Rouse Limited is authorised to conduct investment business under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Terms of business
Rouse Limited is an Independent Adviser and will act on your behalf in advising you and arranging savings and investment products, pensions, mortgages and non-investment insurance products on the basis of a fair analysis of the market.
Conflicts of interest
We offer independent advice, but occasions may arise where we, or one of our other clients, will have some form of interest in business being transacted for you. If this happens or we become aware that our interests, or those of one of our other clients, conflict with your interests we will write to you in order to obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions and to detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.
You will give us instructions in writing (by post, fax or email) to avoid possible disputes. We will, however, accept oral instructions in an emergency provided they are confirmed in writing at the earliest opportunity.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we will confirm to you in writing the basis of our reasons for recommending the transaction being executed on your behalf.
We will also make arrangements for all your investments to be registered in your name, unless you first instruct us otherwise in writing. We will forward to you all documents showing ownership of your investments as soon as practicable after we receive them.
When a number of documents relate to a series of transactions, we will normally hold each document until the series is complete and then forward them to you.
Rouse Limited does not handle client money.
We never accept a cheque made out to us (unless it is a cheque in settlement of charges or disbursements for which we have sent you an invoice) or handle cash.
You are advised that because investments can fall as well as rise, you may not get back the full amount invested. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.
Termination of a product
If we arrange a product for you from which we receive commission and subsequently you cease to pay premiums which results in us refunding the commission which has been paid to us, we reserve the right to charge you a fee to recompense us for the time spent in advising you and arranging the product. The amount and timeframe of the commissions that could be clawed back is dependent on the product chosen and will be detailed in your suitability report. We will not charge any fee if you exercise your right to cancel the product in accordance with the cancellation notice sent to you by the product provider.
In the case of a non-packaged product, or ISA being recommended, we will inform you in writing of any right to withdraw or cancel that you may have or, alternatively, we will inform you in writing if no such rights apply.
Payment for services
Your initial consultation meeting with us is free of charge and you are under no obligation to proceed.
We offer mainly fee-based services, however, we don’t usually charge a fee for non-investment products as we would normally receive commission from the provider. This doesn’t mean our service is free though as you will still pay for our services indirectly through the product charges.
If you decide to engage our services after the initial consultation meeting, whether you buy a product or not you will pay us a fee for our advice and services, which will become payable on completion of our work. We will agree the rate we will charge before beginning work and we will tell you if you have to pay VAT.
We also offer the facility to pay for our services through investment charges: a percentage fee based on the amount you have invested with us. The rates will be set out and agreed with you in writing prior to our commencing any work.
Investment objectives and restrictions
Following the issue of these terms of business, any advice or recommendations offered to you will be based on your stated investment objectives, acceptable level of risk and any restrictions you wish to place on the type of investments or policies you are willing to consider.
Details of your agreed investment objectives will be identified during our discussions with you and confirmed in the suitability report we will issue to you to confirm our recommendations. Unless you confirm to us in writing to the contrary, we will assume that you do not wish to place any restrictions on the advice we give you.
Termination of authority
You, or we, may terminate our authority to act on your behalf at any time. Notice of this termination must be given in writing and will take effect from the date of receipt.
Termination is without prejudice to any transactions already initiated that will be completed according to these terms of business, unless otherwise agreed in writing. You will be liable to pay for any transactions made prior to termination and any fees that may be outstanding.
Rouse Limited has a company-wide commitment to meeting the needs of vulnerable clients effectively. We therefore encourage staff to develop their listening skills and empathy along with their understanding of the factors that might indicate a client’s vulnerability. Indeed, all staff undertake training and best practice guidance to identify vulnerable clients, which covers:
- Assessing clients to determine whether they are particularly vulnerable on grounds of age, health, mental capacity etc.
- Accurately recording vulnerability and how this was determined.
- Where appropriate, referring vulnerable clients to organisations (such as the local authority’s Adult Social Care Team, the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society etc) who can provide them with assistance outside of financial services.
- Submitting correspondence in a slightly larger font.
- Ensuring that all correspondence is free from jargon and is written in Plain English.
- When arranging meetings, giving due consideration to and being flexible regarding time of day, duration and location.
- Suggesting and arranging for a third party to sit in on the meeting eg a relative.
- Being mindful of the length of any meeting, checking the pace.
- In conversations, avoiding the use of jargon and regularly checking the client’s understanding of what is being explained or discussed.
- Being prepared to see the client and/or their representatives multiple times to provide information and/or further explanation.
Treating you fairly
We work hard to ensure that you are happy with the service you receive from us and will always endeavour to resolve any issues as speedily and fairly as possible. However, if you remain dissatisfied you may refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Full details of the FOS can be found on its website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.