Treasury written question – answered on 29th September 2021.

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Photo of Jane Hunt Jane Hunt Conservative, Loughborough

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of further increasing the probate limit.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government has made no recent assessment in relation to the effect of increasing the probate limit. In most circumstances the provision of a bank’s services, including the administration around bereavement, are a commercial decision for the bank. The Government does not intervene in these decisions.

The treatment of customers by UK banks and building societies which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is governed by its Principles of Business. This includes a general requirement for firms to provide a prompt, efficient and fair service to all their customers, including those who have recently suffered a bereavement. The FCA does not have specific rules or guidance regarding probate in its rules. However, all firms regulated by the FCA are bound by its Principles which apply to the way banks and building societies conduct themselves. This includes how they handle probate.

The main current account providers also publish information about the additional services they offer consumers, including information on the bereavement services they offer. More information can be found on the FCA website:

The Government remains supportive of previous industry efforts to improve handling of these sensitive cases, including the implementation of the British Bankers’ Association’s (now known as UK Finance) Bereavement Principles. These Principles include a commitment from firms to provide support to meet individuals’ needs throughout the bereavement process and to work to resolve everything as quickly and simply as possible.

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