I look after some trusts which have current accounts with Barclays. As is usual with trusts, all the trustees need to sign cheques and other authorities such as standing order mandates. I would like to use online banking so that (a) I as the solicitor who manages the trusts can, for example, view online bank statements, and (b) to allow the trustees to authorise online payments, rather than using a cheque.
Has anybody had any experience of using online banking with Barclays and if so how is this set up and how easy it is to use in practice?
Graham & Rosen Solicitors
I think you have to be a trustee to run trust accounts online, but maybe trustees can authorise you.
Confusingly, the Barclays Trust accounts are administered by the Bereavement Service (0800 068 2238 I think). They will tell you if you can run the account if you are allowed and how to set it up.
Running an account , as I do, is simple, and much like a personal account except that you cannot have a debit or credit card.
I’ve been using Barclays online for 10 years and it’s very secure but also easy to use.
But that’s the firm – I’ve not had to have an account for a trust. Set it up by a personal visit to the branch.
I’ve used the Barclays.Net online banking platform for many years to administer the bank accounts for a number of trusts, even where there is more than one trustee. These accounts can can be controlled by just one trustee in accordance with the bank mandate/signature list, which has been agreed by all trustees. You can also through Barclays.Net grant view only access to an authorised third party, such as a solicitor, who can view statements etc… If you already have a Barclays account, then setup is just an additional service and the bank will send you the necessary keypad, smartcard and password to gain access, you just have to download from the Barclays website the necessary security software for the keypad onto your PC to allow access to the online portal.
It seems to me that if an account is held in several names (the Trustees) it would be wrong, except in circumstances of very clear decision to do so, for one trustee to be authorised to transfer funds on behalf of all. Nemo dat quod non habet. You’d have to be in a situation where the settlor, very clearly advised by his solicitors when he set up the trust, made a strong decision that one trustee could do this sort of thing and put it in the trust. If the account can’t accommodate a transfer of funds that can only be operated by all the named account-holders, I’d be reluctant to go down that path. However I note what is said about a third party (eg a solicitor) having access to view, and that does sound good to me.