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Treating Clients Fairly

GSI Wealth Management Ltd.'s purpose is to help our clients understand, protect and increase their assets. To achieve this, we must continue to be (and be seen to be) a well-managed, financially strong organisation which treats its clients fairly through meeting their needs both in the short and long term. Here we outline GSI Wealth Management Ltd.'s policy on Treating Clients Fairly.

Who are our customers?

When our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) refers to Treating Customers Fairly, it is focusing on the "end customer", therefore our private clients and our customers.

How do we define "fairness"?

People have different views on what is "fair" and this can change with circumstances. It will also change over time - and where appropriate, we may treat some groups or future generations of clients differently from those who purchased our services from us in the past. We have agreed on a set of principles for all of us to follow but with flexibility. This is very much in line with the FCA's approach. Rather than specifying detailed rules, they too have set out some high level principles supported by guidance and case studies demonstrating good practice.

Our Principles

We will ensure that fair treatment of our clients is at the core of the way in which we run our business. We will do this by:

  1. Developing and promoting propositions and services which meet the needs of our clients
  2. Giving independent financial advice and acting on the client's behalf at all times
  3. Providing our clients with clear, timely information and good service throughout our relationship with them
  4. Recognising that frequently both us (GSI) and product providers have a shared relationship with clients
  5. Continually measuring and reviewing our performance

What does Treating Clients Fairly really mean to us?

Putting it simply, treating clients fairly means, treating clients as we wish to be treated. We believe that the only way to treat customers fairly is to make sure you know exactly what you will get for your money. It means telling clients all the costs as well as all the pro’s and con’s of something before you decide to take action, so that you are in full possession of the information that you need to make a sensible decision.

This means that you will always know our fees, and any other fees involved, before any action is taken.

It also means that we do not receive any commission, incentive or payment from any provider unless this has been previously agreed with you. How many times have you found out what an adviser got paid for putting something in place for you, and thought that he was getting a better deal than you! We genuinely believe that you can never be totally impartial or independent if you receive any form of commission.

What happens if things go wrong?

We are fully covered if things go wrong.  We always aim to provide the highest possible levels of service and advice but even so, we appreciate that there may be occasions when clients are unhappy and wish to make a complaint.  In these cases, it is always best to approach us first as we are likely to be in the best position to address issues quickly and smoothly.  If, however, you are not happy with our response to your complaint or we have not responded within eight weeks of you making a complaint, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).  http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/

What is the Financial Ombudsman Service?

FOS was set up by law as an independent public body.  Its job is to provide a speedy and cost efficient way to resolve disputes between financial companies and their customers without having to go to court.

Most individuals and small businesses will be eligible to use the service.

About the Service

  • The service was set up by Parliament to sort out individual complaints that consumers and their financial businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves
  • The service is free to consumers and certain small businesses
  • Depending how complicated a case is, complaints can be sorted out in a few months.  But some cases – for example, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – can take much longer.
  • It does not write the rules for financial businesses – or fine them if rules are broken.  That’s the regulator’s job.

How they can help

FOS will listen to both sides of the story and will give advice or make decisions based on the facts that they see
And their word is law.  If you choose to accept the Ombudsman’s decision, then it’s legally binding on both you and the business.  However, you don’t need to accept it, you are still free to pursue the matter further through the courts should you wish.

Next steps

If you have a grievance with a business and they don’t respond within eight weeks – or you are unhappy with what they say – get in touch with the Ombudsman.

You can ring on 0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4567 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

You can also email at complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
 

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