Key facts about Scholes & Brown services and costs
This document contains information which our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), requires financial advisers to provide to their clients. It explains how we operate, the range of services we offer and how we charge for our services. It also provides certain other information which we, as professional financial advisers, are required to give you.
Since this document sets out the basis on which we will act for you and which you accept by instructing us in any matter. Our terms of business should be retained for future reference.
On individual matters we may also send you a separate letter of engagement containing information relevant to that matter.
Independent financial advice
Not all advisers are independent. Some are confined to advising on the products of one or more providers of financial products and investments. We are 100% independent and provide financial planning advice which embraces tax and other issues as appropriate. When recommending products we consider impartially the products of all relevant companies and recommend whatever course of action we consider to be in your best interests.
Classification of clients
For the purposes of compliance with the requirements of the FCA, we treat all our clients as if they are retail clients. This means that we undertake a greater obligation of disclosure and communication of risk than may otherwise be necessary for professional clients.
We will seek clients' consent to our recording their relevant personal information on our firm's computer system. We will supply to clients, at their request, a copy of the data relating to themselves and will provide them with a description of the data and the purposes for which it is processed and with details of the source of the data and any potential recipients of the data. We do not sell your information to any third party.
Unless advised to the contrary in writing by clients we will assume that we can share their financial data with their partner/spouse. Please let us know at the earliest opportunity if that is not the case.
Conflicts of interest
In the event of any conflict arising between our own interests and those of any client, we will disclose all the relevant facts to the client in question and if appropriate decline to act for the client.
Our services and what you will pay
The following sections provide explanations of each of the services offered and the charging structures applying to them. The services and charges are described as either initial or ongoing. Initial charges cover the cost of advice at the point of delivery, while ongoing charges cover the provision of reviews and continuing support.
You will pay for our services on the basis of an adviser charge. Some insurance products will pay a commission and we will confirm any amount we receive in writing prior to any advice being given.
We will discuss your payment options with you and answer any questions you have. We will not charge you until we have agreed with you how we are to be paid.
Adviser charges are usually taken out of the products we recommend for you. The annual charge commences at the start of year one and is deducted monthly or quarterly. Alternatively, you have the option to pay by cheque or bank transfer.
Initial adviser charge
No adviser charge applies.
0.5% of the amount advised on as follows:
This is subject to a minimum adviser charge of £995 for advice face-to-face.
Complex financial planning
1% of the amount advised on as follows:
This is subject to a minimum adviser charge of £995 for advice face-to-face.
Annual Review Service
Between 0.5% and 1% per annum of investments advised on depending on portfolio size and the complexity of the work.
Charges shall be set by individual agreement.
Complex financial planning
This service offers advice on financial planning matters, specifically taking retirement benefits, estate planning, pension consolidation, cash flow modelling and inheritance tax planning. These matters demand a more specialised and time-intensive approach coupled with complex research. We will make it clear to you whether the advice you are seeking falls under investment advice or complex financial planning before providing the service.
Adviser Charge Examples
You have £1,000,000 in a pension fund and want advice on how to manage this taking into account the Lifetime Allowance. This is classed as complex financial planning.
A report is prepared making recommendations on taking benefits from your pension fund.
The adviser charge is based on 1% of the first £200,000 and 0.5% on the balance between £200,000 and £1,000,000. The adviser charge will therefore be £6,000.
You invest £400,000 into funds and require the Annual Review Service.
The initial investment advice charge will be 0.5% of the £400,000 invested, i.e. £2,000.
The ongoing charge will be 0.75% of the value of the investments every year, i.e. £3,000 per annum.
Please note that, as annual adviser charges are percentage based, they will increase in monetary terms as the value of your portfolio grows.
Ad Hoc advice
A fixed fee will be agreed between the adviser and client before any work is carried out. It will depend on the complexity of the case, the time required and whether we will have to call upon further expertise. Fees will be agreed with you in writing before any work is carried out. Where fees have been agreed these will become payable upon completion of our work, whether you subsequently act upon our recommendations or not. You may be asked for an initial down payment before work is started. You will not be charged any more than the amount agreed, unless we subsequently agree with you that the cost of our work is going to be higher than originally estimated.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
As Adviser charges are usually taken out of the products we recommend for you, no VAT is currently payable. Please note this is not guaranteed and the tax rules may change. Fees for other advice may be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate, currently 20%.
Investment certificates and policy documents
We arrange for all investments (certificated and uncertificated) to be registered in the names of our clients or such nominees as they may instruct. Any investment certificates or other evidence of title to investments which we may receive will be forwarded to clients.
The Money Laundering Regulations
We are required for the purposes of 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 kept up-to-date. For this purpose we need to obtain information about our clients and one of the ways in which we might do this is to access electronically information held in the public domain.
We do not handle client money.We never accept a cheque made out to us unless it is a cheque in settlement of our fees or disbursements for which we have sent you an invoice.
In order to preserve the confidentiality of client information and to protect clients against the risk of identity theft, we may ask clients to advise us if they wish to receive personal information by telephone or in other ways which will prevent us from ensuring that it is the client who is requesting the information. If clients do wish to receive information in this way, we may ask for special identifying information, such as your mother’s maiden name.
The firm may be subjected to confidential audits conducted by our regulator, the FCA. These audits are intended to ensure that we are complying with the current regulations and acting in the best interests of our clients and they may involve scrutiny of client files. Files and information relating to your matters may be included in such inspections.
Working with other professional firms
When we are asked to advise the clients of professional firms such as accountants or solicitors we liaise with those firms so as to ensure that our advice complements theirs. In recognition of their involvement, we may pay such firms a proportion of our remuneration.
In accordance with the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority we ask our clients to confirm that we may retain sums of trail or renewal commission which are so small, relative to the overall amount of our fees payable by the client to whom they relate, that it would be impracticable for us to account to our clients as described above.
Questions and Complaints
If you feel there is a problem with our work or our fees, you are entitled to complain. In the first instance you should raise the matter with the Director responsible for your finances. This would also apply if you have a question regarding the service you are receiving. If you are not satisfied with our initial response, please write to the Client Care Director at Scholes & Brown, Rotterdam House, 116 Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DY or telephone 0191 206 4170. We will let you have a response as soon as possible, usually within 14 days. No charge will be made for following this procedure. You may also request a written copy of our Complaints Procedure.
If we are not able to satisfy you completely with our response, you have the right to make a complaint by contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on 0800 0234 567 or by writing to them at The Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SR.The FOS web site can be found at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. Most types of investment business are covered for 100% of the first £50,000 and bank and building society cash deposits are covered for 100% of the first £85,000.
No responsibility can be accepted by this firm for (i) any action taken without its professional advice in reliance on the contents of any Report submitted by the firm or (ii) any advice given by referring solicitors or accountants, whether in a joint meeting with advisers from the firm or otherwise.
The relationship between Scholes & Brown and our clients may be terminated at any time by either party giving written notice. Termination will not affect instructions which have been actioned or liabilities which have been incurred.