Our Terms of Business & Client Agreement

This document sets out the basis on which we will conduct business with you and on your behalf. It is our standard client agreement and we intend to rely on it, in conjunction with our fee engagement and scope of works. It is an important document and, for your own benefit and protection, we would ask you to read it carefully before proceeding with our service. If you are unsure of any of its terms, please contact us for an explanation.

The terms of this Client Agreement come into force immediately you engage us to conduct business and services for you, and remains in force until further notice.

Authorisation Statement

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the financial services industry in the UK and their address is 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HS. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA's website www.fca.org.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 1234. Our FCA Register Number is 402899.

Permitted Business

Our permitted business is advising on and arranging transactions in savings and investment products, pensions and insurance contracts for both corporate and individual clients. Chapters Financial Limited is also authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide debt counselling.

Scope of Service

Chapters Financial Limited offers independent financial advice and therefore provides investment services and offers products from the whole market and from a range of insurers for non-investment insurance (i.e. term assurance, critical illness cover, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance) on the basis of a comprehensive and fair analysis of the market.

We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed the background to your personal/financial circumstances, including your needs. In some situations, we shall only be providing you with information rather than advice – and this will be made clear to you on those occasions. In such circumstances we may ask some questions to narrow down the selection of products on which we will provide details and you would then need to make your own choice about how to proceed.

In order to ensure that your objectives are achieved, it is important to make sure that the strategy we have implemented continues to be appropriate. We therefore recommend that we undertake a regular review process.

On issue of this letter any subsequent advice or recommendation offered to you will be based upon stated objectives, acceptable level of risk, any restrictions you wish to place on the type of investments and insurance policies you are willing to consider.

Details of your stated objectives will be included in the Suitability Report confirming the reasons for our recommendations.

Client Categorisation

Each client with whom the firm does business is categorised to identify the level of regulatory protection. We propose to classify you as a 'Retail Client' which affords you the highest level of regulatory protection available. Should you wish, and following our discussion and agreement, you may request to be reclassified as an elective professional client. This means that you will lose certain protections under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority. In addition, we will not have to adhere to all of the rules as set out by the Regulator in respect of financial promotions and we will not have to ensure that you understand all the risks associated with the transactions and services we provide.

Client Service Agreement

Chapters Financial offers a professional financial planning service to meet your evolving needs over your lifetime. Our team has the experience and skills to provide personalised, independent financial advice and planning solutions to guide you, your family, business or charity to reach your future financial goals.

Our service and fees

Our standard service can be individually tailored to your specific financial planning needs, and would typically involve:-

Initial meeting

Initial consultation, provided at our cost, is without obligation to you.

Issue engagement documentation

Detailing our understanding of your requirements, the specific service we propose to provide and how much it will cost you, including whether you will have to pay VAT.

Receipt of your agreement to proceed

Obtain additional background information if required about you and your financial situation.

Analysis of information we have obtained

Development and preparation of recommended financial planning strategy based on your agreed needs and circumstances.

Second meeting

To consider and discuss our recommendations and agree your preferred strategy, if required.

Implementation

To complete all necessary paperwork, liaise with product providers, insurers, and other professional contacts, as appropriate. Check and issue documentation.

This is the point at which the initial fee would typically become due.

On-going review service

Once initial solutions are established, it is important to review your financial planning regularly as your life and wealth evolve, making adjustments and changes to your strategy to reflect your developing aspirations and needs.

Charging elements

Our fee based charging structure encompasses two elements:

  • An initial financial planning advice and Implementation Fee

Based on hourly rates. Whether you buy a product or not, we will charge a fee for our independent financial planning advice and services. Our total initial fee is subject to a minimum amount of £1,300.
We will keep a record of the time we spend on your financial planning service.

  • An on-going servicing fee

Based on a percentage of funds invested, as detailed below.

Our charges can be paid by cheque/bank transfer or deduction from your investments may be possible; or a combination of the two options, to suit you and agreed at outset.

Some insurers will still pay commission on protection policies (for example life assurance and income protection) in which case this can be used to offset our agreed fee if you wish.

Initial Fees

Current Hourly Rates:

Advice will be provided by a qualified Financial Planner: a professional who helps individuals manage their finances by providing advice on money issues such as investments, insurance, savings, estate planning, taxes and retirement, depending on the client's circumstances.

£315 per hour

We will always agree the level of this remuneration and your payment options before proceeding with your agreed financial planning project. Our letter of engagement and scope of works will confirm the fee and specific service to be provided. We will not charge you until you have agreed how we are to be remunerated.

You will find some typical costs for example of services below:

Example of our costs to deliver your financial planning project.

Our average charge to a new client requiring a review of their investments is:

Financial planning advice

5 hours at
£315 per hour

£1,575.00

Average cost for new investment review

£1,575.00

On-going servicing

We offer a choice of three on-going servicing packages. The cost of these will be based on an annual percentage of the value of your investments.

However, the charge may be spread over 12 months and applied proportionally to the value of your investments monthly. For example, the annual service fee would be applied at a monthly rate of 0.75/12 = 0.0625%.

Service provided

Annual

Bi-annual

Quarterly

Annual financial review

Half-yearly financial review

Quarterly financial review

Quarterly newsletters

Telephone

Email access

Valuation reports

Portfolio administration

Additional research services
Asset allocation benchmarking


On-going Service Costs

Annual

Bi-annual

Quarterly

Percentage of investment value

0.75% p.a.

1.00% p.a.

1.25% p.a.

Minimum annual fee
No minimum investment amount.

£1,000

£1,300

£1,600

Examples of costs*:
For an example portfolio value of £175,000

£1,312.50
(£175,000 x 0.75%)

£1,750.00
(£175,000 x 1.00%)

£2,187.50
(£175,000 x 1.25%)

*Costs can be paid directly and paid monthly if agreed and preferred, or by deduction from your investment.

For a portfolio value of £200,000

£1,500
(£200,000 x 0.75%)

£2,000
(£200,000 x 1.00%)

£2,500
(£200,000 x 1.25%)

As our fee is based on the value of your investment on the calculation date, the monthly/annual charge will vary as your portfolio value varies.

Lower amounts can be invested and service charges would be charged directly to you. These can be divided and paid monthly if preferred.

Please note you have the option to cease the selected option at any time, at which point your financial planning service with Chapters Financial Limited will end. This can be re-started by additional negotiation.

The financial review

We will contact you several weeks before your financial review is due. Your review is likely to typically include:-

  • Update of your personal details.
  • Review of the impact on your financial planning strategy of any changes in your circumstances and those of market changes.
  • Review of your existing portfolio of investments/ performance of the underlying assets.
  • Update on any taxation, legislative or investment developments since the last review.
  • Implementation of any agreed changes, such as fund switches or changes to pension contributions/ income payments.
  • Additional advice on other areas/plans can be provided at separate cost.

Communications

We will normally communicate with you and expect to receive communications from you in English. If you wish to communicate with us in another language, please contact us.

In most cases, communications that you receive from us will either be presented in or confirmed in writing. We may also meet with you face to face or communicate verbally with you by telephone. We request that our clients give us instructions in writing to avoid possible disputes. Therefore, any verbal instruction you make should be subsequently confirmed in writing.

We may, at our discretion, refuse to accept instructions although such discretion shall not be exercised unreasonably. We keep records of all business transactions for at least five years. You have the right to inspect copies of any papers or computer records relating to your transactions. We do, however, reserve the right not to provide you with copies of records, if information relating to other parties would be disclosed.

To assist us in providing you with a comprehensive service and to keep our records as up-to-date as possible, please notify us of any changes to your personal circumstances, e.g. name change, change of address, etc., as soon as possible.

In the event of Chapters Financial assisting you in the completion of any investment application or policy proposal forms you will continue to bear full responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information entered on such forms. It is your responsibility to provide complete and accurate information to us and insurers when you affect your policy, throughout the life of your policy, and when you renew your insurance. It is important that you ensure that all statements you make on proposal forms, claim forms and other documents are full and accurate. We cannot be held responsible for incorrect data held in the event of non-disclosure.

If you fail to disclose any material information to us or your insurers, this could invalidate your insurance cover and could mean that part or all of a claim may not be paid.

Registration of Investments

Where we arrange a life policy, pension or investment for you, the provider will produce documentation as evidence of the transaction. All investments will be registered in your name, unless you first instruct us otherwise in writing.

We will forward to you all documents showing ownership of your investments as soon as practicable after we receive them. Where a number of documents relating to a series of transactions are involved, we will normally hold each document until the series is complete and then forward them to you. We cannot retain such title documents for whatever reason including holding them as security.

Restrictions

Unless advised to the contrary, we will assume that you wish to place no restrictions on the markets in which transactions are to be executed or on the types of investment or insurances we may recommend and in which you may subsequently invest.

Client Money

For your additional security Chapters Financial Limited does not handle clients' money and we never own the investments that you buy through us. We never handle cash or accept a cheque made out to us, unless the cheque is in settlement of charges or costs for which we have sent you an invoice.

Money Laundering

We will be required to verify your identity in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. We reserve the right to approach third parties and to delay any applications until adequate verification of identity has been obtained.

Your Understanding of Risk

Because the value of investments can go down as well as up, you may not get back the full amount invested. Levels of income from investments may also fluctuate and/or affect the capital value of the investment. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future performance.

Non-readily realisable investments will generally have a restricted market, and it may therefore be difficult to deal in that investment or to obtain reliable information about its value.

For insurance products, your insurance policy may lapse if you do not keep up to date with regular premium payments, and you may not be covered if a claim is made.

Material Interest

We offer Independent Financial Advice, but occasions arise where we or another customer will have some form of interest in business which we are transacting for you. Conflicts of Interest are impossible to remove entirely but we identify, monitor and manage real or potential conflicts in order to safeguard our clients' interests.

The following actual or potential conflicts of interest have been identified:-
• Access to confidential information
• Outside business interests or personal relationships
• Inducements and gifts
• Remuneration

We rely on a policy of independence to manage any conflicts of interest between Chapters Financial and our clients or between one client and another. This means that it is possible that there may be material interest or conflicts of interest relating to the service given to clients but we are required to disregard that material interest or conflict of interest when advising clients.

We monitor where conflicts of interest may exist such as having a material interest in relation to a transaction, and if we believe we are unable to manage a specific conflict of interest using this policy of independence we will disclose the conflict to clients by writing to you with full details and the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment, and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions. Ultimately, if we believe that disclosure would also not manage the conflict fairly, we must decline to act for the client.

Rights to Cancel

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 whereas the cancellation period for a unit trust or ISA is normally 14 days. In general terms you will have a 30 day cancellation period for a pure protection policy. However there will be occasions where no statutory rights are granted. Should this situation arise we will notify you of the facts before any contract is concluded.

Complaints

It is our intention to always provide the highest quality level of advice and service. If however you become dissatisfied with our provision of, or our failure to provide, a financial service, and you wish to register a complaint please contact Keith G Churchouse FPFS, at Chapters Financial Limited, Hadleigh House, 232 High Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3JF, telephone (01483) 578 800. Your complaint will be investigated in accordance with the firm's complaints handling procedure, a copy of which will be supplied to you. If you are not happy with the way we have carried out our investigation or the result, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Further information about the FOS is available from their website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

Compensation Scheme

Chapters Financial Limited is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if we cannot meet our obligations. This is dependent upon the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Most types of investment business are covered by the FSCS 100% up to a maximum of £50,000.

Further information about this compensation scheme arrangement is available from the FSCS at www.fscs.org.uk.

Protection of Personal Data

Protection of all client information provided or received by us is of paramount importance to our company. Chapters Financial goes to great lengths to ensure that the information provided to us in the course of our business is kept secure at all times. Chapters Financial is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the 'Act') and any personal and financial information that we hold about you will be held on secure server/computer and/or in paper files and processed subject to the Act. This information will be used to administer your application, to deal with queries and to bring to your attention additional services and products that may be of benefit to you. If we are advised that the confidentiality of your information is breached, we will inform you as soon as possible.

The information that you give us may be disclosed to third parties, such as product providers and credit reference agencies for the purpose of processing your applications, our successors, our regulator, our compliance advisers and to any other statutory, governmental or regulatory body for legitimate purposes including, where relevant, to solicitors.

The information will also enable further services to be provided to you, so that your details can be best matched with the services available but you may ask us not to contact you about additional services and products by writing to us at the address shown in this letter.

If agreed with you then such information provided may also contain sensitive personal data for the purposes of the Act, being information as to, for example, your physical or mental health or condition; the committing or alleged committing of any offence by you; and any proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed by you, including the outcome or sentence in such proceedings.

Subject to certain exceptions, you are entitled to have access to your personal and sensitive personal data held by us. You may be charged a fee (subject to the statutory maximum) for supplying you with such data.

We keep records of your business transactions for at least five years.

Law

These Terms of Business exclude any rights, which may be conferred upon third parties by the Contracts (Third Party Rights) Act 1999.

This client agreement is governed and shall be construed in accordance with English Law and the parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Force Majeure

Chapters Financial shall not be in breach of this Agreement and shall not incur any liability to you if there is any failure to perform its duties due to any circumstances reasonably beyond its control.

Termination

The authority to act on your behalf may be terminated at any time without penalty by either party giving seven days' notice in writing to that effect to the other, but without prejudice to the completion of transactions already initiated. Any transactions effected before termination and a due proportion of any period charges for services shall be settled to that date.

Declaration

This is our standard client agreement upon which we intend to rely. For your own benefit and protection you should read these terms carefully before proceeding with our service. If you do not understand any point please ask for further information