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Terms and Conditions of Business

1. How we arrange investments. We arrange investment 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.

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 postcode.

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 practicable after receiving them. Where there are multiple documents relating to a series of transactions, we will normally only forward them to you once the series is complete.

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 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 carrying out your instructions.

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

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

9.1 Financial transactions credited or debited to your CA:

We will credit your CA each month with:

9.1.1 Initial commission rebates (see clause 12.1)

9.1.2 On account service fee credits in respect of ongoing commission received from investment accounts charged on a fee basis (see clause 10)

9.1.3 Money which you pay to us to settle a debit balance on your CA (see clause 9.8)

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

We will debit your CA each month with:

9.1.5 On account service fees (see clause 11.3)

9.1.6 Returned direct credit/debit fees (see clause 11.4)

Your CA is available to view online. Please note facilitated service fees paid to us by the managers of investment accounts which we have arranged for you (see clause 11.2) do not appear in your CA.

9.2 A balance on your CA is not client money in the sense referred to in clause 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 9.5.

9.3 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 the quarter we will pay you the balance in accordance with clause 9.5. 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 9.8.

9.4 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.

9.5 We will pay you the amount of any credit balance on your CA 21 business 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 within 3 working days.

9.6 If your bank details are missing or invalid, or your direct credit is returned to us for any reason, we will write giving you 28 days notice to provide valid bank details. If you don't provide valid bank details within 28 days we will no longer treat any balance as due and payable to you.

9.7 Interest will not be added to CA balances.

9.8 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 21 business days after the end of that quarter, except on termination or death (see clauses 20 and 21). We will collect any amount which is due by variable direct debit.

9.9 If you don't settle any debit balance on your CA within 21 business days of the end of a quarter in accordance with clause 9.8, 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.

10. Charge basis. Your investment accounts may be charged on a commission basis or a fee basis. Where an investment account is charged on a commission basis, we may be paid commission by the product provider and we will not apply any other charges in respect of that same investment account. At our discretion we may charge any of your investment accounts on a fee basis, including those investment accounts in respect of which we receive ongoing commission. Ongoing commission received in respect of an investment account charged on a fee basis will be offset against our fees charged on that same investment account.

11. Fees. Where an investment account is charged on a fee basis, we will charge an ongoing service fee which is calculated as a percentage of the value of the investment account 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 11.2 (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 9.1.5.

11.1 Service fees. You will be charged our standard fees unless otherwise agreed in advance. Ongoing service fees are based on the value of your investment accounts. The amount of the fee depends on whether those fees are calculated and settled automatically on your behalf by the product provider (facilitated) or whether they are calculated by us and debited to your CA (on account). The table shows our standard fees.

Annual Service Fee Amount (%) Amount (£)
Facilitated 0.24% p.a. £24 p.a. for £10,000 invested
On Account 0.24% p.a. £24 p.a. for £10,000 invested

11.2 Facilitated Service Fees. In most cases where we do not receive commission, our fees will be calculated and settled on your behalf by the provider of your investment accounts. The product provider pays us directly after deducting fees from your cash account with them or cancelling units from your investment accounts. This is our preferred method for administering fees but is usually only available when you invest through platforms or life companies.

11.3 On Account Service Fees. Where charges are not calculated and settled by the product provider of your investment accounts, we will calculate the fees payable and debit these to your CA each month. Ongoing on account service fees are charged monthly in advance, based on the value of your investment accounts around the mid working day of the 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 account for part of a month. You must settle on account service fees quarterly by variable direct debit.

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

12. Commission. We may continue to receive commission in respect of certain investment accounts or for some non-advised transactions. If we charge you facilitated service fees or on account service fees on any investment account on which we receive commission we will reduce our fees by the amount of commission received. The table shows the standard commission we receive from product providers (in bold), along with the maximum amounts (in brackets).

Commission Type Amount (%) Amount (£)
Initial 0% (3%) £0 (£300) for £10,000 invested
Ongoing (Often referred to as Renewal or Trail) 0.5% p.a. (1% p.a.) £50 p.a. (£100 p.a.) for £10,000 invested

12.1 Initial Commission Rebates. We almost always give up all 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 9.1.1.

12.2 Ongoing (trail) Commission Rebates. We do not rebate ongoing commission, except where such ongoing commission is used to offset fees.

13. Professional indemnity insurance. We maintain professional indemnity insurance.

14. 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.

15. Complaints Handling. You can complain by telephone on 0208 308 1308, or by writing to us at CommShare Ltd, 16 Hatherley Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 4BG. We aim to resolve complaints quickly and fairly. 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

16. Financial Services Compensation Scheme. We are covered by 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 of £85,000. For further information on the conditions governing compensation and details on how to apply please refer to the FSCS at www.fscs.org.uk

17. Financial Conduct Authority. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HS under registration number 187989. You can check our details on the Financial Services Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.

18. Communicating with you. You can contact us by writing to us at the address set out in clause 15. When we write to you, we will always write to you in English.

19. Client Classification. We will treat you as a Retail Client unless agreed with you otherwise.

20. Termination. We may terminate this agreement by giving you at least 20 business days' written notice. You may terminate this agreement at any time, without penalty. Notice of termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt. Any transactions already initiated will be completed according to this agreement unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any services we have provided before cancellation and any outstanding fees, if applicable.

21. Death. When you die, no further amounts will be applied to your CA. If death occurs within 21 business days after the end of a quarter, any credit balance will be paid to the executors of your estate and any debit balance will be written off. If death occurs at any other time, any credit or debit balance will be written off.

22. 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 and keep a copy for future reference. If you do not understand any point please ask for further information.

23. 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 (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 20 before the change takes effect.

24. Effective Date. These Terms and Conditions of Business are effective from 1 October 2020 and remain in effect until amended in accordance with clause 23.

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.