Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011

48.

Control of banking accounts or assets of licensees.

48.— (1) Where—

( a) the Authority refuses to renew a licence,

( b) a licence is suspended or revoked under this Act, or

( c) the Authority is satisfied, for whatever reason, that a licensee has ceased to provide property services,

the Authority may, with a view to protecting client accounts, apply to the High Court in a summary manner, and the High Court may make an order directing one or more of the following:

(i) that no bank shall, without leave of the High Court, make any payment out of an account in the name of the licensee or former licensee concerned in his or her capacity or former capacity, as the case may be, as a licensee;

(ii) that a specified bank shall not, without leave of the High Court, make any payment out of an account kept at such bank by the licensee or former licensee in such capacity or former capacity, as the case may be;

(iii) that the licensee or former licensee shall not, without leave of the High Court, dispose of or direct or facilitate the disposal of any assets within his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement;

(iv) that the licensee or former licensee shall not, without leave of the High Court, reduce his or her assets below a specified amount or value.

(2) The High Court shall have power to hear an application for an order under subsection (1) otherwise than in public.

(3) Where the High Court makes in relation to a licensee or former licensee an order under subsection (1), the Court may make one or more of the following further orders:

( a) directing a specified bank to furnish any information in its possession that the Authority requires relating to any aspect of the financial affairs of the licensee or former licensee in his or her capacity or former capacity, as the case may be, as a licensee;

( b) subject to subsection (7), directing the licensee or former licensee to swear an affidavit disclosing all information relating to or contained in any account with any bank held in his or her own name, or in the name of his or her business or former business as a licensee, or jointly with third parties, within a specified duration of time to be fixed by the Court;

( c) subject to subsection (7), directing the licensee or former licensee to swear an affidavit disclosing all information relating to his or her assets, either then in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement or which had been but are no longer in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement, within a specified duration of time to be fixed by the Court, and, if no longer in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement, his or her belief as to the present whereabouts of those assets;

( d) subject to subsection (7), directing the licensee or former licensee to make himself or herself available before the Court on a specified date and at a specified time for oral examination under oath in relation to the contents of any affidavit of assets sworn by him or her pursuant to paragraph (c).

(4) Where the High Court makes in relation to a licensee or former licensee an order under subsection (1), the licensee or former licensee shall forthwith lodge (or cause to be lodged) any moneys subsequently received by him or her to the appropriate client account or client accounts, unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

(5) Where the High Court is satisfied, on an application being made to it by the Authority, that there is reason to believe that any person holds or has held assets on behalf of a licensee or former licensee or on behalf of his or her business or former business as a licensee to whom subsection (1) applies, the Court may order that person to disclose to the Authority all information as to such assets, either then in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement or which had been but are no longer in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement, and, if no longer within his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement, his or her belief as to the present whereabouts of those assets.

(6) A person who, without reasonable excuse, acts in such a manner as to render nugatory all or part of an order made under subsection (1), or contravenes subsection (4), is guilty of an offence and liable—

( a) on summary conviction, to a class A fine, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €50,000.

(7) Where a licensee or former licensee is a body corporate, the affidavit referred to in paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (3) may be sworn by a principal officer of the body corporate, on behalf of the body corporate, and the High Court’s power to give a direction under that paragraph, or under paragraph (d) of that subsection, shall be construed accordingly.