Deposit protection for legal professions

Protection of funds in third-party accounts

Article 30 of the Compensation Scheme of the Protection Fund for Deposits and Financial Instruments protects third-party accounts opened in the name of practitioners of non-financial professions, such as lawyers.

30. The balances on accounts that are opened on behalf of practitioners of non-financial professions, that contain only the funds of third parties and that are used only for transactions involving these funds, are only recognised as debts of these third parties if the relevant accounts are divided into sub-accounts in the name of these third parties in the accounts of the institution acting as custodian, or if the share of these third parties is demonstrated by the holder of the account based on information attached to deposits, transfers and withdrawals.

For individual third-party accounts that only contain funds of third parties, each third party for whom the particular sub-account or third-party account was opened is entitled to coverage of 100,000 euros (2 x 50,000) for that party's share in that account. This sum also covers any deposits at the same bank.

For collective third-party accounts which contain only third-party funds, each third party is entitled to coverage of 100,000 euros (2 x 50,000) if that party's share can be demonstrated by the holder of the account of the notary, the lawyer or the bailiff, based on information attached to deposits, transfers and withdrawals.

Protection of funds of small legal companies

The same deposit protection that applies to the funds of private individuals also applies to those of small companies (companies with a summary balance sheet). Under Article 15 of the Companies Code, small companies are those which are a legal entity which, for the two most recent financial years, has stayed within any one of the following criteria:

  • Annual average employees: 50
  • Annual turnover (excluding VAT): 7,300,000 euros
  • Total assets on balance sheet: 3,650,000 euros

If the annual workforce average is higher than 100, the company cannot be considered a small company.