The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has agreed a new protocol with the British Bankers Association (BBA) and the Law Society of England and Wales to bring a consistent approach to the way banks deal with assets and the exchange of information following the death of a bank customer.
The adoption of this protocol should prevent unnecessary delays in and uncertainties when administering a deceased customer’s bank accounts, helping to shield relatives of the deceased from further stress at a very difficult and sensitive time.
Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest have signed the new protocol, which covers the handling of current, savings, credit card and unsecured loan accounts.
STEP CEO David Harvey said:
‘STEP practitioners have long spoken of difficulties and delays during the estate administration process in relation to assets held by financial institutions. We are pleased to now have agreements with the majority of UK banks which will provide grieving families with some certainty at a very difficult time. We thank the BBA and the Law Society for their cooperation on this protocol and would encourage banks and similar financial institutions currently outside the agreement to consider adopting it.’