Seatown Financial Services Ltd trading as Avoca 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 concerning 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
Seatown Financial Services Ltd trading as Avoca Financial Services (C33792) 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. 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 visit their website at www.centralbank.ie to verify our credentials.
Codes of Conduct
Seatown Financial Services Ltd 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
Seatown Financial Services Ltd is a member of Brokers Ireland.
Our principal business is to provide advice and arrange transactions on behalf of clients with life & pensions/mortgages/general insurance products. A full list of insurers, product producers and lending agencies with which we deal is available on request.
Insurance Intermediary Services
We are remunerated by commission for the advice we provide on our insurance-based investment products.
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. 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.
Investment Intermediary Services
We are remunerated by commission for our investment intermediary services.
Insurance-based Investment Products
We are remunerated by commission for the advice we provide on our insurance-based investment products.
Life & Pensions/Deposits & Life Wrapped Investments
We provide life assurance and pensions on a fair and personal analysis basis i.e. providing services based on a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available in the market to enable us to make a recommendation, following professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet your needs.
We will assist you with any queries you may have about 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 concerning 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.
We provide general insurance advice on a limited analysis basis, i.e. providing services based on a limited number of contacts within the market. We provide advice on the following product providers:
- O’Loughlin Insurance Brokers
- Aviva General Insurance
We will also offer assistance to you with 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 between renewal and when we receive your instruction. You have the right not to avail of this service.
Statement of Charges
We may earn our remuneration based on fee, commission and any other type of remuneration, including a non-monetary benefit or the basis of a combination of these methods. A non-monetary benefit will only be accepted if it enhances the quality of the service to our clients.
You may choose to pay in full for our services through 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 normal hours.
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.avocafs.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 with the method of calculation of the fee.
If we receive a 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.
It is in your best interests that you review, regularly, 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 about 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.
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.
In some cases, we may be a party to a profit-share arrangement with product producers where we provide extra services for the provider.
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. If 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.
Seatown Financial Services 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 concerning 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.avocafs.ie, if this medium is not suitable we will ensure you can easily receive a copy by hard copy.
Please contact us at Info@avocafs.ie if you have any concerns about your 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 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 by 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.