Terms of Business
Terms of Business
Version 8 Effective from September 2021
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd
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
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd (C38705) 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, 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. 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
The services which the firm is authorised to provide are:
(i)Advising you in relation to the nature of each of the products set out below and advising you as to which product is suitable for your needs.
(ii)Identifying and selecting a suitable product producer.
(iii)Receiving and transmitting orders on your behalf for a product(s) to one or more product producers. A list of product providers that we hold agencies with can be provided on request.
In accordance with MIFID II and the Addendum to the CPC 2012, the firm will provide an enhanced level of service to our clients which is to include (but not limited to) the following.
(i)Initial and ongoing Investment Advice
(ii)Ongoing suitability Assessments
(iii)Ongoing asset allocation advice
(iv)Review of valuation statements and provision of client policy schedule (at least annually)
(v)Review of the costs and charges associated with the product.
The products for which MDL Financial Consultants provide advice are Personal Pensions (Single and Regular Premium), Executive Pension (Single and Regular Premium) Buyout Bond, Approved Retirement Fund (ARF), Approved minimum Retirement fund (AMRF), PRSA (Single and Regular Premium), Savings (Regular Premium), Deposits, Structured products. Tracker Bonds, Investments (Single Premium), Group Pension Scheme’s, Mortgage Protection, Term Assurance, Pension Term assurance, Critical Illness, Income Protection, Keyman insurance, Co-Directors Insurance and Mortgages. We also provide debt management advice.
We have written letters of appointment on file for each appointment.
Fair and Personal Analysis
We offer advice on a fair and personal analysis basis in relation to life assurance and pensions products, insurance policies, tracker bonds and PRSA’s. This means that we will research the market and recommend the products that are most suitable to your needs and requirements. We will also recommend a suitable product producer (s) and on receipt of your instructions we will transmit orders on your behalf. While MDL Financial Consultants does not advise specifically on shares and bonds, we will refer to a relevant stockbroker who can assist with your requirements.
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.
We are renumerated by commission for our investment intermediary services.
We are remunerated by commission for the advice we provide on our insurance based investment products.
MDL Financial Consultants does not have a tied relationship with any institution which might impair our ability to provide advice on an impartial basis.
We provide advice on a limited basis in relation to deposits, collective investments and listed bonds and shares by way of referrals to stockbrokers. This means providing services based on a limited number of contracts and product producers available in the market.
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.
We provide mortgage advice on a limited analysis (providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available in the market). We provide advice on the following product providers:
▪ Brokers Ireland Network Services
▪ Haven Mortgages Limited
▪ ICS Mortgages
▪ KBC Mortgages
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 debt management services. 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
In completing a proposal for insurance you are required to answer all questions posed by us or the Insurer honestly and with reasonable care. Specific questions will be asked. You should be aware that where a policy is incepted following the completion of a proposal form or on a ‘statement of fact’ basis, we assume that the client has checked the accuracy of all information provided.
Sustainability Factors – Investment/IBIPs/Pension Advice
When providing advice, the firm does not consider the adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability. The firm will review this approach on an annual basis in March.
Statement of Charges
MDL Financial Consultants may receive commission and other payments from the product producers to whom orders are transmitted. Where we receive recurring commission, this forms part of the remuneration for initial advice provided. Where appropriate, a product information document will be provided to you in relation to certain insurance and pension products. In respect of other types of investments, details of commission payments will be provided to you separately. We may also receive renewal indexation or trail commissions while your policy remains in force. All of these payments contribute to the overall cost of running our business and providing you with service on an ongoing basis.
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.mdlfinancial.ie
MDL Financial Consultants may also charge you a fee for the service provided. If we arrange a product with you with a product producer with whom we do not hold an appointment in writing then we will charge you a fee for our services. This fee will reflect the average level of commissions payable by other product producers for similar type of products. If we do this, we will provide you with a written estimate of this in advance by providing any business service. Where it is not possible to provide the exact amount, we will provide you the method of calculation of the fee.
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 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 (including PRSA’s) and Investments
Where the commission received does not cover the cost of providing the service or you may elect to deal with us on a fee basis, the following hourly fees will apply:
Director €250 per hour
Senior Advisor €150 per hour
Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency. We will notify you in advance and agree the scale of fees to be charged.
MDL Financial Consultants Ltd 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.
Please note we charge an upfront initial consultation fee of €100 which is payable on the day of the consultation. We charge an additional administration fee of €150 prior to submission of a Residential Mortgage application. The fee is non-refundable and is in addition to any commission received from mortgage lenders. 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). Additional fees may be payable for complex cases or to reflect value, specialist skills or urgency. We will give an estimate of these fees in advance of providing you with services.
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.
Debt Management Services
Our fees for Debt Management assignments will be based on the staffing hours spent to completion. Each project is staffed with a team which has the appropriate level of skill and experience for the assignment. Prior to engaging our services, we will issue an information letter pursuant to Section 13.2 of the Consumer Protection Code, which clearly specifies the services that will be provided by our firm, the charges for our services and the likely duration of the engagement.
Should you wish to engage our services you will be required to sign the information letter pursuant to Section 13.2 of the Consumer Protection Code, and we will issue an invoice for €1,500, as an upfront payment, which is payable within seven days of the invoice date. This upfront payment is offset against your account, and in the event that the amount invoiced is less than the upfront payment, the excess will be refunded to you. We will issue a final invoice for any balance owing at the conclusion of the process, for all Debt Management Services.
It is in your best interests that you review on a regular basis the products which we have arranged for you. As your circumstance change, your needs will change. We endeavor to meet with you on a regular basis to discuss your needs in line with your circumstances, however, you must advise us on any changes and request a review of the relevant policy so that we can ensure 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.
In relation to insurance-based investment products, we will provide periodic assessments of the suitability of the insurance based investment product which we have recommended for you.
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.
We do not hold money received in the course of providing investment services to our clients. Any money which we receive on your behalf will be forwarded to you or a named third party on your instructions. Any cheques or bank drafts should be made payable to a third-party provider as we are not authorised to hold client money. A S.30 receipt will be issued in relation to all monies received pursuant to section 30 of the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995.
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.
MDL Financial Consultants 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 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 www.mdlfinancial.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.
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.
Appendix 1 – List of Product Producers from whom MDL Financial Consultants Ltd holds
written letters of appointment
Aviva Life and Pensions UK Limited
BCP Asset Management Limited
Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland Ltd
Friends First Life Assurance Company Limited
Independent Trustee Company Limited
Irish Life Assurance Plc
KBC Bank Ireland
New Ireland Assurance Company Plc
Royal London (Caladonian Life)
Phoenix Life Limited T/A Phoenix Ireland (Scottish Provident)
Standard Life Assurance Company Limited
Wealth Options Limited
Zurich Life Assurance Company of Ireland Limited