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Terms and Conditions of Business

1.How we arrange investments. We arrange investment related transactions on a non-advised basis (execution-only or direct offer). We don’t give financial advice, either before or after a transaction has been arranged. If you are unsure whether an investment is suitable for you, you should seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified professional.

2.Residence. Our service is for investors resident in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You must provide a correspondence address with a valid Royal Mail post code.

3.CommShare doesn’t handle client money. You never pay investment monies to us and we never hold investment monies for you. We never handle cash and only accept payments from you that relate to our fees, if applicable.

4.Registration. We will arrange for all of your investments to be registered in your name unless you instruct us otherwise in writing beforehand. We will forward documents of title to investments to you as soon as is practicable after we receive them. Where there are a number of documents relating to a series of transactions, we will normally hold the documents until the series is complete and then forward them to you.

5.Conflict of interest. Occasions can arise where we or one of our other customers will have some form of interest in business that we arrange for you. If this happens, or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other customers conflict with your interests, we will inform you in writing and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions.

6.Suitability. We cannot be held liable for the suitability of any product, service or advice that you have previously received from another company.

7.Contact. We may contact you by telephone during normal business hours in order to discuss your investments.

8.Instructions. We usually require written instructions to avoid possible disputes. We will however accept spoken instructions if they are recorded or subsequently confirmed in writing.

9.Right to inspect records. You or your appointed agent have the right to inspect copies of contract notes, vouchers and entries in books or computerised records relating to your transactions. Records of business transactions are kept for at least six years.

10.Disclosure. You will be told the amount of commission or any other form of benefit we receive from the issuer of a security or from another intermediary.

11.CommShare Account (CA). Your CA is a record of certain financial transactions between us.

11.1.Transactions credited and debited to your CA

We will credit your CA with:

11.1.1.Initial commission rebates (see clause 14.1)

11.1.2.Money which you pay to us to meet our on account service fees (see clause 11.8)

11.1.3.In some cases, a proportion of any renewal commission which we receive on investments which we have arranged for you (see clause 14.2)

11.1.4.Incentive payments e.g. for "Recommend a Friend"

We will debit your CA with:

11.1.5.On account service fees (see clause 13.3)

11.1.6.Returned direct credit/debit fees (see clause 13.4)

11.1.7.Money which we pay you representing a credit balance (see clause 11.5)

Your CA is available to view online. Please note that facilitated service fees which are paid to us by the product provider of an investment which we have arranged for you (see clause 13.2) don’t appear in your CA.

11.2.A balance on your CA is not client money in the sense referred to in paragraph 3 above. It will never be used to handle your investment monies. Any credit balance on your CA belongs to CommShare Ltd, except when it becomes payable in accordance with clause 11.5.

11.3.Your CA is settled quarterly based on the balance at the end of the last working day of the quarter (March, June, September and December). If there is a credit balance of £10 or more on your CA at the end of a quarter we will pay you the balance in accordance with clause 11.5. If there is a debit balance of £10 or more on your CA at the end of a quarter you must pay us that amount in accordance with clause 11.8.

11.4.Payments from your CA can only be made by direct credit to a bank account of your choice. You are responsible for ensuring the completeness and accuracy of your bank account details which you can add, check and change online.

11.5.We will pay you the amount of any credit balance on your CA within 31 days after the end of a quarter (or the following day if that day is not a business day) as long as there is a credit balance of £10 or more. Payments by direct credit will usually reach your bank account 3 working days after that. For the purposes of the Financial Conduct Authority’s client money rules, any credit balances paid to you in accordance with this clause 11.5 will not be due and payable to you until we physically pay it to you and will in no circumstances constitute client money.

11.6.If your bank details are missing or invalid, or your direct credit is returned to us for any reason, we will write giving you 31 days’ notice to provide valid bank details. If you don’t provide valid bank details within 31 days we will no longer treat any balance as due and payable to you.

11.7.Interest will not be added to CA balances.

11.8.If there is a debit balance of £10 or more on your CA at the end of a quarter, you must pay us the amount of the debit balance within 31 days after the end of that quarter by direct debit, except on termination or death (see clauses 21 and 22).

11.9.If you don’t settle any debit balance on your CA within 31 days of the end of a quarter in accordance with clause 11.8, we reserve the right to charge interest at the rate of 3% above Bank of England Base Rate for the duration after the due date.

12.Charge basis. We arrange your investment plans on either a commission basis, or fee basis. Where an investment is arranged on a commission basis, we are paid commission by the product provider and we will not apply any other charges in respect of that investment. Where the provider of an investment which we have arranged for you does not pay us commission, you will almost always pay lower annual management charges to the provider of the product. If a product provider offers both commission and commission-free options, you can choose the basis on which you invest. If a product provider doesn’t pay commission, or stops paying us commission, we will charge you on a fee basis.

13.Fees. Where an investment which we have arranged for you does not pay us commission, we will charge service fees which are calculated as a percentage of the value of the investment concerned. In some cases, where you have agreed that the product provider may do this, the product provider will pay us our fees on your behalf in accordance with clause 13.2 (facilitated service fees). Where the product provider does not pay us our fees on your behalf we will debit these to your CA in accordance with clause 11.1.5.

13.1.Service fees. You will be charged our standard service fees unless we agree any variation with you in advance. Ongoing service fees are based on the value of your investment plans and the amount of the fees depend on whether those fees are calculated and settled on your behalf by the product provider (facilitated) or whether they are calculated by us and debited to your CA. The table shows our standard fees.

Service Fees Facilitated On Account
Ongoing - Valuation Based 0.24% p.a. 0.24% p.a.

13.2.Facilitated Service Fees. In most cases where we do not receive commission, our service fees will be calculated and settled on your behalf by the product provider of the investments we have arranged for you. Our fees will be deducted by the product provider from your product provider cash account, or by unit cancellation from your investment(s), and paid to us directly. This is our preferred method for administering fees but is usually only available when you invest through platforms or life companies.

13.3.On Account Service Fees. Where we do not receive commission and charges are not calculated and settled by the product provider of investments which we have arranged for you, we will calculate the service fees which are payable and debit these to your CA on a monthly basis. Ongoing on account service fees are charged monthly in advance, based on the value of your funds on the last working day of the previous month. They are calculated based on 1/12th of our annual fee. The full monthly fee is payable even if you have only held an investment for part of a month.

13.4.Returned direct credit/direct debit fee. We will debit £10 to your CA for each direct credit or direct debit which is returned unpaid.

13.5.Termination fee. There is no termination fee. You are free to leave our service at any time without charge. In some cases, investments which we arrange for you can only be held if they have been arranged by an intermediary (such as CommShare) who continues to act on your behalf so the product provider may switch your investment into a different class of share or unit which can be held by investors who do not have an intermediary. If this happens, the annual management charge payable to the product provider on that new class of share or unit may be higher than the amount payable on the investment which we arranged for you.

14.Commission. We may continue to receive commission in respect of certain investments which we have arranged for you or for some non-advised transactions. We will not charge you facilitated service fees or on account service fees on any investment on which we receive commission.

The table shows the standard commission we receive from product providers (in bold), along with the maximum amounts (in brackets).

Commission Type Amount
Initial 0% (3%)
Renewal (Trail) 0.5% p.a. (1% p.a.)

14.1.Initial Commission Rebates. We almost always give up all of our initial commission to improve the terms when you invest. If we receive initial commission we reserve the right to retain up to 3%, agreed with you in advance, and will credit the balance to your CA in accordance with clause 11.1.1.

14.2.Renewal (trail) commission rebates. We don’t rebate renewal/trail commission, with the following exception. We will consider, and will not reasonably reject, any request to rebate trail commission as long as there is no equivalent investment which does not pay commission and if the amount of renewal commission we receive exceeds £500 for a calendar year. In this case we will credit 50% of the renewal commission to your CA before the end of February of the following year after deduction of basic rate tax (which is currently 20%) and which we will pay to HMRC. We will provide you with a tax voucher showing the amount of tax which we have deducted and paid to HMRC around the end of the tax year. If you are a higher or additional rate tax payer you might be liable to further tax on the amount of renewal commission which we rebate to you.

15.Professional indemnity insurance. We maintain professional indemnity insurance.

16.Use of personal information. We will hold information about you in computer and/or in paper files. This information will be used to administer your application, to deal with queries and to bring to your attention additional services and products that may be of benefit to you. The information that you give us may be disclosed to third parties, such as product providers and credit reference agencies for the purpose of processing your application, to our Regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority, and to our Compliance Advisers. It will also enable further services to be provided to you, and so that your details can be best matched with the services available. You may ask CommShare not to contact you about additional services and products in writing. In the course of providing services we will not be acting contractually for you.

17.Identity Verification. We are legally obliged to verify your identity for certain transactions. We will attempt to do so using a verification agency. Occasionally, we will require proof of identity and address. For example, original or certified copies of a Passport or Driving Licence and Utility bills. We will write to you if we need these. We cannot be held liable for any loss that might arise as a result of delay or failure to carry out an instruction where our identity verification requirements have not been satisfied.

18.Complaints handling. We aim to offer a friendly, efficient and professional service at all times. If you do have cause for complaint, we have a Complaints Handling document that is available on request. The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren't able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

You can complain by telephone 0208 308 1308, or by writing to us at CommShare Ltd, 16 Hatherley Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 4BG.

We are a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to customers if they are eligible and a regulated firm is unable to pay claims against it. You may be entitled to compensation from this scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. For investments, most retail customers (which includes private individuals and some small businesses) are covered up to a maximum limit of £50,000. For further information on the conditions governing compensation and details on how to apply please refer to the FSCS at www.fscs.org.uk.

We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS.

19.Communicating with you. You can contact us by writing to us at the address set out in clause 18. When we write to you, we will always write to you in English.

20.Client classification. We will treat you as a Retail Client unless agreed with you otherwise.

21.Termination. You or we may terminate our authority to act on your behalf. Notice of termination must be given in writing and notice will start immediately upon receipt. No further amounts will be applied to your CA after termination. Termination will not affect the completion of transactions already initiated on your behalf or any rights or obligations which have already arisen. Any remaining credit balance on your CA will become due and payable to you within 31 days after the end of the quarter following notice of termination and will be paid to the account you have nominated in accordance with clause 11.4. You will be responsible for paying us any debit balance on your CA, which must be paid within 31 days after the end of the quarter by direct debit following notice of termination.

22.Death. If you die, no further amounts will be applied to your CA. If death occurs within 31 days after the end of a quarter, any credit balance of £10 or more will be paid to the executors of your estate. Any credit balance of less than £10 or debit balance of any amount will be written off. If death occurs at any other time, any credit or debit balance will be written off.

23.Standard Terms. These are our standard terms upon which we intend to rely. For your own benefit and protection you should read these terms carefully. If you do not understand any point please ask for further information.

24.Amendment to these Terms. We may amend these terms by giving you at least 30 days’ written notice. Circumstances in which we may amend these terms include making changes (a) to comply with changes in law or regulation, (b) to correct inaccuracies, errors, omissions or ambiguities and (c) to reflect changes in the scope and nature of the services we provide, our administrative processes and procedures or market practice. If you object to a change which we propose to make, you may terminate our authority to act on your behalf in accordance with clause 21 before the change takes effect.

25.Effective Date. These Terms and Conditions of Business are effective from 1 October 2013 and remain in effect until amended in accordance with clause 24.

CommShare doesn't give investment advice. If you're unsure about suitability, you should seek professional advice. Past performance of an investment is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments or income from them can go down as well as up. You might not get back the amount you invest. Current tax levels and reliefs will depend on your individual circumstances.

  • CommShare Ltd, 16 Hatherley Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 4BG
  • Tel: 020 8308 1308 | Fax: 020 8308 1304
  • email: info@commshare.com

CommShare Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.