Part 1 – October 2019
THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE
This Financial Services and Credit Guide (‘FS&CG’) is intended to inform you of matters relating to Benwest Investment Services Pty Ltd (‘Benwest’, ‘we’, ‘our’) and our authorised representatives, and our relationships with you and others. It consists of two parts. This document is ‘Part One’ and is designed to assist you in deciding whether or not you wish to use any of the services we offer. It contains information in relation to:
• the services we are authorised by law to offer you;
• how we can be contacted;
• how we are remunerated;
• details of any potential conflicts of interests we may have;
• details of our relationships with others;
• our complaints resolution procedures; and
• how we treat any personal information which you provide to us.
Part Two is a separate document, identified as ‘Adviser Profile’. It sets out details of the representative who is authorised by Benwest to provide you with some or all of the services listed in Part One.
If the Adviser Profile is not attached to this FS&CG then please request a copy from either the representative or contact our Principal Office.
BEFORE YOU RECEIVE ADVICE FROM US
Who will be responsible for the advice given to me?
Benwest holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (‘AFSL’) and an Australian Credit Licence (‘ACL’), Licence No. 258832, which permits us, by law, to provide financial product and credit advice and deal in certain financial and credit products, on behalf of retail and wholesale clients.
Benwest as an entity, authorises individual representatives (‘Advisers’) to provide advice, and deal in certain financial and credit products for clients, on our behalf. Benwest is therefore responsible to you for any financial services detailed in this document that we, or our representatives, provide.
All Licensees, Authorised Representatives and Credit Representatives by law, have Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover any potential claims. They are closely monitored and supervised by Benwest to ensure:
• they comply with legislation and conditions of their registration
• that clients are not disadvantaged by any conflicts of interest that arise wholly or partly in relation to their advisory activities; and
• that both financial and credit activities are engaged in efficiently, honestly and fairly.
Who is my Adviser?
Your Financial Adviser is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of Benwest Investment Services Pty Ltd. Specific detail about your Adviser is contained in the attached Adviser Profile.
Please note that not all of Benwest’s representatives are authorised to provide all of the advisory services that Benwest is authorised to provide. If you require a service, which your current Adviser is not qualified to provide advice on, then you can contact Benwest and be referred to another of our representatives who is authorised to provide such advice.
What kinds of financial services are available to me?
Benwest is authorised to provide financial and credit advice and offer you the following financial services:
• Investment portfolio management;
• Estate and will planning;
• Wealth creation;
• Superannuation and rollover advice;
• Redundancy and retirement advice;
• Tax planning strategies and mortgage elimination;
• Insurance or risk management;
• Advice on life insurance and income protection;
• Credit activities other than as a credit provider.
Our advisory services can also include ongoing monitoring of your investment portfolio, if you wish.
What kinds of financial products do these services relate to?
We are authorised to deal in the following types of financial products on your behalf:
• Securities – including listed shares and Company Debentures;
• Managed investments, such as equity, property and cash management trusts, Investor Directed Portfolio Service trusts and “Wrap” accounts;
• Superannuation products;
• Basic deposit and payment products;
• Retirement Savings Account products;
• Exchange Traded Options;
• Government debentures, stock or bonds;
• Life insurance investment products such as annuities, superannuation and bonds; and
• Life insurance risk products such as term life, group life, critical illness, income protection insurance and group income protection:
• Loans, including variable, fixed rate, interest only, split and lo-doc loans;
• Reverse Mortgages;
• Professional and business loans;
• Line of credit; and
• General finance such as leasing, hire purchase, chattel mortgage and bridging finance.
The specific products that your Adviser is authorised to give you advice on are stated in the attached Adviser Profile.
THE QUALITY OF OUR ADVICE
Will you give me advice that suits my personal needs and financial circumstances?
Yes – Benwest and its representatives are obligated to:
a) have an in-depth knowledge of our clients’ individual investment objectives, financial situations, and personal needs; and
b) provide personal financial product advice suited to our clients’ known needs and circumstances.
To do this we need to find out personal information relating to your individual investment objectives, financial situation, and needs before we recommend an investment strategy or deal in a financial product on your behalf. If you do not wish to divulge this information to us then that is your right. However, in this instance we are required to warn you about the possible consequences of our not knowing sufficient information about your personal situation. You should read these warnings carefully. Refer also to page 6 of this FS&CG for further information of how we treat any personal information that you do decide to provide to us.
Suitability of loans to your financial objectives.
It is our duty to have complete knowledge of your current financial situation, financial objectives and borrowing needs before we can recommend a suitable loan package that would meet your requirements. Our views will be presented to you in our Statement of Credit Advice.
As a credit licensee we and our representatives are required to:
a) make reasonable inquiries about our client’s financial situation and their requirements and objectives;
b) take reasonable steps to verify our client’s financial situation; and
c) make a preliminary assessment about whether the credit contract is ‘not suitable’ for our client, based on the inquiries obtained in the first two steps.
You as the client may request a written copy of the preliminary assessment and we must give you a copy of it:
• at any time during the first two years of completion of the assessment, within 7 business days; or
• between two and seven years after it was conducted, we must provide it within 21 business days.
There is no charge for requesting or receiving a copy of the Preliminary Assessment.
You may simply elect to apply for a loan that you have already selected. If this is the case, we will not enquire about your needs and objectives but will still issue you with a Nil Credit Advice and proceed directly with the finance application for submission to your selected lending institution.
Under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, we must not provide credit assistance to you by suggesting you apply for a contract of lease or increase your credit limit in a contract where that contract will be unsuitable for you. Our assessment of the suitability of any credit contract or lease recommended to you will be detailed in your Statement of Credit Advice.
Benwest’s representatives are able to utilise the services of many product providers and include the ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, St George Bank, Macquarie Bank, National Australia Bank, Wesptac, Adelaide Bank, Homeside Lending, and Citibank. Our advisers also have access to a diverse range of other lenders.
What should I know about any risks relating to the financial product or investment strategies that you recommend to me?
All investments have risk, including Government Guaranteed investments. In the provision of our advice we will at all times explain to you, both verbally and in writing, any significant risks associated with an investment and/or planning strategy which we are recommending to you. If you have any doubt as to the risks associated with an investment or financial product you should ask us to explain those risks to you in more detail.
ENGAGING OUR SERVICES
What processes are involved in engaging Benwest’s advisory services?
To ensure that there is a clear understanding of the kind and extent of the advisory services being requested, after an initial interview with you, though prior to any advice being given, your Adviser will request that you sign a Letter of Engagement (‘LoE’). The LoE will outline the scope of the services you have requested to be supplied with and the cost or form of remuneration which you have agreed to be charged for the preparation of the advice.
Can I tell you how I wish to instruct you to deal in financial products on my behalf?
Yes, you may specify how you would like to give us instructions. For example, you may choose to instruct us by telephone, fax or other means such as e-mail. In the event that you provide instructions via telephone, you will need to confirm those instructions in writing as soon as practicable afterwards.
OUR ADVISORY PROCESS AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION
What processes should I expect to go through in receiving financial advice?
Whilst each of Benwest’s representatives provides their advisory service in a manner unique to the individual, all are obligated to follow a set procedure when engaging a client and providing them with financial advice on Benwest’s behalf.
Financial Services and Credit Guide
This guide is one of at least three documents that you should expect to receive from your Adviser. Should you decide to engage us in the provision of any of the above financial services, you should retain a copy of this document in case you have questions relating to our services during the advisory process to which we provide answers in this FS&CG.
Statement of Advice
If we give you personal financial product and/or credit advice, that is any advice that takes into account your objectives, financial situation and personal needs, you will be provided with a Statement of Advice (‘SoA’). This document will contain not only our advice and recommendations, but also a detailed explanation of the basis
upon which the advice is given, as well as information about any fees, commissions, associations or conflicts that may have influenced the provision of the advice.
Product Disclosure Statement
In the event that we make a recommendation to acquire a particular financial product or offer to issue or arrange the issue of a financial product, you will be provided with a Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’) which has been prepared by the product issuer, and which contains information about that particular product. Such disclosure documents are designed to provide you with sufficient details of the product and product issuer so that you can make an informed decision in relation to proceeding with the acquisition of that product.
HOW WE ARE REMUNERATED
How will I pay for the services, and to whom will the payment be made?
There are various ways in which you may pay your Adviser for the services provided to you. Depending on the type and extent of the service you receive you may be charged a Fee for Service, or your Adviser may receive Commissions, or a combination of both, as a result of the advice given and/or investments/insurances/loans placed. The method of payment should be agreed upon and detailed in your LoE.
Benwest, as the AFSL holder, may charge its Representatives in a variety of ways. It may take a percentage of any payments made to its Representatives, or it may charge each of its Representatives a flat monthly fee for their authorisation.
Regardless of the method by which you are charged for the advice you are given, full disclosure will be made of the amount that you will be charged, and the method of calculation used to arrive at the figure, in your SoA.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS FORMS OF FEES I MAY BE CHARGED AND HOW ARE THEY CALCULATED?
Fee for Service
This is where you pay a fee to your Adviser directly for the services provided to you. This charge is generally calculated on an hourly rate for the time and costs involved in either the preparation of a SoA, or a review of an existing financial plan. Logically, the overall amount will depend on the complexity of the advice given. Your Adviser may also charge you for advice on an ongoing basis or for an ongoing portfolio management service. All fees quoted in the Adviser Profile are inclusive of GST.
Please refer to the ‘Fee for Service’ and ‘Commissions Schedule’ in the attached Adviser Profile for specific details on the rates charged by your Adviser for their services.
Typically, when you acquire a financial product, the product issuer pays to your Adviser or a portion of the premium which you pay for cover (in the case of an insurance product). Such payments are made to the Adviser either when you initially invest in the product (referred to as initial or upfront commission) and/or on an on-going basis known as ongoing/asset commission or renewal commission payable each time a renewal is made (in the case of risk insurance products) to your Adviser over the life of your investment or over the life of your insurance coverage.
The amount of commission charged will vary between product providers, however all rates of commission should be stated in the PDS relating to that product.
Will anyone be paid for referring me to Benwest or one of its representatives?
If you have been referred to us by someone else, and if we remunerate them by splitting the fees charged for the advice, we will tell you who will receive the remuneration or benefit and the amount they that will receive in the SoA relating to that advice.
DETAILS OF OUR ASSOCIATIONS AND ANY CONFLICTS WE HAVE IN THE PROVISION OF OUR ADVISORY SERVICES
Who owns Benwest and how does this affect me and the advice I pay for?
Benwest Investment Services Pty Ltd is privately owned. It’s Managing Director, Anthony Bennett, and associated companies predominately own Benwest.
Benwest’s representatives may be offered the opportunity to participate in equity ownership schemes. These schemes may be offered by Financial Product Providers, or companies associated with Benwest. The Representatives may earn ‘Adviser Shares’ and these shares may be based on various measures, including funds inflow into certain financial products for which the product supplier may offer Benwest a marketing bonus, overall business generation, excellence in advice, and/or the use of other office and marketing products on which Benwest could acquire rebates.
Will I receive information on any interests that my Adviser has in a product or company associated with the recommendations he/she has made to me?
Yes, Benwest has strict internal and external policies and procedures for managing any conflict which could arise or has arisen between your interest/s and the interest of Benwest or its Advisers. For example, from time to time it could be possible that an Adviser will own a personal holding in, or have an association with, a product or product provider which he/she has recommended to you.
Our representatives are only allowed to make such a recommendation, if it has been determined that his/her interest does not compromise or lessen the quality of the advice which you receive, and if the relevant interest is fully disclosed to you in the SoA for your consideration prior to making an investment decision.
THE TREATMENT OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
What information do you maintain in my file, and can I examine my file?
We maintain a record of your personal profile which includes details of your investment objectives, financial situation, and needs, which we have ascertained from you during our discussions and correspondence with you. We also maintain records of any recommendations made to you.
IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT
What do I do if I have a complaint about the advisory service/s or advice given to me?
If you have a complaint about the service/s or advice provided to you by Benwest directly or by one of its representatives, you should take the following steps:
1. In the first instance contact your Adviser and inform them about your concern/s. You may do this verbally, or in writing if you wish.
2. If your complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 3 days, please contact the Compliance Manager of Benwest. Phone and postal contact details for Benwest are detailed at the bottom of the page. We will try and resolve your complaint quickly and fairly.
3. If we are unable to satisfactorily resolve your concerns, then you may contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority at GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001 or phone 1300 931 678. We are a member of this service.
If you have any questions about this Financial Services and Credit Guide, or anything else about our services, just ask at any time. We’re here to help you.