Credit Reference for a client

Credit Reference for a client

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I have received an email from Legal for Landlords, enquiring about a clients income details (derived from his service business), and one of the points asks, if I consider the client to be honest, trustworthy and with integrity. 

I do not know this client on a personal level, only from annual meetings for signings and odd phone calls when I need to chase missing information and to ask the relevent questions if I find something amiss. (I check the integrity of the client at the sign up meeting, do they owe tax, do they live where they say, do they seem legitimate and identity checks etc, and ongoing checks when processing work).

However, I don't believe I could wholeheartedly say of any client that I know if  they are totally honest, totally trustworthy and have total integrity, I believe I could only truly answer this of a close friend or relative.  What have others responded when facing a similar request?  I could say as honest as the next man, but I think it is asking a bit much and wonder what the ramifications would be if they turn out not to be from what I say in my reply to this question?

I have completed financial references before, but have not been asked this type of question?

Replies (18)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Apr 2024 17:53

"However, I don't believe I could wholeheartedly say of any client that I know if they are totally honest, totally trustworthy and have total integrity...."

You're not being asked that. Only if you consider them to be.

If yes - say so.

If no - should you be acting for this client?

Include plenty of caveats and disclaimers, obviously.

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By Paul Crowley
25th Apr 2024 17:58

To the best of your knowledge he is?
Any reason to suspect he is not?

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Carolynne
25th Apr 2024 18:04

I have no suspicions of him not being, but I don't know him personally only business wise. I am just struggling with what to say as a disclaimer. I am proposing to say that we have always found the client to be honest, approachable and helpful and a good administrator of the company. But wonder if there is something I should say that tells them, just because I am confirming this, you can't come after me later on if he does something wrong?

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Replying to Carolynne:
RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Apr 2024 18:11

Carolynne wrote:

I have no suspicions of him not being, but I don't know him personally only business wise. I am just struggling with what to say as a disclaimer. I am proposing to say that we have always found the client to be honest, approachable and helpful and a good administrator of the company. But wonder if there is something I should say that tells them, just because I am confirming this, you can't come after me later on if he does something wrong?

ICAEW had some nice wording but I'm not a member.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By David Ex
25th Apr 2024 18:21

lionofludesch wrote:

Carolynne wrote:

I have no suspicions of him not being, but I don't know him personally only business wise. I am just struggling with what to say as a disclaimer. I am proposing to say that we have always found the client to be honest, approachable and helpful and a good administrator of the company. But wonder if there is something I should say that tells them, just because I am confirming this, you can't come after me later on if he does something wrong?

ICAEW had some nice wording but I'm not a member.

Is this viewable?

https://www.icaew.com/-/media/corporate/files/technical/technical-releas...

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By Ruddles
25th Apr 2024 18:26

I usually answer in the negative - “I have no reason to doubt the honesty etc of the client”

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By FactChecker
26th Apr 2024 01:02

.. because you've not yet managed to catch the client in an active lie?

But much kinder than the old classic ex-employer ones:
- “You would be fortunate to get this person to work for you.”
- “No one would be better for this position.”
- “Waste no time in making him an offer.”

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By jvenegas16
26th Apr 2024 00:49

Use the statement: "to the best of my knowledge and belief"

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Replying to jvenegas16:
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By Carolynne
26th Apr 2024 08:38

Thanks for that, I think this line is the way to go and gives me peace of mind.

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
26th Apr 2024 08:34

As others have said, you give a response showing you have no knowledge of issues, not an affirmative that everything is fine.

It's a dumb question to ask in the first place. How many times have you heard someone say "I'd never have expected them to do something like that". Our knowledge of the integrity of others is always going to be limited, so any statement confirming it is meaningless.

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By Roland195
26th Apr 2024 09:24

The whole exercise is nothing but a placebo that agencies such as this use to flog their services. I don't think anyone at their end will read, much less care what you say so long as a boxed is ticked that the request was made & a response received. In the real world, a default will be caused by marital breakdown, mental or other illness, addiction problems, none of which will be included on the forms.

The problem I run into is when the process is done from an online portal with no place to include any caveats or disclaimers. In this case, I usually prepare the standard sort of boilerplate already mentioned as a letter/attachment but I am conscious that this may never make it to the correct person/process in time.

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Replying to Roland195:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Apr 2024 09:37

Roland195 wrote:

The problem I run into is when the process is done from an online portal with no place to include any caveats or disclaimers. In this case, I usually prepare the standard sort of boilerplate already mentioned as a letter/attachment but I am conscious that this may never make it to the correct person/process in time.

I've not had one of those. I wouldn't have box-ticked. I'd've sent a letter. If that wasn't good enough, ask somebody else.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By Roland195
30th Apr 2024 10:10

But that's the point - I do send a letter but am conscious that this may not make it to the right person in order to have the box ticked which will doubtless upset the client.

I don't think these referencing firms appreciate what they are asking us to do & why it would be a problem.

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Replying to Roland195:
RLI
By lionofludesch
30th Apr 2024 10:14

Roland195 wrote:

But that's the point - I do send a letter but am conscious that this may not make it to the right person in order to have the box ticked which will doubtless upset the client.

That's hardly your fault.

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@enanen
By enanen
30th Apr 2024 09:47

In our firm's limited dealings with Mr X, our opinion is that we consider him to be honest and trustworthy. We point out that we are not a credit referencing agency in terms of The Consumer Credit Act 1974 as amended and thus this opinion is limited to our dealings with the subject.

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Replying to enanen:
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By Carolynne
30th Apr 2024 10:09

That's an amazing response, thank you for the time you have spent sending this, as I am sure it will be useful to many members on here.

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By JamesDS
30th Apr 2024 10:17

"within the scope of our interactions, I/I do not consider this person to be honest, etc"

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By Duggimon
30th Apr 2024 10:30

If you don't believe them to be honest, trustworthy and with integrity then you ought to disengage. As you have not disengaged then you do not believe this to be the case therefore you are free to confirm, QED.

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