Terms of Business

Effective from 25/05/2015

Philip Cullen trading as Southeast Financial Services.

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

Philip Cullen t/a Southeast Financial Services is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an insurance intermediary registered under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations, 2005; as a Multi-Agency Intermediary under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 and as a Mortgage Intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995. Copies of our regulatory authorisation 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
Southeast Financial Services 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
Southeast Financial Services is a member of the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA). As a member of PIBA we must be in a position to place insurance with at least five insurers of the relevant form (life/non-life) and therefore can generally give consumers greater choice than agents and tied agents.

Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients in relation to life & pensions/mortgages and general insurance products. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is available on request.

Southeast Financial Services acts as an Independent Broker which means that:

  1. a) the principal regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair analysis of the market; and
  2. b) you have the option to pay in full for our services by means of a fee.

Fair Analysis
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.

In order 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:

  • 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
Southeast Financial Services provides life assurance 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.

Non-Life
Southeast Financial Services provides general insurance on a limited analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market).

We also provide advice on the following product providers:

  • April (Avalon) Ireland Limited.
  • Mortgage Providers
    Through the lenders or other undertakings with which we hold an agency, Southeast Financial services 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.

Southeast Financial Services provides mortgage advice on a fair analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available on 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.

Disclosure of Information
Any failure to disclose material information may invalidate your claim and render your policy void.

Southeast Financial Services 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 10 hrs.

In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to charge a fee for services provided. These are listed below for life, 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 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 firm unless an arrangement to the contrary is made.

Life Fees

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

e.g.:

Principles / Directors €200 per hour
Senior Advisers €150 per hour
Associates €100 per hour
Support staff €80 per hour

Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs) – Fees

Where advice is requested for PRSAs, the above hourly fees may also apply:

Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency. We will give you an estimate of this rate in advance of providing you with services. If we receive commission this will be offset against the fee which we will charge you. Where the commission is greater that the fee due, the commission will become the amount payable unless an arrangement to the contrary is made.

Non-Life Remuneration

Southeast Financial services is remunerated by commission from the insurers on completion of business. Details of this remuneration are available on request.

Mortgages

We may receive up to 1% of the loan amount for arranging finance. This commission is paid by the mortgage lender.

A fee of €250 may be charged for arranging your finance/application/advice. Subsequently once a loan offer has been provided a fee of €250 may be charged.

Please note lenders may charge specific fees in certain circumstances. If this applies, these fees will be specified in your loan offer. You have the right to pay a fee separately and not include this in the loan.

If we provide mortgage advice and obtain a mortgage for you and you subsequently do not proceed with your mortgage application through our firm, we will charge you an arrangement fee of €500.

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 these changes and request a review of the relevant policy so that we can ensure you are provided with up to date advice and products that meet your needs. Failure to advise us of changes or request a review may result in you having insufficient cover or inappropriate investments.

Conflicts of Interest

It is the policy of the 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 any service.

Default on payments by clients

Our firm will exercise its legal rights to receive payments due from its clients (fess 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.

Complaints

We ask that you make any complaint against our firm, relating to services provided by us, in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days and will fully investigate it. On completion of our investigation, we will provide you with a written report of the outcome. In the event that you are still unsatisfied with our handling of or response to your complaint, you are entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman or the Pensions Ombudsman. A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.

Data Protection

Southeast Financial Services complies with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018

We are 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 assessible. Please refer to our website, if this medium is not suitable we will ensure you can easily receive a copy by; hard copy. Please contact us at philip@southeastfs.ie if you have any concerns about your personal data

We would also like to keep you informed of other services provided by us and would like to contact you by way of letter, email or telephone. If you do not wish to receive such marketing information, please tick the box in the terms of business acknowledgement letter.

We, from time to time accept business by way of a referral. Where we do this, we may have to share information about you to our Referrers. This is purely required for commercial arrangements if we pay a commission or fee to our Referrers & no sensitive information will be disclosed.

Compensation Scheme

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 under the Act. The Investor Compensation Company (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 investments instruments owned 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 reasonable 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 the clients’ money or investments instruments owned or belonging to the clients of the firm. And
  • To the extent that the clients loss is recognized 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 clients’ loss which is recognised under the act or compensation of €20,000. For further information, contact the ICCL at (01) 224 4955