- Statutory disclosures
- Cookies policy
- Customer privacy notice
- Website conditions
- Important investment notes
- Conflicts of Interest
- Complaint procedures
Simply Ethical is the trading name for Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd.
Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA Number 511220. Registered Address: The Station Masters' House, 168 Thornbury Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4QE. Registered in England and Wales. Company Registration Number 07046241.
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Most types of investment business are covered and the compensation limit for investments is £50,000 per person per firm (for deposits the limit is £85,000 per person per firm for claims against firms in default from 30 January 2017). Further information about compensation arrangements is available from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme website, at www.fscs.org.uk
The information and content of this site is intended for UK consumers and is subject to the UK regulatory regime.
Note: Wills, estate and tax planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Why should you read this document?
During the course of dealing with us, we will ask you to provide us with detailed personal information relating to your existing circumstances, your financial situation and, in some cases, your health and family health history (Your Personal Data). This document is important as it allows us to explain to you what we will need to do with Your Personal Data, and the various rights you have in relation to Your Personal Data.
What do we mean by “Your Personal Data”?
Your Personal Data means any information that describes or relates to your personal circumstances. Your Personal Data may identify you directly, for example your name, address, date or birth, National Insurance number. Your Personal Data may also identify you indirectly, for example, your employment situation, your physical and mental health history, or any other information that could be associated with your cultural or social identity.
In the context of providing you with assistance in relation to your Investments, Pensions, Insurance or Finance requirements Your Personal Data may include:
• Title, names, date of birth, gender, nationality, civil/marital status, contact details, addresses and documents that are necessary to verify your identity
• Employment and remuneration information, (including salary/bonus schemes/overtime/sick pay/other benefits), employment history
• Bank account details, tax information, loans and credit commitments, personal credit history, sources of income and expenditure, family circumstances and details of dependents
• Health status and history, details of treatment and prognosis, medical reports (further details are provided below specifically with regard to the processing we may undertake in relation to this type of information)
• Any pre-existing Investments, Pensions, Insurance or Finance products and the terms and conditions relating to these
The basis upon which our Firm will deal with Your Personal Data
When we speak with you about your Investments, Pensions, Insurance or Finance requirements we do so on the basis that both parties are entering a contract for the supply of services. In order to perform that contract, and to arrange the products you require, we have the right to use Your Personal Data for the purposes detailed below.
Alternatively, either in the course of initial discussions with you or when the contract between us has come to an end for whatever reason, we have the right to use Your Personal Data provided it is in our legitimate business interest to do so and your rights are not affected. For example, we may need to respond to requests from mortgage lenders, insurance providers and Compliance advisers relating to the advice we have given to you, or to make contact with you to seek feedback on the service you received.
On occasion, we will use Your Personal data for contractual responsibilities we may owe our regulator The Financial Conduct Authority, or for wider compliance with any legal or regulatory obligation to which we might be subject. In such circumstances, we would be processing Your Personal Data in order to meet a legal, compliance or other regulatory obligation to which we are subject.
The basis upon which we will process certain parts of Your Personal Data
Where you ask us to assist you with for example your insurance needs, in particular life insurance and insurance that may assist you in the event of an accident or illness, we will ask you information about your ethnic origin, your health and medical history (Your Special Data). We will record and use Your Special Data in order to make enquiries of insurance providers in relation to insurance products that may meet your needs and to provide you with advice/guidance regarding the suitability of any product that may be available to you.
If you have parental responsibility for children under the age of 13, it is also very likely that we will record information on our systems that relates to those children and potentially, to their Special Data.
The arrangement of certain types of insurance may involve disclosure by you to us of information relating to historic or current criminal convictions or offences (together “Criminal Disclosures”). This is relevant to insurance related activities such as underwriting, claims and fraud management.
We will use special Data and any Criminal Disclosures in the same way as Your Personal Data generally, as set out in this Privacy Notice.
Information on Special Category Data and Criminal Disclosures must be capable of being exchanged freely between insurance intermediaries such as our Firm, and insurance providers, to enable customers to secure the important insurance protection that their needs require.
How do we collect Your Personal Data?
We will collect and record Your Personal Data from a variety of sources, but mainly directly from you. You will usually provide information during the course of our initial meetings or conversations with you to establish your circumstances and needs and preferences in relation to Investments, Pensions, Insurance or Finance. You will provide information to us verbally and in writing, including email. In the case of our online advice service i.e. ‘Simplified Advice Online’ and our execution only service i.e. ‘Self Select Trading’, your personal data will be gathered through online application and where applicable through a paper-based forms.
We may also obtain some information from third parties, for example, credit checks, information from your employer, and searches of information in the public domain such as the voters roll. If we use technology solutions to assist in the collection of Your Personal Data for example software that is able to verify your credit status. We will only do this if we have consent from you for us or our nominated processor to access your information in this manner. With regards to electronic ID checks we would not require your consent but will inform you of how such software operates and the purpose for which it is used.
What happens to Your Personal Data when it is disclosed to us?
In the course of handling Your Personal Data, we will:
• Record and store Your Personal Data in our paper files, mobile devices and on our computer systems (websites, email, hard drives, and cloud facilities). This information can only be accessed by employees and consultants within our Firm and only when it is necessary to provide our service to you and to perform any administration tasks associated with or incidental to that service.
• Submit Your Personal Data to Product Providers both in paper form and on-line via a secure portal. The provision of this information to a third party is essential in allowing us to progress any enquiry or application made on your behalf and to deal with any additional questions or administrative issues that providers may raise.
• Use Your Personal Data for the purposes of responding to any queries you may have in relation to any Investments, Pensions, Insurance or Finance you may take out, or to inform you of any developments in relation to those products and/or polices of which we might become aware
Sharing Your Personal Data
From time to time Your Personal Data will be shared with:
• Investment Providers/Pension Providers/Mortgage lenders/Finance lenders and insurance providers
• Third parties who we believe will be able to assist us with your enquiry or application, or who are able to support your needs as identified. These third parties will include but may not be limited to, our Compliance Advisers, Product specialists, providers of legal services such as estate planners (in each case where we believe this to be required due to your particular circumstances).
• In each case, your Personal Data will only be shared for the purposes set out in this customer privacy notice, i.e. to progress your Investments, Pensions, Insurance or Finance enquiry and to provide you with our professional services.
• Please note that this sharing of Your Personal Data does not entitle such third parties to send you marketing or promotional messages: it is shared to ensure we can adequately fulfil our responsibilities to you, and as otherwise set out in this Customer Privacy Notice.
• We do not envisage that the performance by us of our service will involve Your Personal Data being transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
Security and retention of Your Personal Data
Your privacy is important to us and we will keep Your Personal Data secure in accordance with our legal responsibilities. We will take reasonable steps to safeguard Your Personal Data against it being accessed unlawfully or maliciously by a third party.
We also expect you to take reasonable steps to safeguard your own privacy when transferring information to us, such as not sending confidential information over unprotected email, ensuring email attachments are password protected or encrypted and only using secure methods of postage when original documentation is being sent to us.
Your Personal Data will be retained by us either electronically or in paper format for a minimum of six years, or in instances whereby we have legal right to such information we will retain records indefinitely.
Your rights in relation to Your Personal Data
• request copies of Your Personal Data that is under our control
• ask us to further explain how we use Your Personal Data
• ask us to correct, delete or require us to restrict or stop using Your Personal Data (details as to the extent to which we can do this will be provided at the time of any such request)
• ask us to send an electronic copy of Your Personal Data to another organisation should you wish
• change the basis of any consent you may have provided to enable us to market to you in the future (including withdrawing any consent in its entirety)
How to make contact with our Firm in relation to the use of Your Personal Data
If you have any questions or comments about this document, or wish to make contact in order to exercise any of your rights set out within it please contact:
020 8945 3786
If we feel we have a legal right not to deal with your request, or to action, it in different way to how you have requested, we will inform you of this at the time.
You should also make contact with us as soon as possible on you becoming aware of any unauthorised disclosure of Your Personal Data, so that we may investigate and fulfil our own regulatory obligations.
If you have any concerns or complaints as to how we have handled Your Personal Data you may lodge a complaint with the UK's data protection regulator, the ICO, who can be contacted through their website at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ or by writing to Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Welcome to the website of Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd. By accessing the website (and any related or linked websites), you agree to and acknowledge the following terms and conditions of use of the website. Please ensure that you understand and agree to these terms before you use Simply Ethical website or websites.
This website is issued by Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, No 511220.
These conditions stipulated supersedes in full all and any previous version. We may update this at any time for legal or other purposes. Our website is intended for use by UK residents over the age of 18. These terms apply to your use of our website. If you are not over 18 or not living in the United Kingdom you will not be able to use this website and you should not attempt to make an application, although subject to your acceptance of these terms you should feel free to browse. If you do not agree to be bound by the terms set out below you should not use this website.
Nothing in the website should be construed as advice.
- Simply Ethical is the trading name for Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd.
- For the purposes of section 21 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 the whole website has been approved by Simply Ethical.
- Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd registered office is at The Station Masters' House, 168 Thornbury Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4QE.
- Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to advise on and arrange investments and non-investment insurance contracts; advise on pension transfers and pension opt outs; arrange safeguarding and administration of assets; deal in investments as agent and managing investments.
- This website must not be regarded as an offer or solicitation to conduct designated investment business, as defined by the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, in any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom.
- This material is not directed at you if Simply Ethical is prohibited or restricted by any legislation or regulation in any jurisdiction from making it available to you.
- Simply Ethical accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any failure by a person resident outside the United Kingdom to observe the foregoing.
- In order to maintain the security of its systems, protect its staff and detect fraud and other crimes, Simply Ethical reserves the right to monitor all internet communications, including web and email traffic, into and out of its group company domains. Monitoring includes checks for, but not limited to, viruses and other malignant codes, criminal activity and inappropriate, offensive or otherwise unacceptable use or content.
- Simply Ethical reserves the right to cooperate fully with any investigation by national and international police, regulatory authorities and other officials, and reserves the right to disclose any personal data (including personal or private electronic communication transmitted on this website) to such officials to the extent requested by them in connection with any such investigation, or as otherwise required by law or regulation.
- Current tax levels and reliefs may change and the value of any relief depends on individual circumstances.
- Any research or commentary material on the website has been prepared for informational purposes only.
- You understand and accept that while you may be able to access certain research information and reports through Simply Ethical website, the availability of such information does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or otherwise trade all or any of the securities mentioned in the websites.
- Neither Simply Ethical nor any of its directors, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability, howsoever arising, for any error or incompleteness of fact or opinion in it or lack of care in its preparation or publication, provided that this shall not exclude liability to the extent that this is not permissible under the law relating to the provision of financial services.
- All statements and opinions are made as of the date on the face of the relevant research material and are not held out as applicable thereafter.
- You agree not to hold Simply Ethical and / or any of its respective directors, officers, employees or agents liable for any investment decisions made by you arising from the use of this website or its content.
- Prices and other share or investment information provided within this website are supplied on a delayed basis and are not guaranteed, warranted or certified in any way.
About this site
- Simply Ethical provides this website for your information only and without warranties or other assurances of any kind. Simply Ethical reserves the right to withdraw or amend the website without notice. Other than disclosures relating to Simply Ethical, the information on this website is based on current information that Simply Ethical considers reliable and appropriate.
- Simply Ethical tries to correct any errors or omissions within its control as soon as it becomes aware of them, but it does not guarantee that the website will be accurate, error free or uninterrupted and the website should not be relied on as such.
- Simply Ethical will not be liable for the consequences of any event beyond its reasonable control, including but not limited to the electronic transmission of data, content, material. Electronic versions of documents and spreadsheets, and information over the internet and the interception or decryption of it by others, or for any damages or consequences whatsoever resulting there from.
- To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Simply Ethical nor any other party involved in creating, producing or communicating the website shall be liable for any loss or damage, whether reasonably foreseeable or not, resulting from the use of or inability to use it, including but not limited to interruptions, deletion of files, data or email, errors, defects, viruses, delays in operation or transmission, or any failure of performance, whether or not resulting from force majeure, communications failure, theft, destruction, or unauthorised access to Simply Ethical’s records, programs, software, systems or services.
- Nothing in these terms shall operate so as to exclude, limit or restrict Simply Ethical’s liability for death or personal injury, for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation, for damage suffered as a result of any breach of the conditions as to title and quiet enjoyment implied by English law, liability under Part 1 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 or for any other liability the exclusion or limitation of which is not permitted by English law. These disclaimers do not affect the statutory rights of consumers.
- If you have access to the restricted or client login area of the website you are responsible for maintaining the security of the login details issued in confidence to you. Such information must never be shared with anyone, and after accessing your account you must log off promptly. This ensures that no third party may be able to access your account if you leave your computer and your session has not yet been timed out. You will be exclusively responsible for any instructions placed or purported to be placed under those details and Simply Ethical shall be entitled to treat all such instructions as authentic, until such time as Simply Ethical receives original written confirmation that your login details may have been acquired by a third party.
Content, use & reproduction
- You acknowledge that this website contains information, data, software, photographs, graphs, videos, typefaces, graphics, music, sounds, and other material (collectively "Content") which is protected by copyright and/or other intellectual property rights proprietary to Simply Ethical and/or its licensors.
- No part of the content may without the prior written permission of Simply Ethical be permanently stored, reproduced or copied in any form or by means other than for the user's legitimate, legal and reasonable purposes, provided that the user does not modify the paper or electronic copy and maintains all of the Simply Ethical notices, including but not limited to all legal notices and disclaimers, copyright notices, trade mark legends, or other proprietary rights.
- Downloading is permitted by us provided only that it is to a single personal computer and: (a) you make no more than one printed copy of such download and no further copies of such printed copy are made. (b) you make only personal, non-commercial, use of such download and/or printed copy; and (c) you retain on such download and/or printed copy all copyright notices and remain bound by the terms of such wording and notices.
- Distribution, reselling or reproduction of the content is strictly prohibited. You may not modify, remove, delete, augment, add to, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, create derivative works from, or in any way exploit any of the content, in whole or in part.
- Our failure, if any, to prevent or object to any unauthorised distribution, reselling or reproduction of the content does not in any way imply or infer consent and does not negate the clause above.
- You agree to email us at email@example.com as soon as you become aware of any unauthorised use of this Website by anybody, or of any claim that this Website or any of the Contents infringe any copyright or other rights of any other party.
- By accessing other websites through links provided by Simply Ethical (be it a hypertext link or other referral device), you agree to the following terms and conditions: 1) Should you leave this website via a link contained herein, and view content on any website that is not provided by Simply Ethical, you do so at your own risk. Simply Ethical has no control over the content of any external website and is not responsible for it or any damages or losses that may arise from your use of it. 2) The material available on external websites may have been produced by independent providers that are not affiliated with Simply Ethical and nor may they be regulated by the FCA or any other body. Any opinions or recommendations expressed on external sites are solely those of the independent providers and are not the opinions or recommendations of Simply Ethical. 3) You understand and accept that while some of the linked websites may provide information and news stories about investments, the availability of such information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the securities discussed therein. 4) You understand that you are responsible for your own investment decisions and you should seek your own professional advice as to the suitability of any investment mentioned in such information. 5) The link by Simply Ethical to any site provided by a third party does not constitute a recommendation by Simply Ethical of any service, advice, product or attribute of any kind of that third party.
- You may not link to this website without the prior written consent of Simply Ethical, nor must the website be framed or published on any other site. Simply Ethical reserves the right to withdraw any linking permission without notice.
Third party providers of information
- All information provided by third parties such as, but not limited to, FE on the website is owned by or licensed to those companies and any user is limited to storing, filing in format print and displaying the information for such user's personal use. In no event shall any user publish, retransmit or redistribute or otherwise reproduce any information in any format to anyone else for interruption, inaccuracy, error or omission, regardless of cause. Simply Ethical shall not be responsible for any errors in the information or for any loss or damage, whether or not it was reasonably foreseeable, resulting there from. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Simply Ethical for any cost, charges and damages resulting from breach of this clause.
- Some of the news services on the website may have been produced by independent providers that are not affiliated with Simply Ethical. Any opinions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the independent providers and not the opinions or recommendations of Simply Ethical. Information provided by independent providers is believed to be reliable. However, Simply Ethical does not guarantee the timeliness, sequence, accuracy, or completeness of such information.
- You agree to comply with any restrictions or conditions imposed upon the use, access or storage of the data as may be notified to you by Simply Ethical and you agree not to distribute or disseminate in any form or by any means (including but not limited to via the Internet or via any other electronic means) all or any of the data provided by Simply Ethical under licence from third parties. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Simply Ethical for any costs, charges and damages resulting from a breach of this clause.
- By registering your details on the site, you consent to Simply Ethical maintaining, recording, holding and using your personal data in relation to the provision and use of this site. In so doing, Simply Ethical shall at all times comply with the requirements of current data protection legislation.
- If you receive marketing, research or other regular information from Simply Ethical and wish to unsubscribe please select the relevant link on the email communication. Alternatively, please use our contact us to let us know.
Governing law and interpretation
- These terms and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England. If any provision shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable then that provision shall be deemed severable and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions.
- Throughout this website the singular shall be construed so as to include the plural and vice versa. No particular meaning shall be construed from the presence or absence of punctuation.
Revised and updated on 17th May 2017
1. Purpose of risk warning
This notice provides a summary of the nature of risks that may arise in investing, but it may not disclose all the risks and other significant features of individual investment products and services. Please read the Key Features Document (KFD) and the terms & conditions of relevant service or product prior to investing. This notice describes the type of investments that may be purchased by you and summarises typical risks associated with those investments and services. The notice is designed to give you information about and a warning of the risks to enable you to understand them in order to take investment decisions on an informed basis.
You should be aware that with all of the investments available, there is a risk of losing your capital. The amount of risk varies with each type of investment but in the very worst case scenario this can mean all of your capital is lost. If your attitude to risk is that you are not prepared to take any risks with your capital you should instead consider investing in a deposit account or a guaranteed return investment.
You should not invest in or deal in any financial product unless you understand its nature and the extent of your exposure to risk. You should also be satisfied that it is suitable for you in light of your circumstances and financial position. Different investment products and investment areas have varying levels of exposure to risks and to different combinations of risk. If you have any doubts about the suitability of any of these investments you should contact us.
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance and unit / share prices and income can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount you invested.
Withdrawing income from any investment may erode the capital and you may not get back the full amount invested. There are no guarantees that capital will not be eroded if you do not withdraw income.
Please note derivatives and preferred shares do not meet our ethical criteria and therefore will not be offered by us.
The stated risks apply to both execution only and advisory clients, unless stated otherwise.
Execution only risk warning: as an execution only client, any decisions on investments are purely your own choice and Simply Ethical will not provide any advice on these investments. We will execute the transactions for you only. You will therefore be responsible for loss with the investments chosen. Please ensure you fully read and understand the risks involved in any decision you make. If you have any doubt whether any investment is suitable for you, you should obtain expert advice. All transactions received will be conducted on an execution only basis unless otherwise stated. For execution only transactions you will not be afforded the protection of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in relation to the suitability of the transaction.
If you have any questions regarding the types of investments or risks disclosed in this notice, please contact us.
2. General risks
The risk that the value of an individual investment or portfolio will fall as a result of a fall in markets. All investments can be affected by a variety of factors, including macroeconomic market conditions such as the interest rate or exchange rate environment, or other general political factors.
Liquidity describes the ability to buy and sell investments. If trading is relatively infrequent or only done in small amounts the investment is described as illiquid. Buying and selling illiquid investments can be difficult and prices can be volatile and can easily be affected by the size of the order. Moreover, most investments traded on markets have two prices, one for buying and one for selling. Therefore buying and selling within a short time period can incur a loss purely due to this difference. For illiquid investments there is an increased risk of there being a larger gap between the buying and selling prices.
The risk that the real value (the value adjusted to remove the effects of price changes over time) of an investment will fall as a result of the rate of inflation exceeding the rate of return on the investment.
The value of investments and the amount of income derived from them may go down as well as up. Volatility is statistical measure of the tendency of an individual investment to feature significant fluctuations in value. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the investment.
The risk that the value of equity becomes worthless as the company becomes bankrupt.
The risk of an issuer defaulting and being unable to repay the principal investment or financial gain.
The risk that there is an insufficient level of diversification such that an investor is excessively exposed to one or a limited number of investments.
The risk that a party connected to an investment or transaction is unable to meet its commitment.
Exchange rate risk:
Where an investment is purchased in a currency other than the currency which is most relevant to the investor, there is an increased risk that the movement in exchange rates will affect the returns the investor receives from the investment. Typically this applies to shares and other investments traded on overseas markets whose price is quoted in a foreign currency. But this can also apply to investing in a company whose main earning is generated in a foreign currency.
Early redemption risk:
Investing in certain products should be considered as a medium or long term exercise. If you need to use your capital in the short term, you should consider deposit accounts as you may suffer losses due to the short term market fluctuations and in some circumstances early redemption charges.
Withdrawals that you make from discretionary managed portfolio may adversely affect the overall performance of your portfolio. Where you instruct us to liquidate sizeable assets in a given portfolio with concentrations in a particular market, then this may affect the price: e.g. a significant withdrawal from a portfolio may compel us to sell positions at a price that we normally would not have sold at.
Operational risk, such as a breakdown or malfunction of systems and controls, including IT systems, can impact on all financial products. Changes in leadership and organisational change can severely affect such risks and, in general, operational risk may not be apparent from outside the organisation. Business risks, e.g. poor management or leadership could also negatively impact on the value of investments.
Regulatory and legal risk:
All investments could be exposed to regulatory or legal risk. Returns on all, and particularly new, investments are at risk from regulatory or legal actions and changes which can, amongst other issues, alter the profit potential of an investment. Legal changes could even have the effect that a previously acceptable investment becomes illegal. For example, FCA’s ban on promotion of unregulated collective schemes (UCIS) to retail clients in 2013 had a negative impact on such investments. All such risks are unpredictable and can depend on numerous political, economic and other factors. For this reason, this risk is greater in emerging markets but does apply everywhere. In emerging markets, there is generally less government supervision and regulation of business and industry practices, stock exchanges and over the counter markets. There is no guarantee that an overseas investor would obtain a satisfactory remedy in local courts in case of a breach of local laws or regulations or a dispute over ownership of assets. Investors may also encounter difficulties in pursuing legal remedies or in obtaining and enforcing judgments in overseas courts.
Taxation reliefs, levels and bases can change in the future. There can be no guarantee that the nature, basis or incidence of taxation may not change during the lifetime of an investment. This may cause potential current or future tax liabilities, and you should be aware of the tax treatment of any investment product before you decide to invest. If your circumstances are changing, or if you are uncertain about any aspect of how an investment might relate to your own tax position, please seek professional tax advice.
3. Investment specific risk
All investments involve a degree of risk of some kind. This section describes some of the risks which could be relevant to the services we provide to you. We may provide further risk information during the course of our services to you, as appropriate.
Also known as equities, a share represents a share of ownership in a company, and these shares are listed on a stock exchange. The risk associated with equity investments (shares in individual companies) is generally accepted to be higher than fixed interest and deposit investments. Equity investments cover a wide range of risk, which can vary depending on the size of the company, its business and products and the market on which the shares are listed or quoted. Share prices can fluctuate suddenly, and sometimes very sharply as experienced during 2008/09 financial crises and this is why shares are considered a higher risk investment than cash, bonds and property. It is also the reason why they are more suitable as a longer term investment. In general, the longer you stay invested in the stock market the better you tend to do, as you are better positioned to ride out any fluctuations in the market.
Not all share investments carry an equal risk; the level of risk depends on the company you are looking to buy shares in. A small start up with an innovative product or those listed LSE Alternative Investment Market (AIM) will have a higher risk profile than a blue chip company, for instance, but the attraction of relatively small companies is that it may offer the potential for higher returns. Moreover, a small company may not pay out dividends, as it needs to reinvest any profits back in the company, whereas the larger, more established company may offer attractive dividend payouts. It is essential to understand your investment goals and risk profile before investing in shares. It is important to research any companies you intend to buy shares in to ensure they offer a suitable investment opportunity for you.
Investment in the securities of smaller companies can involve greater risk than is generally associated with investment in larger, more established companies which can result in significant capital losses which may have a detrimental effect on the value of the investment. In particular, smaller companies often have limited product lines, markets or financial resources and may be dependent for their management on a smaller number of key individuals. In addition, the market for securities in smaller companies is often less liquid than that for securities in larger companies and therefore, the fund manager or the investor (if buying directly) may experience difficulty, from time to time, in purchasing or selling holdings of such securities. Also smaller companies may not do as well in periods of adverse economic conditions.
The AIM market is a market designed primarily for emerging or smaller companies. The rules of this market are less demanding than those of the Official List of the London Stock Exchange and therefore the companies quoted on AIM carry a greater risk than a company with a full listing.
Money market instruments:
A money market instrument is a borrowing of cash for a certain period, usually no longer than six months, but can be up to one year. The lender takes a deposit from the money markets in order to lend (or advance) it to the borrower. The borrower must specify the exact amount and the time period for which he wishes to borrow. Money market instruments may be exposed to the major risks outlined in this notice, in particular credit and interest rate risk.
Bonds are loans to a government or company.The value of bonds (debt investments) is usually more stable than equity investments. However in some circumstances, particularly when interest rates are changing, the value of bonds can be uncertain. The most common use of a bond is to provide a reliable yield, or source of income until maturity. For example the value of a bond can be adversely affected by a number of factors such as:
- Credit rating of the issuer, which reflects their ability to repay the amounts payable when they fall due;
- Amount of interest payable (the coupon);
- Market expectations on interest and inflation rates;
- The length of time until the debt falls due for repayment; or
- The seniority of a bond within the capital structure of a company, and the quality of any security available.
We may deal for you in investments that may have been the subject of stabilisation. This is a price supporting process that often takes place in the context of new issues and similar offerings, including rights issues. The effect of stabilisation can be to make the market price of the investment, which is the subject of the issue or offering, higher than it would otherwise be. Stabilisation may also affect the price of investments of the same class, which are already in issue, and of other investments whose price affects the price of the new issue. Stabilisation is undertaken in order to ensure that the issue of investments is introduced to the market in an orderly fashion, and that the issue price and/or the price of associated investments is not artificially depressed because of the increase in supply cause by the new issue. The fact that there have been dealings in an investment in which stabilisation may be taking place does not necessarily mean that investors are interested in buying that investment or in buying it at the level at which the dealings have taken place. Stabilisation takes place for a limited period. There are limits on the price at which shares, warrants and depository receipts may be stabilised but the limits do not apply where loan stock or bonds are being stabilised. At the time of dealing, reasonable steps will be taken to enable you to understand the nature of the risks involved.
Collective Investment Schemes (commonly known as funds):
A fund is a term that covers different types of structure, normally Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) or Unit Trusts. Investment funds pool money from a collection of investors and then invests that sum in financial instruments. This is handled by a professional fund manager Investments held by these funds may include gilts, bonds and quoted equities, but depending on the type of scheme, may hold higher risk instruments such as property, derivatives, unquoted securities and other complex products. The value of a fund, and the income derived from it, can decrease as well as increase and you may not necessarily get back the amount you originally invested. In addition, funds bear investment management risks, insolvency risks and possibly liquidity risks. You should ensure that you understand the nature of any fund before you invest in it.
Exchange Traded Funds:
ETFs is a pooled investment that's like an investment fund, investing in potentially hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individual securities, but trades on an exchange throughout the day like a stock. When an investor buys an ETF share, he or she is buying a small percentage ownership of a large portfolio of stocks, bonds or other assets. It is basically an ownership stake in a pool of assets. ETFs normally closely track the performance of a financial index, and as such, their value can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested. Some ETFs rely on complex techniques, or hold riskier underlying assets, to achieve their objectives and therefore you should always ensure you read the documentation provided to ensure you fully understand the risks you are taking on before you invest.
Investment trusts are similar to funds in that they provide a means of pooling your money but they are publicly listed companies whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange. The price of their shares will fluctuate according to investor demand and changes in the value of their underlying assets. They will be subject to a combination of the risks associated with shares, bonds and funds in which they are invested. The value of investment trusts, or the income derived from them, can decrease as well as increase and you may not necessarily get back the amount you invested.
Investments in property funds involve a number of risks particular to this class of asset. Notably fixed property is immovable and might not be easy to sell or to value independently. As a result of the illiquid nature of property, realisation may take some time. There is no guarantee that the underlying properties will remain occupied, or that they might not incur significant maintenance or restoration costs which may impact on the returns available. All property is subject to local risks which may be unique in nature, which may be caused by factors such as the prevailing legal, economic, environmental or political circumstances. Returns available from property funds may also be affected by leverage where borrowing is used to finance either construction or purchase.
Non Mainstream investments:
Certain investments are deemed to be non mainstream collective investments (these include unregulated collective investment schemes, some special purpose vehicles and other complex investments) and are not subject to the same regulatory protections as other investments. Such investment may be included in some discretionary portfolios offered to advisory clients, although relevant due diligence including suitability and appropriateness test will be conducted prior to recommendation.
Investment manager risk:
This is the risk of loss from the poor performance of the fund managers in your portfolio as well as by us in the management of your discretionary or advised portfolio.
This list is not intended to be fully inclusive of all relevant risks; we would strongly encourage you to read all relevant literature, and that you are comfortable that you understand all of the associated risks relating to an investment, before you decide whether or not to purchase it. Should you be in any doubt as to the risks involved, or to the suitability of a particular investment, you should seek professional financial advice.
Under FCA rules we are required to establish, implement and maintain an effective Conflicts of Interest policy. The rules require us to take all reasonable steps to identify conflicts of interest between the firm (us) and clients of the firm, and between one client of the firm and another client. In order to identify conflicts of interest, Simply Ethical will take into account whether the firm, or a relevant person, or a person directly or indirectly linked to the firm:
- is likely to make a financial gain, or avoid a financial loss, at the expense of a client;
- has an interest in the outcome of a service provided to a client;
- has an interest in the outcome of a transaction carried out on behalf of a client;
- has a financial or other incentive to favour the interest of a client or group of clients over the interests of another client;
- carries on the same business as a client;
- receives, or will receive from a person, other than a client an inducement in relation to a service provided to a client, in the form of money, goods or services, other than the fee for that service.
We therefore maintain a register of material conflicts of interest that arise in our business. We have taken all reasonable steps to prevent conflicts of interest from giving rise to a risk of damage to the interests of our clients and we have recorded the organisational and administrative arrangements we have put in place for this purpose.
If we believe that the arrangements we have put in place are not sufficient to be reasonably confident that the risks of damage to the interests of our clients will be prevented, we will disclose the source of conflicts of interest to our clients.
The policy is reviewed on a regular basis and at least on an annual basis.
Further details of our Conflicts of Interest policy are available upon request.
At Simply Ethical each of our clients is important to us, and we believe you have the right to a fair, swift and courteous service at all times. However, there may be occasions when you feel that this objective has not been achieved. We take all complaints seriously and will deal with your complaint in the following manner:
- We will acknowledge your complaint promptly following receipt, enclosing a copy of these procedures.
- If you make an oral complaint, our written acknowledgement will set out our understanding of your complaint.
- If we have reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another firm may be solely or jointly responsible for the allegation(s) made, we will promptly forward the complaint or the relevant part of it to that firm. We will write to you to confirm our actions and provide contact details of the firm concerned.
- Where we are able to resolve your complaint by the close of three business days following receipt, and this is to your satisfaction, we will issue a written summary of our findings and their conclusion. If having received this letter you remain dissatisfied, you may refer the issue to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) who can be contacted at: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR, Telephone 0800 0234 567. We will provide you with a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet; ‘your complaint and the ombudsman’. The website address for the Financial Ombudsman Service if required is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
- If your complaint cannot be resolved by the close of three business days following its receipt, we will ensure that you are regularly kept informed of our progress with regard to the investigation into your complaint.
- We will endeavour to send you our Final Decision Letter; addressing your concerns and providing you with our decision within 8 weeks or keep you informed of the progress of your complaint if not resolved before then.
- Where we are unable to provide you with our Final Decision Letter within 8 weeks, we will send you confirmation of this in writing along with an explanation as to why we have been unable to complete our investigations within this time scale. We will confirm when you can next expect contact from us.
- At this stage, you will be entitled to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service who can be contacted at: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR, Telephone 0800 0234 567. We will provide you with a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet; ‘your complaint and the ombudsman’. The website address for the Financial Ombudsman Service if required is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
- The Pension Ombudsman can consider complaints about the administration of personal and group personal pensions as well as occupational schemes. You have the right to refer your complaint to The Pensions Ombudsman free of charge. The Pensions Ombudsman can be contacted at 11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB, Telephone 0800 917 4487. The website address for the Pension Ombudsman Service if required is www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk
- We will continue to investigate the complaint until we are in a position to send you our Final Decision Letter.
- If your complaint is upheld, we will provide you with fair compensation for any acts or omissions for which we are responsible.
- Once you have received our Final Decision Letter, if you are unhappy with our handling of your complaint; you can refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service at the address provided above. You must refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months of the date of our Final Decision Letter. A copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet ‘your complaint and the ombudsman’ will be included with our Final Decision Letter.
We shall deem the matter closed when:
- We have resolved your complaint by close three business days from receipt to your satisfaction, and issued a written summary confirming the outcome of our investigation
- Our investigation has been completed and a Final Decision Letter has been sent to you, or;
- Where you have indicated, in writing, acceptance of any earlier response, where appropriate.
Should you feel you have cause for complaint, you should contact the Compliance Officer at Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd, The Station Masters’ House, 168 Thornbury Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4QE United Kingdom. You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.