Key facts about Scholes & Brown services and costs
Our terms of business 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.
These key points form 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 our professional clients as if they were retail clients. This means that we undertake a greater obligation of disclosure and communication of risk than would otherwise be necessary.
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.
Conflict 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.
What does our advice cost?
You will pay for our services on the basis of an adviser fee. We will discuss payment options with you and answer any questions you may have. We will not charge you until we have agreed our fee in writing with you.
Adviser fees are usually taken out of the products we recommend for you. The annual fee commences at the start of year one and is deducted monthly or quarterly. Alternatively, you have the option to make a separate payment by cheque or bank transfer.
|Service||Initial Adviser Fee|
|Assessing your financial requirements and reviewing your existing assets and liabilities. Creating a bespoke financial plan with specific recommendations.||Up to 1% of the investments made.|
|Ongoing Adviser Fee|
|Annual review to reassess your objectives and attitude to risk. Check that your plans are still on track. Regular valuations and statements. |
Performance overview of your investments.
Review of tax allowances and exemptions.
Lifetime cash flow modelling exercise.
Access to a named Director at all times.
Telephone and email access to Technical and Administration staff.
|Up to 1% per annum of investments advised on.|
|Ad Hoc Advice||Fees will be agreed with you in writing before commencement of any work.|
Adviser Fee Examples
You invest £200,000 from cash into funds and require the review service
The initial fee is 1% of the £200,000 invested, i.e. £2,000. The annual fee is 1% of the value of the fund, i.e. £2,000.
You require advice on the suitability of transferring a personal pension of £400,000
The initial fee is 1% on the £400,000 fund value, i.e. £4,000.
You have an investment portfolio of £750,000 and require the review service
The annual fee is 1% on the £750,000 fund value, i.e. £7,500.
Please note that, as fees 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.
Where we recommend products such as life policies we may receive a commission from the provider. The amount of commission will be confirmed in writing to you.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
As Adviser fees 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 Financial Conduct Authority. 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.