Terms of Business
Effective from 8th May 2017
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd
These Terms of Business set out the general terms under which MDL Financial Consultants Ltd (“the 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, please contact the undersigned who will be happy to clarify matters. If any material changes are made to these terms we will notify you.
Contact: Eamon McDwyer
Authorisation with the Central Bank of Ireland
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as
- an Insurance Intermediary, registered under the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations, 2005 (as amended);
- an Investment Intermediary authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended),
- a Debt Management Firm, authorised under Part V of the Central Bank Act 1997 (as amended by the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act, 2013) for the provision of debt management services,
- a Mortgage Intermediary authorised under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995 and
- 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
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd is subject to the Consumer Protection Code, Minimum Competency Code, the Authorisation Requirements and Standards for Debt Management Firms, and Fitness & Probity Standards which offer protection to consumers. These Codes can be found on the Central Bank’s website www.centralbank.ie
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd is an insurance broker and 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. A full list of insurers and product producers is available on request.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd is also a mortgage intermediary and holds agencies with a number of lenders. A full list of mortgage lenders with whom we hold agencies is available on request.
Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients in relation to life & pensions, mortgages and debt management. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is available on request.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd acts as an Independent Broker which means that:
- a) the principal regulated activities of the firm are provided on the basis of a fair analysis of the market; and
- b) you have the option to pay in full for our services by means of a fee.
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 Assurance, Pensions and Investments
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd provides life assurance, pensions and investments 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 your needs.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd provides deposits on a limited analysis basis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market). A full list of deposit providers with whom we hold agencies is available on request.
Life Assurance companies provide products such as life cover, serious illness cover, income protection, savings, investments and pensions. With your agreement, we may review the policies you take out on a periodic basis to ensure that you are kept informed as to their benefit and to check whether they are still suitable for 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.
Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs)
PRSAs are available in two forms – Standard PRSAs with capped charges and Non Standard PRSAs. If you would like us to advise you on PRSAs or arrange a PRSA for you we will charge you a fee commensurate with the work completed (see commissions and charges below).
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd provide services in relation to the following non-life insurance products: Buildings/household Insurance and Health Insurance.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd 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). A full list of insurers and product producers is available on request.
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, MDL Financial Consultants Ltd 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 mortgages.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd 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.
Debt Management Services
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd provides advice in relation to all types of debt. We understand the stress caused in trying to deal with your creditors and we can engage directly with your creditors on your behalf. We can advise on the options available to you and advise on the most suitable option for your particular circumstances.
It is vital that you fully engage with us and disclose all relevant facts in relation to your financial situation.
Prior to entering into an agreement with you, we will provide you with a standard information template advising on ”What you should know about Debt Management Services”, as required pursuant to Section 13.1 of the Consumer Protection Code.
Disclosure of Information
Any failure to disclose material information may invalidate your claim and render your policy void.
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.
Debt Management Services Reviews
Where we provide you with debt management services over a period longer than six months we will provide you with a written statement, every six months, which will include details of the activities completed by the firm, over the six month period. We will also provide a statement of the fees charged over the period to which the statement relates.
In relation to completed assignments, clients who have engaged the firm in relation to debt management advice are requested to contact the firm not less than once a year to review their financial position and ensure that the terms of any settlement are being adhered to. Clients should also contact the firm immediately to advise of any changes in their circumstances that would or may impact on their agreed settlement.
Conflicts of interest
It is the policy of our firm to avoid conflicts of interest in providing services to you. In the event of a conflict of interest, our client’s interests are of paramount importance and it is our policy to ensure that they are treated fairly at all times. Should an unavoidable conflict of interest arise, we will notify you in writing at the earliest opportunity.
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.
All General Insurance Premiums are due on/or before renewal/inception date. Under the Central Bank legislation very strict rules apply in the payment of premiums to Insurance companies. We will not be able to pay premiums to insurers, which have not been received from clients. Therefore, to avoid policy cancellation, premiums must be paid strictly within the credit terms, if agreed, otherwise immediately prior to cover incepting.
Insurers and other 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.
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 we will fully investigate it. We will notify you with a point of contact, and will provide written updates on the progress of the investigation at intervals not greater than 20 business days.
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 Ombudsman or the Pensions Ombudsman. A full copy of our complaints procedure is available on request.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003.
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.
We may receive referrals from such firms and may advise them of any transactions arranged for you.
We commit to providing you with an excellent and professional level of service. We believe in acting only in the best interests of our clients to ensure that a relationship as important as ours is maintained for life.
We look forward to helping you.
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.
Date: These Terms of Business are effective from 8th May 2017 until further notice.