Terms of Business Effective from 31st Mar 2020

Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial, Find a Mortgage (Advice First Financial).

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

Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial, Find a Mortgage is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registration Number C36344. Advice First Financial Services Ltd is registered to undertake insurance mediation under the European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018 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

Code of Conduct

Advice First Financial is subject to and must comply with the Central Bank of Ireland’s Consumer Protection Code 2011, Fitness and Probity Code and Minimum Competency Code. The Consumer Protection Code offers protection to consumers and all the codes are available for inspection on the Central Bank of Ireland’s web site www.centralbank.ie. 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

Our Services

Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial, Find a Mortgage 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/mortgages/general insurance products. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is available on request

Limited Analysis

Advice First Financial holds agencies with: Irish Life Financial Services, Zurich Life & Pensions, Aviva Life & Pension, Royal London, New Ireland Assurance for life, pension and life wrapped investment products.
Advice First Financial has selected one preferred product producer, Irish Life Financial Services, for life insurance plans (including life assurance, specified illness cover, income protection, unit linked savings, life wrapped investments, pension plans, tracker bonds, wrapped    investments and Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs). Analysis of the market will be limited to products provided by Irish Life Financial   Services.

Life, Pensions, Investments & PRSA’s

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 specified 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 specified illness policy, we will explain clearly to you the restrictions, conditions and general exclusions that attach to that policy

Non-Life

Advice First Financial provides House 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 can provide advice on and arrange products from the following range: Household. We have letters of appointment from the following product providers: Aviva Insurance Europe SE.
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

Mortgages

Through the lenders or other undertakings with which we hold an agency, Advice First Financial 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.  
Advice First Financial has selected one preferred provider, Broker Assist Ltd, for mortgages. Analysis of the market will be limited to products provided by Broker Assist Ltd. 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.

Statement of Charges

We are remunerated by commission and other payments from product producers or lenders on the completion of business. We may earn our remuneration on the basis of fee & commission.
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 4 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 here.

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 may/will 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.

In the event of a policy, (i.e. Life Assurance, pension, PRSA, Specified Illness, Saving or Investment) being cancelled or encashed within the first 12 months and this results in a remuneration clawback for us, we may charge a fee equal to the remuneration clawback. Should you default on a payment due to us the legal right of the company to pursue such payment will be exercised where we have acted in good faith

Life, Pensions, Investment & PRSA Fees (Optional)

You may elect to deal with us on a fee basis. Below is a break down of fees, should you choice to deal with us on a fee basis

  • Principles / Directors: Up to €195 per hour. 
  • Senior Advisers: Up to €145 per hour.
  • Associates: Up to €95 per hour.
  • Support staff: Up to €30 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 range from a minimum of €70 per hour to a maximum of €195 per hour. We will notify you in advance and agree the scale of fees to be charge.
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 €70 per hour to a maximum of €195 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

Non-Life Remuneration

Advice First Financial is remunerated by commission from insurers on completion of business. Details of the commission arrangements are available on our website. Where an override commission is received, this will be disclosed to you in general terms.

  • Brokerage fee: €30.00
  • Cancellation or Mid Term Alteration: €30.00
  • Claims handling: Depending on case.

We will inform you of the amount of fee to be charged. Where it is not possible to provide the exact amount, we will provide you the method of calculation of the fee. Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency. We will give an estimate of this rate in advance of providing you with services.
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 Advice First Financial unless an arrangement to the contrary is made.

Mortgages

Advice First Financial Services Ltd can provide advice on and arrange mortgage products through Broker Assist Ltd; who provide outsourced services to us and with whom we hold an appointment. This allows our clients access to a range of mortgage providers and mortgage products.  On completion of your business we are remunerated by Broker Assist limited.
Advice First Financial  may receive up  to 0.8% (or whatever maximum is applicable) of the loan for arranging mortgage finance. This commission is paid by Broker Assist Ltd. 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.

Advice First Financial  may receive up  to 0.8% (or whatever maximum is applicable) of the loan for arranging mortgage finance. This commission is paid by Broker Assist Ltd. 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 may also charge a fee for arranging your finance/ application/ advice of €895.00 for a standard residential mortgage application. This fee falls due as follows: €95 payable on the initial discovery & research meeting, €450 on application to the lenders, these fees are non-refundable even if the mortgage application is not successful. €400 payable once an official offer has been secured. For more complicated lending requirements fees will be agreed beforehand.

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 €500 for our services. 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 here.

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.

On-going suitability: Investments

The firms’ services does not include ongoing suitability assessments

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

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 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.

  • Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman
    Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2
    Phone: 01 567 7000, E-mail: info@fspo.ie, Website: www.fspo.ie

Data Protection

Advice First Financial complies with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Irish Data Protection Act 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. Your data will be passed to the relevant product producers with whom Advice First Financial has agencies for the purpose of arranging transactions agreed with you.

Your data will be processed only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given and as outlined in our Data Privacy Notice and Data Protection Policy and Procedures. This information will only be used to provide you with business services, to meet any legal and regulatory obligations, and for legitimate business reasons. From time to time, we will send information about other financial products and services, provided by us or associated companies with which we have a formal business arrangement, which we think may be of interest to you.

You have the right to ask us not to send you this marketing material and, at any time you can ‘opt out’ of receiving marketing material. You have a right to see the information that is held on you and you can do this by writing to me at the address given. We would like to contact you by way of letter, email or telephone call. If you would like to receive to receive such marketing information please complete the permission statements contained in the Terms of Business Client Acknowledgement Letter attached. You have the right at any time to request a copy of any ‘personal data’ within the meaning of the GDPR that our office holds about you and to have any inaccuracies in that information corrected. Please contact us at Advice First Financial. 
email : info@advicefirst.ie if you have any queries about your personal data.

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 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.

Our Remuneration

A summary of the details of all arrangements for any fee, commission, other reward or remuneration paid or provided to Advice First Financial which it has agreed with product producers” is available here.