How We WorkThe full advice process we use follows six steps as shown below:
Initial Meeting at our Expense
- The first meeting is at our expense where we will discuss your requirements.
- This is an opportunity for you to find out more about RBS Associates and for us to see how we can help you.
- At the end of the initial meeting if you are happy to proceed we will discuss our client service proposition and agree how you wish to pay for the advice.
- We will then discuss the timescale to prepare our recommendations and arrange the next meeting.
- We will have a more detailed discussion around your current circumstances and record this so we can ensure our advice is tailored to your needs.
- This may take place immediately after the initial meeting or at a future meeting.
- We see this as an on-going process as your circumstances and needs will change over time.
- As part of this process, we will complete a personal fact find which will help us to understand your knowledge and experience in financial services. We will also ask you to complete a questionnaire to help us understand your attitude to investment risk.
- We will not make any recommendations to you until this part of the process has been completed.
- We may need to ask you to sign a document to authorise RBS Associates to be the servicing adviser on your existing investments.
- We will undertake detailed research taking into account each aspect of your financial and personal circumstances including; your tax position, what plans you currently hold and your future needs.
- It may be that we will need to contact you again at this stage to clarify or expand on certain pieces of information.
- This process will typically take two weeks but may be shorter for simple cases or longer when we have to obtain information from organisations on your existing plans.
- You will be given our recommendations in writing in a suitability report along with any illustrations and key features documents.
- We will always attempt to give holistic advice so the suitability report will go beyond any specific product sale that may be recommended.
- You will have time to review the recommendations at a further meeting.
- It is important to us that you fully understand and are happy with what is being recommended so we encourage you to ask questions and discuss the recommendations in detail with us.
- You may decide you wish to proceed with some or all of the recommendations proposed.
- In rare cases you may decide not to proceed at all, however by working with you at every step of the way we hope this will not be the case.
- If you do decide not to go ahead with the recommendation we will charge you a fee on the basis agreed following our initial discussion.
- Once agreed, we will assist you with the preparation of any paperwork that is required and submit it on your behalf.
- We will keep you informed of the progress of any applications you have submitted.
- Once everything is complete you will receive a confirmation letter along with any documents that you need to keep.
- Assuming you require it, you will receive an on-going service based on an agreed service proposition.
- Each year we will review your service level and where appropriate adjust it to be commensurate with the income we have received.
- If our income from you is less that £60 per year, your account will be considered to be dormant, and you will not receive a proactive review from us but we will continue to forward annual statements and be available for general enquiries.
The Review Meeting and ProcessThe agenda for future review meetings may include some or all of the following items:
Discuss your concerns
- Any issues that are most important to you will be discussed first.
- A look back at how your plans have progressed since your last review. This can include your investments and pensions.
- A look at your estate planning to ensure your wishes are currently legal, valid and tax efficient.
- A look at your rates of interest and debt structure to ensure it is arranged effectively.
- A discussion of any financial issues affecting your wider family which may cover areas such as life cover or income protection.
- A review to highlight any opportunities or threats arising from tax changes.
- A recommendation for any changes to your portfolio or any other financial planning that may be required.
- Agree which actions you wish to proceed with and put in place some timescales to deal with these.
- Help you to organise any paperwork you have and answer any other outstanding queries.
- If required we can provide updates to other professional parties such as your accountant or solicitor.
Transactional Based ServiceIn addition to our Full Financial Review service and On-Going Review service we also offer a Transactional Based service.
With the Transactional Based service, we will be providing this service only. We will not undertake a full financial review and any products we arrange for you will not be kept under review in the future. We will however be happy to provide further services to you although these will need to be subject to a new service and fee agreement at the time.
The Transactional Based service can take two forms; the most likely being a Limited Advice service with the second, a No Advice – Execution Only service.
a. Limited Advice
If you instruct us that you wish to limit the advice we give you in any way, for example, you wish to limit the investment areas on which we provide advice to you, we will consider this to be limited advice. In this case, we will follow the standard advice process stages set out for the Full Financial Review service but only in relation to the areas on which you have requested advice.
However, you should note that if you limit the information you provide to us in any way, it could affect how appropriate the advice we give you is to your circumstances. We will confirm this in our discussions and in our subsequent suitability report.
b. No Advice - Execution Only
With this service, we merely arrange a transaction for you at your specific request. You will have made the decision to invest yourself before you asked us to arrange it on your behalf. If we act of you on this 'Execution Only' basis, we will provided you with the relevant illustrations, product brochures and application form but we will not provide any comment on the product or its suitability for you.
When we act for you on this basis, we will ask you to sign an additional 'Execution Only' form to confirm your decision. This will ask you to provide full details of the product you wish to purchase.
It is important to appreciate that under an Execution Only transaction, you will not have the right to refer any future complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service regarding the sale of the product. This is because no recommendation will have been made. You should therefore ensure that you have sufficient knowledge and experience to make this decision for yourself.
We may need to assess whether we feel the transaction is appropriate for you. Typically, this will happen if your request relates to a product linked to derivatives or warrants. We therefore reserve the right to decline to act for you on an 'Execution Only' basis if we think it is in your best interest for us to do so.