This agreement is issued on behalf of Independent Advice Ltd. of 15 Chorley New Road, Bolton, BL1 4QR. We can be contacted at email@example.com or telephone +44 (1204) 559696.
This is our standard client agreement, often referred to as a Terms of Business and includes the attached appendix 1.
This agreement explains and confirms
- the services you are being offered,
- the way we will carry out those services and
- an example of the cost of those services.
H.J.Scott & Co is the trading name of Independent Advice Ltd. We are authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the conduct of investment business. Our registration number is 524535, which you can check by visiting www.fca.gov.uk/register.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Financial Planning Advice or Taxation Advice, if the advice contains no recommended investment element. Other areas of advice that are not covered by the Financial Services Act will be clearly identified and brought to your attention.
Do I need to take any action?
You should ask us to clarify anything that is not clear. If you are in agreement then we ask you to indicate your agreement at the end of this document. This agreement will stay in force until you or we end it, or until you or we ask to change it, giving seven days notice in writing to that effect. We will keep a copy of this document on file. You may also save the agreement as a pdf of print it out if you require a copy.
What comes next?
Unless otherwise agreed in writing we will treat you as a Retail Client. As a retail client, the regulatory protections you receive are the highest available. You qualify for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Scheme for regulated products.
Can you describe your Financial Planning Service?
We operate independently and therefore provide investment advice and services from the whole market. Our permitted business includes advising on and arranging (bringing about): savings and investment products; pensions; life policies (including annuities). We have a pension transfer specialist who advises on pension transfers and pension opt-outs. We also have a long term care fees planning specialist.
Before we offer you our services, we will review your current circumstances and your objectives. Where we make a recommendation we will provide appropriate risk warnings prior to providing the recommended products or services. Our advice will be based solely on the information provided by you. We will give you written details of any recommendations that are suitable and appropriate to meet any needs identified. You should let us know about any specific aims that you might have, such as simply utilising this year’s ISA allowance.
If we recommend an investment to you we will usually provide you with our full Managed Portfolio Service.
Can you describe your Managed Portfolio Service?
We will have full discretion without reference to you to enter into transactions for your account provided that they conform to your investment objectives.
We will make arrangements for all investments to be registered in your name, unless you first instruct us otherwise in writing. In certain circumstances products and/or investments may be registered in the name of a nominee company, for your ease of administration, although you will remain the beneficial owner.
Full Terms and Conditions of the Managed Portfolio Service are detailed in Appendix 1.
How will you communicate with me?
We prefer our communications to be via email. We will communicate with you in writing if it is necessary. We will use only the English language, both verbally and in any written correspondence.
This agreement is governed by English law.
Will you act in my best interest?
We will act honestly, fairly and professionally, known as conducting business in the “Client’s best interest”. If we become aware that our interests (or those of one of our other clients) conflict with your interests, we will inform you in writing and obtain your consent prior to proceeding with your instructions.
Is your service ongoing?
Yes. Both our Financial Planning and our Managed Portfolio Service is ongoing. We will contact you annually to suggest that we arrange a review meeting at our offices. You will receive a valuation of your investments quarterly. You will also be offered on-line access, which allows 24/7 valuations.
If however our advice does not include the recommendation of a financial product, or a financial product that does not include any investment element, there will be no ongoing client reviews and no ongoing fees.
How much might your services cost?
Not all firms charge for advice in the same way. We will answer any questions you have and we will not charge you anything until you have agreed how we are paid.
What are your typical charges?
Our typical Investment Fees are as follows;
- First Meeting Fee – A first meeting is always free. We cover the cost of this meeting.
- Annual Fee for our services – Our management fee is levied monthly, charged at the rate of 1/12 of 1% per month based on the value of your managed portfolio.
- One-Off Initial Fee – We typically charge 3% of the value invested. Your initial investment advice fee, both for new clients and for clients investing more with our service will be discussed and agreed at our meeting. We cap our initial, and subsequent initial fees in most cases to no more than £15,000.
- One-Off Non-Investment Mediation Fee – Our fee for new customers who simply require ad-hoc Financial Advice in connection with an existing plan, pension scheme or the purchase of an annuity, will be discussed and agreed at our meeting. This fee will be fixed at outset once we fully understand your requirements.
What is your hourly rate?
We do not charge by the hour; instead we will always agree how much our fee will be before beginning work.
Do I have to pay your fees by cheque?
No. All our annual fees, and some initial fees, can be deducted directly from your tax-wrappers (plans). However we usually request direct payment by cheque for our advice fees when a new non-pension investment is recommended. Your cheque should be made payable to “Independent Advice Ltd.” for our fees.
Will your fees be subject to VAT?
We are a supplier of an exempt intermediary service for VAT purposes. VAT legislation is complex and subject to change. We will inform you if VAT is chargeable.
Will my investment cheques be made payable to you?
No. Independent Advice Ltd. does not hold clients’ money. Our regulatory permissions state we “May control but not hold client money & assets”. We never accept a cheque made out to us unless the cheque is in settlement of charges or disbursements for which we have sent you an invoice. We do not accept or handle cash. All investment amounts will be paid directly to the investment provider by you.
Do you only advise on regulated products?
No. A further menu is available on request that details our charges for wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney.
If I invest, can I change my mind?
We will inform you of your statutory right to cancel. The Distance Marketing Directive normally grants you 30 days in which you may cancel a life or pension contract. However, there will be occasions where no statutory rights are granted. If this happens, it will be explained before any contract is concluded.
What do I do if I am unhappy?
You should contact us straight away. If you wish to register a complaint, please write to the compliance officer at Independent Advice Ltd. 15 Chorley New Road, Bolton, BL1 4QR or telephone (01204) 559696. If we cannot settle your complaint, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service, whose details we will provide. If however you have a compliment to make, perhaps about a helpful member of staff, we would be more than happy to hear from you.
What if you cannot compensate me?
We contribute to the funds of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to compensation from this scheme if Independent Advice Ltd. ceases to trade and, as a result of our advice, you have suffered a financial loss.
The amount of compensation depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Most types of investment business are covered for 100% of the first £85,000. Further information on this scheme is widely available. It can be provided on request, or directly from the FSCS at their website www.fscs.org.uk.
Will you look after my personal data?
Any personal data obtained in the course of providing our services to you will be held and processed by us in accordance with the relevant data protection legislation.
If you choose to submit personal information to us you are agreeing that it can be used in the following ways:
- To provide the services described;
- For the prevention of money laundering;
- Personal information will be given to third parties only so far as it is necessary to fulfill these objectives and in accordance with the GDPR. This may include distribution to a third party provider of support services outside of the EEA;
- You agree to the disclosure of personal information to any regulatory authority to which Independent Advice Ltd. is subject;
- Electronic communications between parties in the course of business may be monitored by us in accordance with the relevant legislation;
- We respect your privacy and will not share your personal information with anyone else unless you have given your permission for us to do so.
Although we take all reasonable steps to ensure the security of your personal information over the Internet, such as using available means of encryption and privacy protection, the internet is not an entirely secure environment and for this reason we cannot guarantee that information will not be intercepted read or copied by unauthorised parties. You accept these inherent security implications and will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent.
I declare that I understand and consent to all of the above terms and those detailed in Appendix 1.
This Client Agreement is effective and was last updated on August 21st 2019