Terms of Business

Terms of Business for Schofield Financial and Accounting Services Ltd.May 2022

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

Schofield Financial and Accounting Services Ltd. (C146819) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an insurance intermediary registered under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations, 2005; as an Investment Intermediary authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 and as a Mortgage Intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995, and as a Mortgage Credit Intermediary under  the European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulations 2016. Copies of our regulatory authorisations 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

Schofield Financial and Accounting Services 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

Our Services 

Schofield Financial and Accounting Services Ltd. is a member of Brokers Ireland.  Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients in relation to life, pensions and investments.  A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with whom we deal is available on request.

Fair Analysis: We act in the best interests of our clients and our firm does not have a ‘tied’ relationship with any institution.

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. 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:

  1. The needs of the customer
  2. The size of the customer order
  3. The number of providers in the market that deal with brokers
  4. The market share of each of those providers
  5. The number of relevant products available from each provider
  6. The Availability of information about the products
  7. The Quality of the product and service provided by the provider,
  8. The Cost
  9. Any other relevant consideration.

Life & Pensions/Deposits & Investments

Schofield Financial & Accounting Services Ltd. deal with Life 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 will provide assistance to you for any 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.

Sustainability Factors – Investment/IBIPS/Pension Advice 

When providing advice, the firm considers the adverse impact of investment decisions on sustainability. As part of our research and assessment of products, the firm will examine the Product Providers literature to compare financial products and to make informed investment decisions about ESG products. The firm will at all times act in the client’s best interests and keep clients informed accordingly. The consideration of sustainability risks can impact on the returns of financial products.

Disclosure of Information

Under the Consumer Protection Code, Schofield Financial & Accounting Services is obliged to obtain relevant information before giving advice on financial planning services or products. When we complete a fact-find for our files, we may then offer financial advice within our authorization.  If you choose not to provide us with relevant information, you may instructs us to effect a specific policy with a specific Life company by completing and signing an ‘execution only’ instruction.  We recommend that you complete a factfind with us so that we can provide you with holistic financial planning services to identify, quantify and prioritse your needs and objectives within your affordability and investment risk profile.

Under the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019, which replaced the principle of ‘Utmost good faith’, an applicant for protection policies must provide responses to questions asked by the Insurer and is no longer aunder a duty to volunteer any further information.  The duties of the consumer/applicant state they must answer honestly and with reasonable care and without deliberate misrepresentation. .

Fees & Commission

Schofield Financial & Accounting Services Ltd. is remunerated by commission and other payments from product producers or lenders on the completion of business. You may choose to pay in full for our services by means of a fee. Where we receive recurring commission, this forms part of the remuneration for initial advice provided.  We reserve the right to charge additional fees if the number of hours relating to on-going advice/assistance exceeds 20 hrs.

In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to charge a fee for services provided. These are listed below for life, pensions & investments, non-life business and Standard PRSAs. In other circumstances where fees are chargeable or where you choose to pay in full for our service by fee, we will notify you in writing in advance and agree the scale of fees to be charged if different from fees outlined below. If we receive commission from a product provider, this may be offset against the fee which we will charge you. Where the commission is greater than the fee due, the commission may become the amount payable to the firm unless an arrangement to the contrary is made.

Life, Pensions & Investment Fees 

You may elect to deal with us on a fee basis:

Principles / Directors    €250 per hour

Support staff    €100 per hour

Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency, our scale of fees for such cases will be notified and agreed before proceeding.

We are remunerated by commission and other payments from product producers. When assessing products, we will consider the different approach taken by product providers in terms of them integrating sustainability risks into their product offering. This will form part of our analysis for choosing a product provider

Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) – Fees 

Where advice is requested for PRSAs, the following hourly fees will apply: Advisor fees:  €250 per hour.

Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency. We will notify you in advance of providing you with these services, our scale of fees for such cases range from a minimum of €150 per hour to a maximum of €350 per hour. If we receive commission from a product provider, this will be offset against the fee which we will charge you.  Where the commission is greater than the fee due, the commission will become the amount payable to the intermediary unless an arrangement to the contrary is made.

Cooling-off Period You have the right to withdraw from a protection/pension investment product with a life company, without reason, within 30 days of the start date of a policy.  This must be exercised by you in writing to the revelvant life assurance company and no costs can be imposed other than the cost of the premium for the period of cover, i.e. during the period where a benefit may have been claimed.

Regular Reviews

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. Our statements of suitability are not on-going without regular review.

Conflicts of interest 

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.

Default on payments by clients 

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. 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.

Client’s Funds

We do not hold a client account and only accept cheques payable directly to the life or Investment company.  In preference, we request where possible, that direct electronic fund transfers are made between you and the relevant life & pensions company or MiFID firm.  We advise to input reference numbers given to you by Schofield Financial and we advise that you text us to confirm the IBAN sent to you by email, to avoid cyber fraud.

Complaints 

Whilst we are happy to receive verbal complaints, it would be preferable that any complaints are made, in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days and we will fully investigate it. We shall investigate the complaint as swiftly as possible, and, the complainant will receive an update on the complaint at intervals of not greater than 20 business days starting from the date on which the complaint is made.  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 and Pensions Ombudsman: Lincoln House, Loncoln Place, Dublin 2.  Phone: 01 5677000; email: info@fspo.ie.  A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.

Data Protection

Schofield Financial & Accounting Services Ltd. complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.  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.

Schofield Financial & Accounting Services Ltd. Is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.  We wish to be transparent on how we process your data and show you that we are accountable with the GDPR in relation to not only processing your data but ensuring you understand your rights as a client.  The data will only be processed in ways compatible with the puposes for which it was given and as outlined in our Data Privacy Notice.  This notice is easily accessible on our website, www.schofield.ie, and can be posted or emailed to you on request.  Please contact us at orla@schofield.ie if  you have any concerns about your personal data.

Investor Compensation Scheme 

We are members of the Investor Compensation Scheme operated by the Investor Compensation Scheme.  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: 1) If the client is an eligible investor as defined in the Act; and 2) 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 3) 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.

Brokers Ireland Compensation Fund

We are also members of the Brokers Ireland Compensation Fund.  Subject to the rules of the scheme, the liabilities of its members firms up to a maximum of €100,000 per client (or €250,000 in aggregate) may be discharged by the fund on its behalf if the member firm is unable to do so, where the above detailed Investor Compensation Scheme has failed to adequately compensate any client of the member.  Further details are available on request.