Terms & Conditions
Termination of this Agreement
We may terminate this agreement by giving you at least 20 business days’ written notice. You may terminate this agreement at any time, without penalty. Notice of termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt. Any transactions already initiated will be completed according to this agreement unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any services we have provided before cancellation and any outstanding fees, if applicable.
Ongoing services can be cancelled at any time by simply informing us in writing but please note that we reserve the right to charge you for services provided prior to cancellation.
Product cancellation rights
Full details of the products we recommend to you including, for example, the minimum duration of the product, information on your right to cancel or whether no right to cancel exists, and any other early termination rights and penalties, will be covered in the relevant product disclosure information you will receive before the conclusion of any contract.
In most cases you can exercise a right to cancel by withdrawing from the contract. In general terms you will normally have a 30 day cancellation period for a life, protection, payment protection or pension policy and a 14 day cancellation period for all other policies. Please note that there is no right to cancel a mortgage contract once the mortgage transaction has been concluded.
Instructions for exercising the right to cancel, if applicable, will be contained in the relevant product disclosure information which will be provided to you.
If you cancel a single premium contract, you may be required to pay for any loss you might reasonably incur in cancelling it which is caused by market movements. This means that, in certain circumstances, you might not get back the full amount you invested if you cancel the policy.
In respect of any regular premium policy which we have arranged for you, should you subsequently cease to pay premiums on the policy and in consequence we are obliged to refund the commission that has been paid to us, we reserve the right to charge you a fee representing the amount we have to repay, for a period of up to four years after commencement of the policy. We will confirm the exact amount that will need to be repaid by you and the timescale over which it will need to be repaid in the suitability report we will send you when a recommendation is made. We will not charge any such fee if you exercise your right to cancel in accordance with any cancellation notice sent to you by the life insurance company.
We will confirm to you in writing the basis of our recommendations along with details of any special risks associated with the products recommended. Before making any recommendations we’ll carry out a suitability assessment so that we are able to act in your best interests.
Where we agree to provide you with a service that includes an ongoing review of the suitability of the investments we have recommended, we’ll carry out this review at least annually. To do this we will need to make contact with you to assess whether the information we hold about you remains accurate and up to date. We’ll issue you with a report setting out the results of our assessment and, if relevant, any updated recommendations.
We may, where appropriate, recommend that some, or all, of your investments are managed by a Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM), a professional investment manager appointed to monitor your portfolio and make investment decisions on your behalf. A DFM operates on a discretionary basis which means that your consent is not required where a change to your portfolio is made. The DFM has to ensure that any changes made are within the investment mandate agreed with us.
Where we send investment applications on your behalf to third parties (e.g. to put an investment into force), we’ll take all sufficient steps to ensure that we obtain the best possible result for you. This is referred to as ‘best execution’.
We have a best execution policy. If you want to see a copy of it please ask us.
We are required by the anti-money laundering regulations to verify the identity of our clients, to obtain information as to the purpose and nature of the business which we conduct on their behalf, and to ensure that the information we hold is up-to-date. For this purpose we may use electronic identity verification systems and we may conduct these checks from time to time throughout our relationship, not just at the beginning.
Conflict of interests
Although we’ll always try to act in your best interests there may be situations where we or one of our other clients has some form of interest in the business being transacted for you. If this happens or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other clients conflict with your own interests, we’ll write to you and ask for your consent to proceed before we carry out any business for you. We’ll also let you know the steps we’ll take to make sure you are treated fairly.
We have a conflicts of interest policy. If you want to see a copy of it please ask us.
Other benefits we may receive
We are unable to accept or retain payments or benefits from other firms (e.g. product providers) as this would conflict with our independent status. From time to time we may attend training events funded and /or delivered by product providers, fund managers and platforms. These events are designed to enhance our knowledge and ultimately therefore enhance the quality of service we provide to our clients.
We obtain professional support services from Sense Network Ltd who provide us with regulatory and business advice. Sense Network receive payments from product providers to cover the costs of including articles and other educational material in its communications to us. These are designed to be educational in nature and will therefore ultimately benefit you. These payments represent the costs of publishing these materials from which Sense Network does not make a profit.
Communicating with you
We may communicate with you by telephone, post, e-mail or in person. In certain circumstances, we may ask you to confirm any instructions in writing prior to implementation. All our communications with you will be in English.
Our advice will be based on the information that you give so it’s important that you provide us with accurate and up to date information when we request details about your circumstances and objectives. This will allow us to provide you with suitable advice. If the information you provide is inaccurate or if you limit the information provided this could affect the suitability of the advice we give.
Under the FCA rules, we are required to consider whether it is in your best interests for us to act for you if you refuse to provide us with what we believe to be the necessary information. We therefore reserve the right to decline to act for you if we believe you have not provided us with the requisite information.
As we are required by anti-money laundering legislation to know who we are dealing with, it would be helpful if you could bring to the meeting evidence of your identity and address. This would normally include either your passport or driving licence and a utility bill in your name. If these documents are not available please speak to the Adviser who will confirm what alternatives would be acceptable.
How you are protected
Opal Financial Management Limited is an appointed representative of Sense Network Limited, Brookdale Centre, Manchester Road, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 0SR which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS.
The Financial Conduct Authority ‘FCA does not regulate all forms of financial advice, including for example, advice on bank deposits, Auto-Enrolment pension schemes and tax avoidance schemes.
Sense Network Ltd’s Financial Services Register number is 465124. Our Financial Services Register number is 602945. Sense Network Ltd’s permitted business is advising on and arranging pensions, savings and investment products, noninvestment insurance contracts and mortgages. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website:
www.fca.org.uk/firms/systems-reporting/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.
Opal Financial Management Limited is an agent of Sense Network in respect of advice which is regulated by the FCA. Opal Financial Management Limited is not an agent for Sense in respect of advice not regulated by the FCA.
Sense Network will not be liable for any losses that may arise from advice in relation to non-regulated advice. In some circumstances, these may also mean that you will not have recourse to statutory protection schemes such as the FSCS or the FOS.
Unless we notify you in writing to the contrary, we will be treating you as a retail client. This means that you are afforded the highest level of protection under the regulatory system and should have the right to take any complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
If you are dissatisfied with a recommendation we have made you are entitled to make a complaint. We have a complaints procedure that is available on request. If you wish to register a complaint, please contact us:
• In writing: The Compliance Director, Sense Network Limited, Brookdale Centre, Manchester Road, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 0SR.
• By phone: Telephone 01565 658 840
• By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be assured we treat complaints seriously. For your further protection if you cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (‘FOS’). Full details of the FOS can be found on its website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
If your complaint relates to products or services you have bought from us online, or by other electronic means such as by email, you may refer your complaint to the online dispute resolution (ODR) platform at: http://ec.europa.eu/odr.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
We are also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (‘FSCS’). You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim.
• Investments: most types of investment business are covered for up to a maximum of £50,000.
• Insurance: advising and arranging is covered for 100% of the claim, without any upper limit.
• Mortgages: advising and arranging is covered up to a maximum limit of £50,000.
We may also, on occasion, advise on other financial products which are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Compensation Scheme does not apply to any of these products.
Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS at: www.fscs.org.uk/consumer
We are not permitted to handle client money and we cannot accept a cheque made out to us or a similarly named account or Sense Network (unless it is in respect of an item for which we have sent you an invoice) or handle cash.
Please note that Sense will not be liable for any losses which you may sustain by your failure to observe this important protection.
Legal and taxation
Jurisdiction This agreement is governed by and should be interpreted in accordance with English law and you agree to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
Legal and accounting advice
Neither our firm nor our employees are qualified to render legal or accounting advice or to prepare any legal or accounting documents. It is hereby understood and agreed that the onus is on you, the client, to refer to a solicitor or accountant any point of law or accountancy that may arise during the course of discussions with us.
No VAT will generally be payable where you pass the “gateway test”. This is effectively the point where intermediation (completing and placing your business with an appropriate provider) takes place to set up the solutions to deliver your goals. There are six stages to intermediation. If only the first four stages are completed then it is deemed that you have not completed the “gateway test” and VAT will be payable.
The stages are:
1. Gather information about the customer (fact find)
2. Carry out research to find suitable investment options
3. Provide the customer with reports, financial health checks, forecasts
4. Recommend specific investment products to the customer, including the prices at which these can be arranged
5. Act between the product provider (s) and the customer with a view to arranging the sale of the Retail Investment Products agreed with the customer.
6. And, where applicable i.e. where the customer agrees to an on-going review service monitor the customers ongoing position to ensure that the products continue to meet the requirements of the customer.