Terms of Business - Clan Financial Services

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Terms of Business

 
 

Clan Financial Services Limited is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to advise on and arrange regulated mortgages, life (non-investment) and general insurance contracts (FCA No 484655). We offer completely impartial and independent advice to our customers.

Under FCA rules, an adviser is classified as independent when:

• offering a fee-only service (avoiding any conflict of interests that may arise from the commission advisers earn from lenders) AND
• when that adviser uses the whole of the market.

Residential mortgages and General Insurance Products (including non-investment Life Insurance contracts) have been regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since 1st April 2013. Buy-to-Let and commercial mortgages are not regulated unless over 40% of the property is occupied by the borrower or a member of his or her immediate family.

We also provide advice and arrangement in respect to other services such as Buy-to-Let mortgages, commercial loans and mortgages, secured loans (homeowner loans) and further advances. Secured and unsecured loans are regulated under the Consumer Credit Act.

In these Terms of Business, references to “we” “us” and “our” shall mean Clan Financial Services Limited as providers of this service. References to “you” and “your” shall mean you as the recipient of this service. References to the “FCA” shall mean the Financial Conduct Authority.

Treating Customers Fairly

At Clan Financial Services, we are committed to offering our customers the highest possible standards of service. In so doing we are pleased to support the Financial Conduct Authority initiative ‘Treating Customers Fairly’.

We recognise that both we and our customers have everything to gain if we look after your best interests and treat you fairly in all aspects of our dealings with you.

Our commitment to you

We will:

• provide you with clear information about the products and service we offer, including fees and charges
• ascertain your individual needs, preferences and circumstances before recommending a mortgage
• only recommend a mortgage that we consider suitable for you and that you can afford – and always the most suitable from the available options
• not recommend a mortgage if we can’t find one we consider suitable
• encourage you to ask if there’s something you don’t understand
• give you access to a formal complaints procedure should you become unhappy with our service

How you can help us

To help us give you the most appropriate advice, we will ask you to:

• tell us as much as possible about your income and outgoings, to enable us to properly assess how much you can afford
• let us know about changes that might affect your ability to repay a mortgage
• let us know if there is any aspect of our service, or of a product we have discussed or recommended that you don’t understand
• tell us if you think there are ways we can improve our service

Instructions from you

We require our clients to give us instructions in writing in order to avoid possible disputes. We will, however, accept your oral instructions provided they are confirmed in writing.

We are required to verify your identity in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 1993 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. This will be required at the outset of our dealings with you and no mortgage or loan offer or insurance acceptance terms will be produced until such verification has been obtained.

Our Services

We constantly review the mortgage and insurance market in order to select the most appropriate lenders and products to meet your individual circumstances.

During our initial meeting or discussion, we will complete a detailed fact-find questionnaire to enable appropriate advice to be given on the mortgage and related insurance products. Once we have made our recommendations to you, we will confirm our advice in writing. You should keep this as a record of the transaction, which will be confirmed by your provider’s formal offer of a mortgage or insurance contract.

We will work actively on your behalf, liaising with all parties involved (including solicitors and estate agents) to assist the smooth processing of your application. We are not liable for delays which may be caused by third parties, but will represent your interests to ensure that these may be kept to the minimum. We may recommend a solicitor from a select panel where we believe you could benefit from our agreed service standards with them.

From time to time, we may contact you if we believe that you would benefit from a new review or be interested in other products we can offer. By accepting these Terms of Business, you authorise us to contact you in these circumstances.

Remuneration

Mortgages

Our standard fee is £400; of which £60 is payable at the outset and £340 is payable on confirmation of a mortgage offer (but normally charged on completion). We may, at our discretion, waive all or part of this fee if the case proceeds on a status, non-adverse basis. We will also retain any commission paid to us by the lender.

Alternatively, you may choose to remunerate us by way of a fee only. In this case you will pay us a fee equivalent to 1% of the mortgage to be arranged (with a minimum of £500), at the outset. For example, on a mortgage of £100,000, you would pay us £1,000. Any commission received from the lender would be rebated to you.

In certain circumstances we may be able to add our fee to the mortgage loan. You will receive a Key Facts Illustration when considering a particular mortgage, which will detail any other fees relating to it such as valuation fees and lender arrangement fees.

Secured and Unsecured Loans

We do not charge fees for advising on or arranging secured or unsecured loans. However, we will retain any commission paid to us by the lender.

Commercial Mortgage and Loans

Our standard fee is 0.5% of the total facility arranged (with a minimum of £500). Half of this fee is payable at the outset and the remainder on confirmation of an offer (but normally charged on completion). We will also retain any commission paid to us by the lender.

Insurances

We do not normally charge any fees for advising on or arranging regulated insurance contracts, as we will receive a commission from the product provider.

Withdrawal and refund of fees

Mortgages

You will not be liable to pay the balance of our fee if we are unable to secure an offer from any lender. However, in the event we are unable to secure a formal mortgage offer due to your non-disclosure of relevant information as required by the lender or as a result of inaccurate information you have provided, the balance of our fee will become payable immediately. We regret that we are unable to refund fees paid at the outset.

If you withdraw from the transaction for any other reason, we reserve the right to charge you a fee (up to the full amount agreed) to cover the time spent working on your behalf. For genuine reasons of withdrawal, this fee may be credited towards a future transaction.

Insurances

Where you cancel a regulated insurance contract or it lapses within its earnings period (typically the first four years) and this results in us having to repay some or all of the commissions earned, we reserve the right to charge you a cancellation fee of up to £250 to cover the time spent working on your behalf.

Your Money

We are not authorised to hold client money. Therefore, we cannot accept direct payment of insurance or mortgage premiums or fees payable to third parties. We are able to forward your cheques or make credit/debit card payments on your behalf for services such as valuation reports and conveyancing fees.

Data Protection and Information Disclosure

We will treat all your personal information as private and confidential (even when you are no longer a customer), except where we are permitted or required by Law or where disclosure is made at your request or with your consent in relation to arranging your mortgage and / or your insurance. You have the right of access, under the Data Protection Act 1998, to your personal records held on our files.

As part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s duties, we may be asked to provide them with access to our customer records in order that they may carry out an audit of our activities. The FCA’s ability to inspect customer records promotes best practice in our industry and ensures that you continue to receive the best possible service from us. If we disclose your personal information to the FCA, they will only use it for the purpose of confirming our compliance with their rules.

We keep records of all our business transactions for a minimum of seven years.

Credit Checking and Fraud Prevention

All lenders will carry out credit reference checks with credit bureaus in order to assess an applicant’s suitability for mortgage lending. They may also carry out other checks to verify your identity, employment status or financial conduct.

The proposed lender may check your details with fraud prevention agencies. If you provide false or inaccurate information and they suspect fraud, they may record this. The proposed lender and other organisations may use these records to prevent fraud and money laundering. We are able to provide further details upon request.

By accepting these Terms of Business you:

• Instruct us to provide services in accordance with these terms.
• Agree that any information we hold about you can be held on computer and / or paper files.
• Agree that any information, which you give us, may be disclosed to third parties (e.g. credit reference agencies and product providers) for the purpose of processing your application or to another firm upon the sale of all or part of our business.
• Agree that we may contact your current lender, insurance provider or other third parties in order to obtain information on your current products and policies to enable us to provide you with advice appropriate to your circumstances.
• Agree that we may use the information that we hold about you to contact you from time to time by post, fax, e-mail or telephone to review your products or bring to your attention additional products or services, which may be of benefit to you.
• Acknowledge that any consent given by you under paragraph 5 above may be withdrawn by you at any time by contacting us in writing at:

Clan Financial Services
11 Kneele Gardens
Plymouth
Devon
PL3 5RL