Terms of business agreement

Working Together & Data Protection

Our business terms.

Thank you for working with Acorn.finance to arrange your finance.

Our Service

Choosing the right advice is an important decision to make. Getting good advice will make a real difference in achieving your goals. You might want to borrow money to pay off debt, buy a vehicle or purchase new premises.

There are lots of things to think about and we at Acorn.Finance will help you realise your financial needs and goals.

We always act in the best interests of our clients.

We use research tools to ensure a suitable solution is presented to meet your objectives. We offer a personal service tailored to your circumstances.

Credit Broking

We provide Credit Broking Services for businesses and private clients with complex affairs creating and managing a comprehensive and evolving strategy on a bespoke basis.

Advice

We provide advice to make sure you have the right products for your immediate and future needs.

By following the FUNDED system below, our advisors will deliver the best financial products to you in an efficient and timely manner.

Transactions

We will arrange to transact particular financial products at your request and keep you updated on any new product we feel meet your needs. There will be no formal review unless you request this from us. We look forward to agreeing how best we can meet your needs and providing you with solutions to meet your financial needs.

The FUNDED system;

Facts – our initial contact will establish the facts and figures around your funding needs, purchase or refinance figures and calculate any other costs which might come into play.

Understanding – only by understanding you and your business will the solution be the best for your growth plan.

Needs – by fully understanding your plans we’ll work with funders who will meet your needs both now and for the future.

D iscuss – working with our panel of the best funders in the market we’ll work through your case with them to ensure they understand your needs in detail.

Execute – by using Acorn.finance to arrange your funding you save hours of time spent on calls and applications. We work with the finance company to streamline every finance case.

Deliver – we work hard with all the professionals involved to ensure you get the funding you need, in good time.

To begin with we need to find out more about you, your business and your future plans. We’ve probably done that already but there might be gaps in our knowledge – It’s really important that you help us by providing full information, otherwise your case will take much longer and maybe will fail to complete.

We’ll give you a list of the documents we normally expect to see, if you are unable to provide any of them it doesn’t mean we can’t move forward but please tell us what you are unable to provide and why. It’s vitally important that you are open and honest with us if there is information that would either help or damage your application you must tell us about it, even if we don’t ask.

Otherwise we can waste a lot of our time and your time working with lenders who might be unsuitable for your case or not offer you the best possible terms.

RAISING THE FUNDS

Once we have a full understanding of your needs, background and aims we are in a position to work with potential lenders to put a funding package together. We’ll work with one or more lenders to arrange the best finance together for your needs, helping them to understand everything they need to in order to arrange a prompt drawdown of funds. We may need to come back to you for more information but we’ll only normally ask for what we need to understand your case and help the lender to agree terms.

TO COMPLETION…

It’s important to us that your business or investment gets off to a great start. That means we’ll keep on working, after the funding is raised with you, the lender, your solicitor and any other stakeholders who are involved so that the funds can draw down and you can get started on time.

…AND BEYOND

After completion we’re here to help – there are many other products we can arrange – and a whole network of professionals providing many types of advice and help We always love to hear your success stories!

DATA PROTECTION POLICY

Introduction

Acorn Finance needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.

This can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.

This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards — and to comply with the law.

Why this policy exists

This data protection policy ensures Acorn Finance; complies with data protection law and follows good practice protects the rights of all individuals’ data is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data in line with individuals’ rights protects itself from the risks of a data breach

Data protection law

The General Data Protection Regulations describe how organisations — including Acorn Finance— must collect, handle and store personal information. These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically or otherwise.

To comply with the law, personal information must be;

  • Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals
  • Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes
  • Further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed
  • Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay
  • Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed
  • Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

Record Keeping:

A range of information must be detailed in our internal records of processing activities. Such areas include;

  • The name and details of the organisation
  • Tthe organisation’s representative and data protection officer
  • Purposes of processing the data
  • Description of the categories of individuals and the categories of personal data
  • Categories of the recipients of personal data
  • Details of transfers of data to third parties or abroad, including details of safety mechanisms
  • Retention schedules
  • Technical and organisational security measures
  • Acorn Finance ensures that records of these activities are kept and are updated accordingly. Individuals’ data is kept on file for 6 years in line with the Financial Conduct Authorities record keeping rules. After which point, personal data is retracted to the point it is unidentifiable and used for statistical purposes only.

Lawful Basis for Processing Data

Under GDPR, it is a requirement that Acorn Finance has a valid lawful basis to process personal data, this should be documented. Most lawful bases require that processing is ‘necessary’.

The lawful bases for processing are set out in Article 6 of the GDPR. At least one of these must apply whenever Acorn Finance process personal data: Processing is lawful under GDPR as:

  • Consent:

○ The individual has given clear consent for us to process their personal data for a specific purpose.

  • Contract:

○ The processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.

○ Acorn Finance has chosen this basis for processing data as it is requested from the individuals that we capture data before entering into a contract (e.g. provide a quote for finance).

Special categories of data may be captured by Acorn Finance, for example, information about an individual’s:

  • Financial & credit background

Responsibilities

Acorn Finance acts as a Data Controller and Data Processor. All staff are responsible for ensuring that the highest data standards and best practices are met on a continual basis.

Although a Data Protection Officer (DPO) has not been appointed as Acorn Finance does not fall within the scope, the business owner is accountable and responsible for compliance with GDPR and will take on the tasks appointed to them as if they were a DPO.

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA)

Acorn Finance has a general obligation to implement technical and organisational measures to demonstrate that data protection is integrated into our processing activities. A Data Protection Impact Assessment is conducted each time Acorn Finance consider implementing using new technologies

The DPIA will pertain at least;

a description of the processing operations and the purposes, including, where applicable, the legitimate interests pursued by the controller; an assessment of the necessity and proportionality of the processing in relation to the purpose; an assessment of the risks to individuals; the measures in place to address risk, including security and to demonstrate that you comply.

Individuals Rights

Individuals now have more rights under GDPR.

Through Acorn Finance, these are;

  • the Right to be Informed
  • the Right of Access
  • the Right to Rectification
  • the Right to Erasure
  • the Right to Restrict Processing
  • the Right to Data Portability
  • the Right to Object
  • rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Acorn Finance provide every customer with a Privacy Notice at the point data is captured.

The information supplied in this notice demonstrates how Acorn Finance is transparent over our data processing. The notice is;

  • concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible
  • written in clear and plain language and free of charge.

We include details of (but not limited to);

the Data Controller, the lawful reason for processing data, if any third parties have legitimate interests, categories of personal data, categories of recipients such as banks and credit unions, the data retention periods, the individuals’ rights; including the right to withdraw, where the individual can complain about how the data is processed with a supervisory authority, source of data when it comes from a third party and where personal data is part of a contractual requirement or obligation.

Rectification

Individuals are entitled to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete. If Acorn Finance has disclosed the personal data in question to third parties, then we will inform them of the rectification where possible.

Acorn Finance will respond to this request within one month or extended by two months where the request for rectification is complex.

Erasure

Individuals have a right to have personal data erased and to prevent processing in specific circumstances;

where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected/processed. when the individual withdraws consent. when the individual objects to the processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing the processing. the personal data was unlawfully processed (i.e. otherwise in breach of the GDPR).

the personal data must be erased to comply with a legal obligation. the personal data is processed in relation to the offer of information society services to a child. under the GDPR, this right is not limited to processing that causes unwarranted and substantial damage or distress. However, if the processing does cause damage or distress, this is likely to make the case for erasure stronger. Acorn Finance may refuse to comply with a request for erasure where the personal data is processed for the following reasons;

to exercise the right of freedom of expression and information; to comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority. for public health purposes in the public interest; archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research historical research or statistical purposes; or the exercise or defence of legal claims.

If Acorn Finance has disclosed the personal data in question to third parties, a notification will be sent, informing them about the erasure of the personal data, unless it is impossible or involves disproportionate effort to do so.

Restrict processing

Acorn Finance will restrict the processing of personal data in the following circumstances;

where an individual contest the accuracy of the personal data, you should restrict the processing until you have verified the accuracy of the personal data. where an individual has objected to the processing (where it was necessary for the performance of a public interest task or purpose of legitimate interests), and you are considering whether your organisation’s legitimate grounds override those of the individual.

when processing is unlawful, and the individual opposes erasure and requests restriction instead. if you no longer need the personal data but the individual requires the data to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim. if any data has been disclosed to third parties, Acorn Finance will notify them about the restriction on the processing of the personal data, unless it is impossible or involves disproportionate effort to do so.

Portability For personal data an individual has provided to a controller; where the processing is based on the individual’s consent or for the performance of a contract; and when processing is carried out by automated means, Acorn Finance must provide the personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable form. Open formats include CSV files. Machine readable means that the information is structured so that software can extract specific elements of the data. This enables other organisations to use the data.

Acorn Finance must provide this service free of charge.

If the individual requests it, we may be required to transmit the data directly to another organisation if this is technically feasible. Acorn Finance will respond without undue delay, and within one month or extended by two months where the request is complex or receive many requests.

Objecting

If an individual has objected to processing data or direct marketing, Acorn Finance will cease to process the data. Individuals must have an objection on “grounds relating to his or her particular situation”. Acorn Finance will stop processing the personal data unless;

compelling legitimate grounds for the processing, which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the individual; or the processing is for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. This is brought to the attention of the data subject at the first point of communication and in our privacy notice. This is separated out from any other information.

Direct marketing purposes

As soon as an objection is received, Acorn Finance will stop processing personal data for direct marketing purposes. This will be actioned at any stage and is free of charge. Our communications allow an opt-out at any point.

Automated decision making including profiling

Acorn Finance understand that any form of automated processing of personal data intended to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, or to analyse, or predict that person’s performance at work, economic situation, location, health, personal preferences, reliability, or behaviour falls under this right. Where this is conducted, the rules and guidance of the ICO will be adhered to and followed. To date, Acorn Finance does not conduct automated decision making including profiling.

Subject Access Requests (SAR)

Individuals who are the subject of personal data held by Acorn Finance are entitled to;

confirmation that their data is being processed; access to their personal data; and other supplementary information – this largely corresponds to the information that should be provided in a privacy notice Individuals contacting the company requesting this information, this is called a Subject Access Request.

Acorn Finance will provide a copy of the information free of charge. However, a ‘reasonable fee’ may be charged when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.

A reasonable fee may also be charged to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. The fee is based on the administrative cost of providing the information only.

Once the identity of the person making the request has been verified, the information will be provided within 1 month, this will be extended to 2 months if the request is complex. Notification will be made to the individual if this is the case.

Complaints

It is made clear that data subjects who wish to complain about how their personal data has been processed can raise this with Acorn Finance complaints procedure. If the data subject is still not happy, then the complaint can be referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Data Security and Storage

When data is stored on paper, it will be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see or have access to it. These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason;

  • When not required, the paper or files will be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
  • Employees always make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer
  • Data printouts will be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.
  • When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts
  • Data is protected by strong passwords or encryption products
  • If data is stored on removable media (like a CD or DVD), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used
  • Data will only be stored on designated drives and servers and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services
  • Servers containing personal data are sited in a secure location, away from general office space
  • Data is backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures
  • Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smartphones
  • All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.

The point that personal data is accessed is when it can be at greatest risk of loss, corruption, theft, unlawful access, Acorn Finance will;

  • When working with personal data, employees will ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended
  • Personal data is not shared informally. It will never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
  • Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically.
  • Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area unless contractual arrangements are in place highlighting adequate safeguards and protection to the rights of individuals.
  • Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.

How we will use the information about you

Here at Acorn Finance we take your privacy seriously and will use your personal information in several ways which will help us;

  1. Make lender decisions
  2. For fraud prevention
  3. For audit
  4. For statistical analysis
  5. Credit reference checks

We may share your information with, and obtain information about you from, credit reference agencies or fraud prevention agencies.

If you apply to us for insurance we will pass your details to the insurer.

The information you provided may be put onto a register of claims and shared with other insurers to prevent fraudulent claims.

We will not disclose your information to any company outside of Acorn Finance, our lending sources or other service providers as required to fulfil your requests to us, except to help prevent fraud or if required by law to do so.

For further information on how your information is used, how we maintain the security of your information and your rights to access/alter and change information we hold on you, please contact data@acorn.finance

Terms of business

In this Agreement ‘we’, ‘our’ and/or ‘us’ refers to Acorn Finance of  344-354 Gray’s Inn Road, London. WC1X 8BP. This document sets out how we will deal with you in the provision of services for Credit Broking. Acorn Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Acorn Finance is a Credit Broker with a portfolio of carefully chosen funders on our panel.

We have access to the entire market of commercial lenders.

Preliminaries and Legal Advice

1. You, the Client, confirm that you will receive our “working together” document and have had the opportunity to consider it and discuss it with us before agreeing to these terms. It describes how we will work together to apply for your loan. You also confirm that you have received a copy of these Terms of Business in good time and have had the opportunity to consider it, take legal advice upon it and discuss it with us before agreeing. We urge you to take legal advice from your own solicitor before signing this agreement.

Our Services & Engagement

2. We will at all times act in your best interests, we will source loans from the market that are suitable for the requirements you disclose to us. When the preferred option has been agreed, we will provide you with information about the loan and the type of provider of this to ensure you understand your responsibilities and commitments, before proceeding. Our aim is to provide you with a professional and confidential service that delivers the highest possible standards. However, there may be occasions where you feel this has not been achieved and should you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of the service we provide to you, you can do this by writing to Acorn Finance,  344-354 Gray’s Inn Road, London. WC1X 8BP or by telephoning us on where we will try to resolve your concern at the earliest time possible.

3. Generally, we will follow the steps set out in our“working together” document. We expect to arrange finance, within 90 days of signing this agreement. If for any reason no lender has made an offer of a loan to you within that time, we will discuss with you and agree in writing any further time in which to find you finance.

4. We will use our best endeavours to find finance with terms, charges, interest and repayment identical to or very similar to those set out in the Finance Information Summary (FIS) and negotiate with the lender on your behalf if the terms offered are not as expected.  We will always endeavour to provide any revised terms in another financial Information Summary but you, the client, acknowledge that due to time constraints this might not always be practical.  Should the finance fall outside these terms but be acceptable and you proceed then that will be deemed acceptance of the revised terms.

5. We may charge you a fee for the service we provide to you. The fee for this service is dependent on the financial product required to meet your needs and the provider selected. Our fee will be confirmed in a Financial Information Summary, which will be provided to you during our discussions. When an offer of finance is made to you, either on terms as set out in the Finance Information Summary or on terms substantially similar, you will pay us the fees as agreed within the Financial Information Summary.  Unless we agree otherwise then our fee will be 2% of the total funding amount for any commercial mortgage, 1.5% for any short-term property lending (bridging) or 2.5% for unsecured business loans or loans against short leasehold premises.  This is in addition to any assessment fee which may be charged.

5.1 The Completion Fee shall be payable not later than five weeks after the offer is made or on the completion or drawdown of the facility. If no offer of a loan is made, we will not charge you any fee other than the initial assessment fee. This may be refunded where you have disclosed all relevant information to us and if your estimation of valuation has not been the cause of such failure to obtain an offer. Occasionally reputable financial lenders describe their initial letter of offer in words such as “not (being) a formal offer of facilities” even though provided you follow the steps they stipulate, they will make the loan in due course. If such a letter is received, you agree that it should be taken to be an offer of a loan and that our fee will be payable.

Information

6. As explained in“working together”, lenders will require you to provide personal and financial information. You, the client and other key individuals must give us such information as we ask you to provide and is reasonably required to be incorporated into the application for the loan. You also agree to give us such other information we might later ask you to provide. We will not ask you to provide unnecessary or unreasonable information. If you do not provide the information we ask you for within a reasonable time after we have asked you for it, then it may be that we will be unable to progress your application for a loan. Should this occur, we may ask you and if we do so you agree, to pay us a sum equivalent to the fees as agreed within the Financial Information Summary although no formal offer of a loan has been made by a lender to recompense us for the work which we will have done. We will make any such request for the Fee in writing. You agree to pay that sum within 7 days of the date of our letter to you. We may in our absolute discretion ask you to make a payment which is less than the amount of the Success Fee. In that event, you agree to pay that sum within 7 days of the date of the letter to you.

7. You, the Client, agree always to be complete and honest in the provision of information to us. This applies to all the information you provide, whether we have asked for it or whether you have provided it voluntarily. You agree not to withhold any information from us. Should your circumstances change during negotiations you agree to inform us immediately. Lenders will often require a valuation or other report on the business from a suitably qualified professional. We will instruct one whose reports we know have been accepted as reliable by the lenders to which we propose to make your application for the loan. A fee will be charged for preparing the report. You, the Client agree to pay that fee before the report is prepared. You agree that the report will be addressed to us or the lender and will belong to us or the lender even though you paid the fee.

8. It is likely that lenders to which we send an application for your loan will want to meet you and interview you about the loan application. You, the Client, agree to attend for an interview if you are asked to. We agree to accompany you to the interview to provide support and assistance if requested.  If that interview is away from our offices you agree to cover reasonable expenses incurred in attending.

9. We will meet you, the Client, should you wish us to, to explain and discuss the terms of the offer of the loan made to you by the lender. Such meetings will normally be at our offices. If that meeting is away from our offices you agree to cover reasonable expenses incurred in attending. We also agree to liaise with your solicitor while he/she completes the legal formalities for the purchase.

Variation

10. We (you, the Client and us) agree that we can each vary the terms of this agreement after we have made it. Any variation of the terms must be set out in writing and any agreement to the variations must be made in writing.

Commissions

11. We receive a payment from certain funders. We may send your application for a loan to a funder which may make a (commission) payment to us. When payable we expect the payment to us to be between 0.5% and 5% of the loan granted. You, the Client, agree that we can still approach such lenders. We and the lender will disclose this in the offer documentation.

12. Where a third party has introduced you to us we may pay an introductory commission to them. This will be paid from our fees and will not impact on the charges we make to you.

Confidential and Other Information

13. You, the Client, and we shall at all times during the continuance of this Agreement and after its termination keep confidential all information that you or we may acquire in relation to the business or affairs of the other. Neither you nor we shall use the other’s confidential information for any purpose other than to perform your or our obligations under this Agreement. This obligation does and will not apply to information which is publicly available or becomes publicly available through no act or omission of that party; or that you or we are required to disclose by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or regulatory authority.

14. This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and both you, the Client, and we agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. Any waiver by you or us of a breach of any provisions of this Agreement shall not be considered as a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same or any other provision of this Agreement.

15. If any provision of this Agreement shall be found by any court or administrative body of jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remainder of this Agreement which will remain in full force and effect.

Data Protection Act 1998

16. When we provide services to you we will need to gather information about your personal circumstances. The information you provide to us will be subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”). By agreeing to this document you consent to us or any company associated with us processing, both manually and by electronic means, your personal data for the purposes of providing advice, administration and management.

17.“Processing” includes obtaining, recording or holding information or data, transferring it to other companies associated with us, lenders or statutory, governmental or regulatory bodies for legitimate purposes including, where relevant, to solicitors and/or other debt collection agencies for debt collection purposes and carrying out operations on the information or data.

18. In order to provide services to you, we may be required to pass your personal information to parties located outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) in countries that do not have Data Protection Laws equivalent to those in the UK. Where this is the case we will take reasonable steps to ensure the privacy of your information.

19. We may also contact you or pass your details to other companies associated with us to contact you (including by telephone) with details of any other similar products, promotions, or for related marketing purposes in which we think you may be interested. Please inform us if you would prefer not to be contacted.

20. The information provided may also contain sensitive personal data for the purposes of the Act, being information as to your physical or mental health or condition; the committing or alleged committing of any offence by you; any proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed by you, including the outcome or sentence in such proceedings; your political opinions; religious or similar beliefs; sexual life; or your membership of a Trade Union.

21. If at any time you wish us or any company associated with us to cease processing your personal data or sensitive personal data, or contacting you for marketing purposes, please contact The Data Protection Officer on or in writing at AcAcorn Finance,  344-354 Gray’s Inn Road, London. WC1X 8BP

22. You may be assured that we and any company associated with us will treat all personal data and sensitive personal data as confidential and will not process it other than for a legitimate purpose. Steps will be taken to ensure that the information is accurate, kept up to date and not kept for longer than is necessary. Measures will also be taken to safeguard against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss or destruction or damage to the data.

23. Subject to certain exceptions, you are entitled to have access to your personal and sensitive personal data held by us. You may be charged a fee (subject to the statutory maximum) for supplying you with such data. In order to process the application for funding we will need to be supplied with information, including accounts and personal financial details, by you, the Client, and by other sources such as your Bank and credit reference agencies. We may also, when authorised by you in writing, apply for supplementary information from your professional or other advisers. We will record this information (whether in manually operated or automated systems) and retain it only as long as we are required by law to do so. We will keep it as securely as possible. We will use the information to assess the application, to approach a number of selected funders and, subsequently, in negotiations for the issue of an offer of funding with them. In order to do so, we will disclose such of this information as is necessary to negotiate terms with a funding source, with employees of this business, any guarantor required by the funder, any person or organisation necessary to comply with any legal or regulatory requirements to which we may be subject, and anyone else whom you may specifically authorise in writing. We may also use the information to monitor and analyse our business and, unless you instruct us in writing not to do so, contact you with details of products or services which may be of interest to you.

24. In the event that we search with credit reference agencies, we will need to disclose information about you. The credit reference agencies will record details of our searches. If you would like details of the credit reference agencies please write to us at the address stated.

25. You, the Client, have the right to apply to us for details of the information we hold about you. We may make an administrative charge for doing so.

By completing a finance application, personal information form and accepting our Financial Information Summary you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. We intend to rely on this document for the services we provide to you and request that you provide your agreement to the Charges and Data Protection sections above. For your own benefit and protection, you should read these terms carefully before agreeing. If you do not understand any point please ask for further information before continuing.