Terms of Business
Effective from October 2022
Arc Financial Planning Ltd t/a Arc Financial Planning & Financial Life.
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
Arc Financial Planning Ltd trading as Arc Financial Planning and Financial Life (Central Bank Registry number C194892)) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an insurance intermediary registered under the European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018 ; 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
Arc Financial Planning Ltd trading as Arc Financial Planning and Financial Life 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
Arc Financial Planning Ltd trading as Arc Financial Planning and Financial Life 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 mortgages products. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is available on request.
Insurance Intermediary Services/Mortgage Intermediary Services (except for Insurance based Investment Products (IBIPs))
We act as an Multi Agency Intermediary which means that:
a) the principal regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair and personal analysis of the market.
Fair and Personal Analysis
The concept of fair and personal analysis 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 reasonably be expected of a professional conducting business, taking into account the accessibility of information and product placement to intermediaries and the cost of the search.
In order to ensure that the number of contracts and providers is sufficiently large to constitute a fair and personal analysis of the market, we will consider the following criteria:
- The needs of the customer,
- The size of the customer order,
- The number of providers in the market that deal with brokers,
- The market share of each of those providers,
- The number of relevant products available from each provider,
- The availability of information about the products,
- The quality of the product and service provided by the provider,cost, and any other relevant consideration.
Life & Pensions/Deposits & Life Wrapped Investments
We provide life assurance and pensions on a fair and personal analysis basis i.e. providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available in the market to enable us to make a recommendation, in accordance with professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet 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 policy 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 we will 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.
In some cases we may be granted authority from an insurance undertaking to conduct tasks on their behalf, for which we will be remunerated. Where we place your business with this insurance undertaking under this authority you will be notified in advance of the placement.
We will also offer assistance to you in relation to processing claims on policies taken out with us and in seeking renewal terms on your cover.
To ensure continuity of cover, where you have an existing policy which is due to expire and where we have been unable to contact you, we may put continuing cover in force whilst awaiting your instruction. You will be liable for any premiums payable to the relevant insurer for the period of time between renewal and when we receive your instruction. You have the right not to avail of this service.
Through the lenders or other undertakings with which we hold an agency, ARC Financial Planning Limited t/a Arc Financial Planning & Financial Life can provide advice on and arrange mortgage products from the following range: fixed-rate loans, variable rate mortgages, capital & interest mortgages, interest only mortgages, endowment mortgages, pension mortgages and residential investment property.
We provide mortgage advice on a fair analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available in the market to enable the firm to make a recommendation, in accordance with professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet your needs).
We will need to collect sufficient information from you before we can offer any advice on housing loans. This is due to the fact that a key issue in relation to mortgage advice is affordability. Such information should be produced promptly upon our request.
Statement of Charges
We are 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.
A summary of the details of all arrangements for any fee, commission other reward or remuneration paid or provided to us which have agreed with product providers is available in our office or on our website – www.financiallife.ie
In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to charge a fee for services provided. These are listed below. 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. Where it is not possible to provide the exact amount, we will provide you the method of calculation of the fee.
If we receive commission from a product provider, this will not 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, Investments and non Life Business products.
You may elect to deal with us on a fee basis. Our current fees are €250 for Company directors and €175 for Qualified Financial Advisors.Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency, our scale of fees for such cases range from a minimum of €250 per hour to a maximum of €500 per hour. We will notify you in advance and agree the scale of fees to be charged.
We may receive up to 1% of the loan for arranging mortgage finance. This commission is paid by the mortgage lender. The actual amount of commission will be disclosed at a later stage in the ESIS (European Standardised Information Sheet) which will be forwarded to you. Information on the variation in levels of commission payable by the different creditors providing credit agreements being offered are available on request.We charge a fee of €350 for advising on a mortgage application, this fee is non-refundable. This is not in any way an indication of mortgage/loan approval. Our fee will be notified to the lender who will include this fee into the calculation of the APRC (Annual Percentage Rate Charge).
Please note that lenders may charge specific fees in certain circumstances and if this applies, these fees will be specified in your Loan Offer. You have the right to pay a fee separately and not include it in the loan. Typically, this situation arises in relation to specialist lending.If we provide mortgage advice and obtain a Loan Offer for you and you subsequently do not proceed with your mortgage application through our firm, we will charge you an arrangement fee of €350 for our services.
The firm’s services do not include ongoing suitability assessments.
Insurance based Investment Products
The firm’s services do not include ongoing suitability assessments.
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, may result in you having insufficient insurance cover and/or inappropriate investments.
Disclosure of Information
Any failure to disclose material information may invalidate your claim and render your policy void. We act as your representative to the companies we have agencies with, and we will provide assistance on 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. Material information about medical history, non-smoker status, occupation category and any hazardous pursuits are central to underwriting decisions and it is imperative that all information you provide to the insurer is accurate and complete. You are under a duty to answer all questions posed by the insurer or ourselves on your behalf, honestly and with reasonable care. It is presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that you would know all questions in an application or at renewal is material to the risk undertaken by the insurer or the calculation of the premium by that insurer, or both. Any failure to disclose material information may invalidate a claim and render your policy void. You must inform and disclose any material information including any material changes that might take place between the time you complete an application form and the time your pay the first premium. To assist us in providing you with a comprehensive service and to keep our records as up-to date as soon as possible, please notify us of any changes to your personal circumstances, e.g., name change, change of address, etc.
We will consider adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors in our investment and insurance-based Investment advice.
We will gather your preferences of sustainable investing and build them into our Statement of Suitability for you. Ultimately, it is the Product Producers we have agencies with that create the Investment Products we advise on, and it will be their documentation we are relying and providing on when advising you on sustainable investments.
All information regarding Sustainable Finance Disclosures will be adhered to by the Product Producers and their brochures and documents will outline their disclosures.
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. A full copy of our conflicts of interest policy is available on request.
Default on payments by clients
We will exercise our legal rights to receive payments due to us from clients (fees and insurance premiums) for services provided. In particular, without limitation to 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.
Whilst we are happy to receive verbal complaints, it would be preferable that any complaints are made in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint in writing 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 (FSPO). A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.
We are subject to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018.Arc Financial Planning Limited t/a Arc Financial Planning & Financial Life 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 be processed only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given and as outlined in our Data Privacy Notice, this will be given to all our clients at the time of data collection.
We will ensure that this Privacy Notice is easily accessible. Please refer to our website www.financiallife.ie if this medium is not suitable we will ensure you can easily receive a copy by hard copy, or telephonic environment. (pre-recorded).
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns about your personal data.
We are members of the Investor Compensation Scheme operated by the Investor Compensation Company Ltd. See below for details.
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:
- If the client is an eligible investor as defined in the Act; and
- 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
- 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.