Terms of Business

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance Terms of Business Letter

 (Effective April 2016)

 

These Terms of Business set out the general terms under which our firm will provide business services to you and the respective duties and responsibilities of both the firm and you in relation to such services. Please ensure that you read these terms thoroughly and if you have any queries we will be happy to clarify them. If any material changes are made to these terms we will notify you.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance (CB 29571) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an insurance intermediary registered under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations, 2005; as an Investment Intermediary authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 and as a Mortgage Intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995, and as a Mortgage Credit Intermediary under  the European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulations 2016. Copies of our regulatory authorisations are available on request. The Central Bank of Ireland holds registers of regulated firms. You may contact the Central Bank of Ireland on 1890 777 777 or alternatively visit their website at www.centralbank.ie  to verify our credentials.

 

 

Contact Details.

 

The business trades as Smart Finance and has offices at:

 

  • Bawntaaffe, Monasterboice, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

 

The contact details for the company are:

 

  • 041 98 46799 (Phone)
  • 087 8144104 (Mobile)
  • Email: pat@smartfinance.ie
  • Web: www.smartfinance.ie

 

Codes of Conduct.

 

Smart Finance is subject to the Consumer Protection Code, Minimum Competency Code and Fitness & Probity Standards which offer protection to consumers. These Codes can be found on the Central Bank’s website www.centralbank.ie

 

Our Services.

 

Smart Finance is a member of the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA). As a member of PIBA we must be in a position to place business with at least five companies, which ensures that clients are offered a greater choice of products and services than that offered by tied agents.

 

Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients in relation to life, pension, investment, and mortgages products. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is attached.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance acts as an Independent Broker which means that:

 

  1. a) The principle regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair analysis of the market.

 

  1. b) You have the option to pay in full for our services by means of a fee – See details below.

 

Fair Analysis.

 

The concept of fair analysis is derived from the Insurance Mediation Directive.  It describes the extent of the choice of products and providers offered by an intermediary within a particular category of life assurance, general insurance, mortgages, and/ or a specialist area.  The number of contracts and providers considered must be sufficiently large to enable an intermediary to recommend a product that would be adequate to meet a client’s needs.

The number of providers that constitutes ‘sufficiently large’ will vary depending on the number of providers operating in the market for a particular product or service and their relative importance in and share of that market.  The extent of fair analysis must be such that could be reasonably expected of a professional conducting business, taking into account the accessibility of information and product placement to intermediaries and the cost of the search.

In order to ensure that the number of contracts and providers is sufficiently large to constitute a fair analysis of the market, we will consider the following criteria:

 

  • the needs of the customer,
  • the size of the customer order,
  • the number of providers in the market that deal with brokers,
  • the market share of each of those providers,
  • the number of relevant products available from each provider,
  • the availability of information about the products,
  • the quality of the product and service provided by the provider,
  • cost,
  • any other relevant consideration.

Life, Pensions, & Investment Business.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance provides life assurance, pensions and investment advice on a fair analysis basis i.e. providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available on the market to enable us to make a recommendation, in accordance with professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet the your needs.

 

We will provide assistance to you for any queries you may have in relation to the policies or in the event of a claim during the life of the policies and we will explain to you the various restrictions, conditions and exclusions attached to your policy. However, it is your responsibility to read the policy documents, literature and brochures to ensure that you understand the nature of the policy cover; particularly in relation to PHI and serious illness policies.

Specifically on the subject of permanent health insurance policies it is our policy to explain to you a) the meaning of disability as defined in the policy; b) the benefits available under the policy; c) the general exclusions that apply to the policy; and d) the reductions applied to the benefit where there are disability payments from other sources.

 

For a serious illness policy, we will explain clearly to you the restrictions, conditions and general exclusions that attach to that policy.

 

Deposits.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance provides advice on deposits on a limited analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market).

 

We provide advice on the following product providers:

 

  • EBS
  • Ptsb
  • Leeds Building Society Ireland

 

We will need to collect sufficient information from you before we can offer any advice on deposits.

 

Listed Shares and Bonds.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance provides advice on listed shares and bonds on a limited analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market). We hold agencies with Davy, Merrion Stock Brokers, and Quilter Cheviot.

We will need to collect sufficient information from you before we can offer any advice on listed shares and bonds.

 

Mortgage Business.

 

Through the lenders or other undertakings with which we hold an agency, Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance can provide advice on and arrange mortgage products from the following range: fixed-rate loans, variable rate mortgages, capital & interest mortgages, interest only mortgages, endowment mortgages, pension mortgages and residential investment property.

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance provides mortgage advice on a limited analysis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market).

 

We provide advice on the following product providers:

 

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance holds an appointment to introduce mortgage business to Mongelia Ltd t/a Blue Sky Mortgages. Mongelia Ltd t/a Blue Sky Mortgages provides mortgage advice on a fair analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available on the market to enable the firm to make a recommendation, in accordance with professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet your needs).

We will need to collect sufficient information from you before we can offer any advice on housing loans. This is due to the fact that a key issue in relation to mortgage advice is affordability. Such information should be produced promptly upon our request.

 

Non-Life.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance refer clients and potential clients for all non-life business to Mongelia Ltd t/a Blue Sky Mortgages.

Disclosure of Information & Fee Structure.

 

Any failure to disclose material information may invalidate your claim and render your policy void.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance is remunerated by commission and other payments from product producers or lenders on the completion of business. You may choose to pay in full for our services by means of a fee. Where we receive recurring commission, this forms part of the remuneration for initial advice provided.  We reserve the right to charge additional fees if the number of hours relating to on-going advice/assistance are needed.

 

In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to charge a fee for services provided. The standard fee structure listed below is for Life, Pension & Investments, Non-Life business and Standard PRSA’s. In other circumstances where fees are chargeable or where you choose to pay in full for our service by fee, we will notify you in writing in advance and agree the scale of fees to be charged if different from the fees outlined below.

 

Fee Structures:

 

  1. Standard Fee Structure.

 

Consultation Meetings: €150 per hour.

Administration Work: €75 per hour.

Travel Time: €50 per hour.

 

Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency. We will notify you in advance of providing you with these services, our scale of fees for such cases range from a minimum of €50 per hour to a maximum of €150 per hour.

 

  1. Comprehensive Financial Planning Report.

 

Smart Finance specialises in providing client focused long term financial planning. This process involves engaging with clients to discuss / explore key areas in detail and the drafting of a Comprehensive Financial Planning Report. This Comprehensive Financial Planning Report is drafted so that it forms the basis from which clients can plan and achieve many of their long term goals and aspirations.

 

Depending on the complexity of the Comprehensive Financial Planning Report Smart Finance charges fees ranging from €1,500 to €2,500 for this service.

 

The fee will be agreed in advance with clients and it covers initial meetings to gather client information, research carried out and used in the completion of the report, and the time involved in drafting, finalising and presenting the report to clients.

It is at this point that Smart Finance will be in a position to make product recommendations and / or recommend a specific course of action to clients.

 

Note:

 

If new business is generated as a result of clients completing a Financial Planning Report and Smart Finance receives payment for placing this new business with a product provider, any payment received from the product provider will be offset against the fees due.

Where the payment received from the product provider is greater than the fee charged for the completion of the Financial Planning Report, this payment becomes the amount payable to Smart Finance unless an arrangement to the contrary has been agreed in advance.

 

  1. Mortgage advice/guidance service.

 

We may receive up to 1% (or whatever maximum is applicable) of the loan for arranging mortgage finance. This commission is paid by the mortgage lender.  The actual amount of commission will be disclosed at a later stage in the ESIS (European Standardised Information Sheet) which will be forwarded to you.  Information on the variation in levels of commission payable by the different creditors providing credit agreements being offered are available on request.

 

Smart Finance can engage with its clients to offer advice and guidance on the following;

 

  1. Making a new mortgage application – Smart Finance charges a set fee of €250 for this service.
  2. Approaching your lender to discuss mortgage difficulties, handling offers of split mortgage arrangements etc. – Smart Finance charges fees as outlined under the Standard Fee Structure above for this service.

 

Please note that lenders may charge specific fees in certain circumstances and if this applies, these fees will be specified in your Loan Offer. You have the right to pay a fee separately and not include it in the loan.  Typically, this situation arises in relation to specialist lending.

 

If we provide mortgage advice and obtain a Loan Offer for you and you subsequently do not proceed with your mortgage application through our firm, we will charge you an arrangement fee of €1,000 for our services in order to cover the time involved.

 

Regular Reviews.

 

It is in your best interests that you review, on a regular basis, the products which we have

arranged for you. As your circumstances change, your needs will change. You must advise us of those changes and request a review of the relevant policy so that we can ensure that you are provided with up to date advice and products best suited to your needs. Failure to contact us in relation to changes in your circumstances or failure to request a review may result in you having insufficient insurance cover and/or inappropriate investments.

 

Conflicts of Interest.

 

It is the policy of our firm to avoid conflicts of interest in providing services to you. However, where an unavoidable conflict of interest arises we will advise you of this in writing before providing you with any service.

 

Default on payments by clients.

 

Our firm will exercise its legal rights to receive payments due to it from clients (fees and insurance premiums) for services provided. In particular, without limitation of the generality of the foregoing, the firm will seek reimbursement for all payments made to insurers on behalf of clients where the firm has acted in good faith in renewing a policy of insurance for the client.

Product producers may withdraw benefits or cover in the event of default on payments due under policies of insurance or other products arranged for you. We would refer you to policy documents or product terms for the details of such provisions.

 

Mortgage lenders may seek early repayment of a loan and interest if you default on your repayments. Your home is at risk if you do not maintain your agreed repayments.

 

Complaints.

 

We ask that you make any complaint, against our firm, relating to investment business services provided by us, in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and we will fully investigate it. On completion of our investigation, we will provide you with a written report of the outcome. In the event that you are still dissatisfied with our handling of, or our response to your complaint, you are entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman. A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.

 

Data Protection.

 

Patrick Matthews t/a Smart Finance complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003.

 

The data which you provide to us will be held on a computer database and paper files for the

purpose of arranging transactions on your behalf. The data will be processed only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given. We would also like to keep you informed of mortgage, insurance, investment and any other services provided by us or associated companies with which we have a formal business arrangement, which we think may be of interest to you.  We would like to contact you by way of letter, email, newsletter, text, or telephone call. If you do not wish to receive such marketing information please tick the box in the Terms of Business acknowledgement letter.

 

We may receive referrals from such firms and may advise them of any transactions arranged for you.

 

Compensation Scheme.

 

We are members of the Investor Compensation Scheme operated by the Investor Compensation Company Ltd. See below for details.

 

 

Investor Compensation Scheme:

 

The Investor Compensation Act, 1998 provides for the establishment of a compensation scheme and the payment, in certain circumstances, of compensation to certain clients (known as eligible investors) of authorised investment firms, as defined in that Act.

The Investor Compensation Company Ltd. (ICCL) was established under the 1998 Act to operate such a compensation scheme and our firm is a member of this scheme.

Compensation may be payable where money or investment instruments owed or belonging to clients and held, administered or managed by the firm cannot be returned to those clients for the time being and where there is no reasonably foreseeable opportunity of the firm being able to do so.

 

A right to compensation will arise only:

 

  • If the client is an eligible investor as defined in the Act; and
  • If it transpires that the firm is not in a position to return client money or investment instruments owned or belonging to the clients of the firm; and
  • To the extent that the client’s loss is recognised for the purposes of the Act.

 

Where an entitlement to compensation is established, the compensation payable will be the lesser of:

 

  • 90% of the amount of the client’s loss which is recognised for the purposes of the Investor Compensation Act, 1998; or
  • Compensation of up to €20,000.

 

For further information, contact the Investor Compensation Company Ltd. at (01) 224 4955.

 

These Terms of Business are valid from April 2016 until further notice.