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Saving and Investing 11 February 2020

Standard Bank facilitates commercial transactions on the African continent through providing independent, safe and secure escrow services

With Standard Bank as your escrow agent, the parties will have the surety that the funds are safe and that the interests of all parties are protected.

1.    INTRODUCTION

The term ‘escrow’ refers to exchanging property or money using a neutral third party, such as Standard Bank.  In certain commercial transactions, the services of a professional escrow agent may be required to safeguard the property or funds until it can be released to its rightful owner.  

Standard Bank provides such escrow services to its clients by guarding funds and releasing it in accordance with the escrow agreement and any other relevant agreements.

The funds will be held in an interest-bearing account and a variety of investment options are available for Standard Bank’s escrow accounts.

With Standard Bank as your escrow agent, the parties will have the surety that the funds are safe and that the interests of all parties are protected.
 

2.  WHEN DO YOU NEED AN ESCROW AGENT?

  • In a merger, acquisition, take-over, amalgamation, sale of shares or certain other commercial transactions (a transaction), the main agreement may provide that the funds be released subject to certain conditions being met.  In such an instance, the escrow agent will serve to hold and release the funds, as required.
  • In the event of a dispute between parties, an escrow agent may hold the funds in custody until the dispute is resolved.  The escrow agent will release the funds according to any settlement agreement or order from a competent authority.
  • In commercial real estate transactions, the purchase consideration may be required to be kept in escrow until all conditions have been met and the agreement becomes unconditional so that the transfer can be completed.
  • An escrow agent offers ‘proof of funds’ for a purchaser who wants to assure a seller that the funds are available and will be transferred once all obligations have been met.
  • A commercial agreement may provide for a hold-back period, during which a percentage of the purchase price remains in escrow pending achievement of certain objectives.  For example, the seller may be required to meet certain specified sales targets within a 12 or 24 month period, or be required to stay in a leadership role during the buy-out period.
  • Funds may be held in escrow for a specified period to allow a buyer of a business to discover any undisclosed liabilities through annual audits, tax filings or legal proceedings.  

 

3. WHAT ESCROW SERVICES DO WE PROVIDE?

At Standard Bank, we understand how important it is to all interested parties that the transaction be successfully concluded.  As your escrow agent, we can provide you with the following support to ensure your success:

  • We have a dedicated team of experts that will work with you on your transaction.
  • Standard Bank can provide you with company formation and administration services or trust formation and administration services to structure your transaction and minimise your risk.
  • Our team of legal experts will review the main agreement to establish what the obligations of all the parties are and to assess what services the escrow agent need to deliver.
  • A tailored escrow agreement that will protect all parties will be presented to you.  Alternatively, we shall review your proposed escrow agreement and provide you with our suggestions.
  • After conclusion of the relevant agreements and completion of our due diligence procedures, an interest-bearing escrow account will be opened with Standard Bank.
  • Standard Bank will guard the consideration and will disburse the consideration and interest according to the written agreements.
  • We shall report to you and provide you with statements according to your needs and as agreed between the parties.

 

4. OUR FOUR SERVICE PILLARS

The Services that we provide to support your transaction are based on the following four pillars:

  1. Quick turnaround.  We understand that time is often of the essence in transactions and we endeavour to render our services and set up the escrow account according to your needs.      
  2. Expertise.  Commercial transactions can be complex. Our professional administration team has the necessary experience to understand your transaction and to support you.
  3. Preservation and growth of funds.  As your escrow agent, we shall preserve and protect all funds until it can be released to its rightful owner.  We offer a comprehensive range of high-quality investment options which preserve and grow capital while it is held in escrow. 
  4. Comprehensive solutions.  Our holistic approach ensures that you are supported in the entire escrow process, from reviewing and preparing the escrow agreement, to navigating any unforeseen issues, to disbursing the funds.

 

5. WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE STANDARD BANK TO SUPPORT YOUR TRANSACTION 

Standard Bank has been providing corporate and fiduciary services for the past 130 years. Through our offices in Mauritius and in the Island of Jersey (Jersey), we offer our clients access to a powerful combination of these two leading international financial centres.  Mauritius offers a local entry point to the African continent and Jersey provides access to Europe’s financial markets, with both jurisdictions being equipped with world-class systems, procedures and highly competent staff.   

Our dedicated team of experts has the knowledge and experience to support your transaction.

We offer competitive interest rates on funds held in escrow through a variety of investment options.

When you deal with Standard Bank, you have the assurance that the funds are safe and will only be released according to the written agreements to its rightful owner.

We are committed to Africa and to the success of your transaction.