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Account Freezing Orders and Account Forfeiture Orders may destroy businesses and ruin lives

These orders were introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which amended the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

This legislation was introduced to recover ill-gotten gains from criminal activity and, because of the relative ease of obtaining these orders, the authorities are using them in civil recovery as an alternative to bringing criminal charges.

We are regularly contacted by businesses desperate for help because their bank has frozen their business bank account(s) and this has caused major cash flow problems because payments cannot be made to suppliers and employees.

This may have arisen because the bank may have become suspicious about the source and destination of funds in a bank account and the bank is then under a duty to submit a suspicious activity report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency.

How a Forensic Accountant can assist

A Forensic Accountant can assist with the preparation of financial information to show that the origin and intended use of the funds is entirely legitimate. This will include:

  • detailed analysis to show the financial impact of losing such monies if they are frozen for an extended period of time or forfeited
  • detailed analysis to show the source of the funds in question
  • detailed analysis to show the reason for the transfer of funds
  • assistance interpreting financial accounts to explain unusually high cash/bank balances which may have arisen from factors such as cyclical or seasonal trading or irregular business transactions
  • more information regarding the remitter of the funds
  • in more complex matters, full disclosure of the group structure to help understand the origin and intended use of the funds
  • working with the business’s legal team to obtain agreement from the Courts that all or part of the restricted funds can be fully or partially released
  • making a full and frank disclosure to the Court on behalf of the business providing expert witness evidence if required

Utilising an independent Forensic Accountant will add credibility to the arguments being put forward to the Court.

The Team at Davidsons Forensic Accountants have considerable experience of dealing with such matters and providing written and verbal evidence to Courts. Please email us at should you require our assistance.

About the author

Raymond Davidson

Raymond has been specialising in Forensic Accounting and Litigation work for over 30 years, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales and trained by the Academy of Experts to act as a Mediator.



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