The British Bankers' Association (BBA), who recently took part in the Legal Services Board (LSB) consultation on the possibility of Will writing and estate administration becoming reserved legal activities, said that it is hard to identify which of the regulators would take charge of banks.
According to the banking authority, Will writing may require oversight by regulators, which could mean reservation. However, they say this should not be the case with estate administration, provided there are sufficient internal controls, since it is essentially made up of administrative procedures.
The BBA believes that if providers of Will writing and estate administration services fall under regulation, the level to which the current regulation in the banking sector could address the issues outlined in the LSB report should be considered. This review would help to avoid duplication and unnecessary complexity resulting from the regulatory initiative proposed by the LSB being simply added to the banks' existing regulatory framework.
According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, bringing ancillary Will writing and estate administration services within the scope of legal services regulation would not be in their members' interests as such services are often provided by accountants who are already regulated. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland claims that estate administration is an example of an accountancy practice, not a legal service, and hence is already under regulation.