thompson says:

      Barclays and NatWest are the most consistently helpful banks for joint current accounts for trustees.
      For savings accounts, the Skipton Building Society has been helpful for clients.
      Most trusts allow trustees to hold investments, so check this is possible and earn a little interest.

  2. Julia says:

    We followed Mark’s advice and went to Barclays, who were brilliant and knew exactly what kind of account we wanted. All went smoothly and the account was set up without any problem.

  3. jane harris says:

    We tr ied Nat West, we booked appointment at branch the person there had done them before, she said it would be a withdrawal book with two signatures, next day we received debit cards and on line banking, we queried this had was told it was wrong the account hadn’t even got my name on it only the trustees we have now been given the runaround all week. area is Walsall does anyone know of a bank who can do it

    • Mark Thompson says:

      NatWest have set up accounts for many clients. I think the problem facing all bank staff is the bank’s computer system. You are opening a joint current account, so the computer is set to include the names of the account holders as the account name. That has to be overridden. By default, a new account will provide debit cards and internet banking. When setting up the account it is vital for the signature requirements to be set and, if there are to be two signatures, a cheque book alone should be provided. This is the part of the process known as the bank mandate, which means the instructions you give when opening an account. It is vital bank staff understand what you want from the outset, so they avoid the traps set by their own computer system.

  4. Penny says:

    When my son received his compensation (after many years!) for a serious injury resulting from a road traffic accident, we set up a Trust Deed and went to Barclays. I was a joint Trustee with my son. It took ages to do as Barclays really didn’t seem to know what was happening. Unfortunately we did not reaslise until much later that my son had adult ADHD and Asperger and one of the characteristics of both is impulsive behaviour. In his case this was spending. Over the course of 18 months he went through all of his compensation, without my knowledge. Even though I was a Trustee the bank never told me what was happening until it was too late. Surely as a Trustee I should have been kept informed?

    • Mark Thompson says:

      Your relationship with the bank is governed by the initial arrangements for the account, called a mandate. If the account was set up on the basis of joint signatures, you will have a strong argument against the bank.
      You can complain direct to the bank and, if unsuccessful, to the Financial Ombudsman.

  5. Amjed says:

    My account was set up within 5 working days by Barclays, which was extremely quick and straightforward, thanks to Mark.

  6. Chloe Beckett says:

    I’m very lucky and had an easy time setting up my trust with BARCLAYS. I booked an appointment with bank and my trustees came along. She filled in paperwork and we signed she then said it had to be sent off to be approved of opening and that it could take up to 10 working days. It took around 4-5 and I had a letter to say my trust was set up and all the info with it. Amazing and quick help from Mark and Barclays. Thank you

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