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Understanding how, why and when you should disclose commissions and referrals to your clients
Understanding how, why and when you should disclose commissions and referrals to your clients

Your OverSuite terms can be adapted for making referrals or receiving commissions, but you also need to disclose these to your clients.

Russell Henderson avatar
Written by Russell Henderson
Updated over a week ago

With GoProposal and OverSuite®, your first step is to complete a wizard which asks you to answer a series of compliance related questions about your firm.

The answers you give to these questions will enable us to adapt a set of Engagement Letters specific to you firm.

One key question concerns whether or not you refer people for investment services, how you provide these referrals and whether or not you receive commissions for those.

This is so that you can have something within your Terms and Conditions to let your clients know.

However, you still have a professional obligation to notify your clients of the amounts received.

OverSuite provides you with a set of downloadable key documents so you can ensure that (commission notification and third party introduction letters), but knowing how to use these is important.

Here's our compliance expert, Valerie Steward, explaining exactly why this is important, how and when to notify your clients, and answering some of the common questions you have been asking around referrals.

Explainer Video - Commissions and Referrals

Common Questions Answered by Val

Q1. What counts as referring clients for investment services via third parties? For example if I refer my client to a financial advisor, someone who isn’t linked to me, is that included?

If you affect an introduction it is a referral regardless of whether or not you receive commission for this. If you are referring someone to an independent financial advisor this will always count as an introduction for investment business services.

Q2. We get 'commissions' from third parties very rarely and in the ‘commissions received’ section of the Terms and Conditions it says that they will be notified to clients when we get them. Does this count?

Yes. You should really be notifying clients of all commissions when they occur.

Q3. We occasionally cross refer to a financial advisor and, although we receive no commissions or payments for this, I wonder if I still need to answer this question in the wizard and disclose that we do this?

Yes. Even if you don’t receive commissions, you still need to disclose that you may refer to a third party when completing the OverSuite wizard.

Q4. Do we have to disclose the actual value of the commissions, or is it enough just to disclose that there are commissions? Is this the same for interest received on a client account?

Yes. You need to disclose the value of any commissions to every client this applies to. If it is a recurring commission you can notify them of that, so it could be done periodically.

Q5. I have a third party provider who charges me at their rates for my clients payroll services. The engagement is between me and my client, so I charge them at my agreed rates. Is this covered?

If payroll work is done by a third party, you will need to add a statement into your Payroll Data Processor agreement to let them know a third party will be involved.

This is how you add your Data Processor Agreement to your Letters of Engagement through OverSuite, and this is how you edit your content to include this statement.

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