In this Agreement ‘we’, ‘our’ and/or ‘us’ refers to Acorn Finance of 4 Clifton Moor Business Village, York YO30 4XG. This document sets out how we will deal with you in the provision of services for Credit Broking. Acorn Commercial Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Acorn Commercial 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 have received our “working together” document and have had the opportunity to consider it and discuss it with us before agreeing to our 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 to 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, 4 Clifton Moor Business Village, York. YO30 4XG or by telephoning us on 01904 693700 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. Should the finance fall outside these terms but be acceptable and you proceed then that will be deemed acceptance of the revised terms.
Offer of Loan and Our Fee
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 Success Fee and Completion Fee. 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 charged.
5.1 The Completion Fee shall be payable five weeks after the offer is made or on completion or draw down of the facility, which ever is soonest. 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.
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 Success Fee and the Completion Fee 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 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.
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.
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 01904 693700 or in writing at Acorn Commercial Finance, 4 Clifton Moor Business Village, York. YO30 4XG.
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.