Talk Financial Ltd
6.1 Terms of Business – TALK FINANCIAL LTD.
(Effective January 2012)
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.
Authorisation with the Central Bank of Ireland
Talk Financial Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an insurance intermediary registered under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations, 2005; as a Multi-Agency Intermediary authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 and as a Mortgage Intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995.
Copies of our regulatory authorisation 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.
Codes of Conduct
Talk Financial Ltd. 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
Talk Financial Ltd is a member of the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA). As a member of PIBA we must be in a position to place insurance with at least five insurers of the relevant form (life/non-life) and therefore can generally give consumers greater choice than agents and tied agents.
Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients in relation to life & pensions and related financial planning. We also provide advice in relation to mortgages and general insurance products on a limited basis. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is available on request.
Talk Financial Ltd. acts as an Independent Broker for financial planning which means that:
a) The principal regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair analysis of the market; and
b) You may have the option to pay in full for our services by means of our fee structure (Our fee-based services list is available as a separate document or via www.talkfinancial.ie)
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, and any other relevant consideration
Talk Financial Ltd. provides life assurance and pensions 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 provide assistance for 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.
Life & Pensions
Talk Financial Ltd. provides general insurance on a limited analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market). We also act as deposit broker on a limited analysis basis for deposit clients. We provide advice on the following bank deposit providers:
• Permanent TSB Bank
• KBC Bank (Ireland)
• AIB Direct Deposits
We have a referral agreement in respect of general insurance products as follows:
• Aviva General Insurance
• Aviva Health
• BHP Insurance Brokers
• Glennon Insurance Brokers
Our non-life agencies are structured whereby we will not offer assistance to you in relation to processing claims on policies taken out with us. This will be provided either by the direct institution or the broker firm with whom we arrange your policies.
Renewal of such policies and related market research for rate comparison will be between you and the insurer/arranging broker firm directly.
Talk Financial Ltd will not provide that service but will comment or liaise with the insurer on your specific request only.
To ensure continuity of cover, where you have an existing policy which is due to expire and where we have been unable to contact you, we may put continuing cover in force whilst awaiting your instruction. You will be liable for any premiums payable to the relevant insurer for the period of time between renewal and when we receive your instruction. You have the right not to avail of this service.
Through the lenders or other undertakings with which we hold an agency, Talk Financial Ltd. 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.
Talk Financial Ltd. provides mortgage 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 provide advice on the following product providers:
• PIBA Network Mortgage Services through which we access fair market analysis
• AIB Home Loans on a direct agency basis
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.
Life, Health, Income Protection, Retirement, Investment planning
Talk Financial Ltd places significant focus on advice and act as fee-based advisors for most advices and transactions. Our fees are agreed in advance where possible. They are set on an individual basis and form part of your contract with us. Where it is not possible to quantify fees until conclusion of work, we will obtain your agreement to that effect in advance and our concluding invoice will detail the work involved.
Other fee-based optional services
Talk Financial Ltd provides other regulated fee-based services not linked to servicing policies you hold with the firm. A full list of fee-based services is available on request and is documented on a separate document and via www.talkfinancial.ie.
Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) – Fees
Our fee-based option for advising or arranging PRSA policies is as set out above as part of our fee-based services. We do not specifically set out a PRSA fee as we are holistic advisors.
Talk Financial Ltd. is remunerated by commission from insurers on completion of business. Details of this remuneration are available on request.
Our fee-based option for advising or arranging non-life policies is set out above as part of our fee-based services and agreed in advance.
Important Note on Non-Life Policies
We do not provide a claims service for general insurance and have arranged our agencies for general insurance policies accordingly. Claims are handled directly with the insurance firm or with the arranging broker firm only. We act only on a referral basis in this regard.
We may receive from 0% up to 1% (or whatever maximum is applicable) of the loan for arranging mortgage finance. Commission, where applicable, is paid by the mortgage lender.
We charge an administration fee for mortgage applications regardless of the outcome of that application. Those fees are available on request and agreed in advance.
Where mortgage commission is insufficient to cover our requirements, we apply a fee on the successful conclusion of a mortgage application, agreed in advance of the application. If early loan redemption involves a commission clawback, this may be passed on to you.
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 a fee for our services in addition to our administration fee. This will be disclosed and agreed in advance.
Financial Planning Fees
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.
Talk Financial Ltd. takes no responsibility for clients who do not proactively seek or accept an offer or advice to review their financial planning needs and policies regularly.
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.
Conflicts of interest
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. This also applies to the collection of any outstanding fees due to Talk Financial Ltd
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
Default on payments by clients
We ask that you make any complaint against our firm, relating to services provided by us, in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 business 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 response to your complaint, you are entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman or Pensions Ombudsman. A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.
Talk Financial Ltd. complies with 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 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.
We are members of the Investor Compensation Scheme operated by the Investor Compensation Company Ltd. See below for details.
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.