What you will find in this document
- Introducing ourselves
- Our Regulator
- HSBC Policy on Conflicts of Interest
- Loan Protector Plan
- Your instructions
- Fees and commissions
- Compensation Schemes
- Contacting you
- Data Privacy & Confidentiality
- Verification of Identity and Other Information
- Our responsibilities and your responsibilities
- Sanctions, Fraud and Prevention of Money Laundering
- Cooling-off Period
- Applicable law & jurisdiction
- Representations and Warranties
- Overseas Residents
- Amending these terms
These Terms of Business replace the terms of any Terms of Business which we have previously entered into with you in respect of Execution Only services.
The Mortgage Protection Managers of HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. (the “Bank”) will offer execution only services relating to the reducing protection policy named “Loan Protector Plan”.
The Loan Protector Plan is offered by HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Limited which is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.
The manufacturer/insurer is HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Limited (hereafter referred to “HSBC Life”) and HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. will be acting as Distributor.
1. Introducing ourselves
HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. (C3177) having its registered address at 116, Archbishop Street, Valletta, Malta, VLT 1444 is a member of the HSBC Group.1
2. Our Regulator
The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), is located in Triq l-Imdina, Zone 1, Central Business District, Birkirkara CBD 1010.
3.1 The provision of execution only services2 in relation to insurance cover shall be provided by the Bank only in Malta, on a face to face basis within the premises of HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.
3.2 You can contact us at the address, telephone number and email shown on your Mortgage Protection Manager’s business card.
3.3 You will have the opportunity to communicate with the Bank either in Maltese or in English.
3.4 During meetings, you will have the option to choose how to receive pre-disclosures, product documentation and other documents.
Documents may be provided in hard copy or via secure email. Where provision of documents is via secure email, as your preferred option, and you also request that documents are provided in hard copy, the Mortgage Protection Manager will, provide such documents to you also in hard copy.
Where documents are provided via secure email, the Bank will use the email address it has in its records.
Please ensure that any changes e.g. your contact details (telephone number, email address, correspondence address and residential address) are immediately communicated to the Bank who will ensure your records are amended. If you fail to do so, you may not receive communications which could be important, including notices about changes to the Terms of Business.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your information can be accessed or used only by people who have your permission to do so.
In addition, please inform us immediately in the event your residency and/or citizenship status changes or if there is any other material change to the information you have previously given to us. You must provide us with any information we reasonably require about your identity or affairs.
4. HSBC Policy on Conflicts of Interest
An HSBC Policy on Conflicts of Interest is in place. Please refer to the Appendix at the end of this terms of business for further information.
5. Loan Protector Plan
When we act upon your direct instructions to buy a Loan Protector Plan, which will be used as security for your mortgage, any information provided will not constitute advice.
The Bank will assess your insurance demands and needs and may assist in the completion of the proposal form and will provide policy documents and collect the premium. The Bank cannot accept the risk on behalf of the insurer. Only the insurer can decide whether the risk is acceptable or not and at what premium.
Should there be a claim, the Bank may assist you to obtain a Claim Form and deliver it to the insurer. However, the claim is then handled directly by the insurer. In the case that a claim is accepted, and a settlement is due, the insurer may process settlement either through the Bank or directly with you.
In the case of life insurance policies purchased for mortgage purposes, you may purchase such policies from other insurance companies that also satisfy the Bank’s requirements and you are always free to choose from where to purchase your policy.
6. Your instructions
6.1 We require you to give us instructions in writing, to avoid possible disputes. Where an email address has been provided to the Bank, subsequent instructions and communication by email may also be accepted.
6.2 You will advise us in writing of any individuals authorised to instruct us on your behalf. We would need to identify such individuals as detailed in Section 11 and they shall provide us with specimen copies of their signatures. We may, without further enquiry, accept and act on the instructions of any person who is, or in good faith is believed to be, authorised to give such instructions.
6.3 We may however refuse to act on your instructions or those given on your behalf if we are in any doubt as to their authenticity or if acting on them would be a breach of any law, market practice, HSBC Group policies or rules and regulations of any relevant self-regulatory organisation to which we may belong.
Please refer also to Section 12.3.
7. Fees and commissions
7.1 Although we do not currently charge fees for execution only services in relation to insurance cover, we may do so in respect of certain services you ask us to provide. However, before we carry out any chargeable work, you will be given written details of the fees to be charged. Where the amount cannot be ascertained, the method of calculating that amount will be clearly disclosed prior to providing the service. Once we have provided such notification, you will pay us, on demand, such costs and charges.
7.2 We may pay and/or receive fees, commissions and/or non-monetary benefits to and from a company in the HSBC Group or other third party, provided this is in line with the requirements on conflicts of interest or inducements set out in the MFSA Conduct of Business Rulebook.
Examples of non-monetary benefits include: participation in conferences, seminars and other training events on the benefits and features of a specific product or a service, information or documentation relating to a product or a service, hospitality of a reasonable de minimis value, such as food and drink during a business meeting or a conference, seminar or other training events.
Any fees and/or commissions we receive, will be incorporated in the premium paid to the policy account and such fees and/ or commissions will be disclosed to you by the Mortgage Protection Manager during the meeting and disclosed separately in other product documentation.
Details of all the terms and conditions including fees related to the Loan Protector Plan are available in the product literature which is available from all our HSBC branches and/or HSBC Life Assurance Malta Ltd. It is important that you take the time to fully review and understand such documentation. The binding terms of the Loan Protector Plan will be as set out in the product terms.
8. Compensation Schemes
As HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. is authorised and regulated by the MFSA, you may have the right to claim compensation under the Protection and Compensation Fund (established under the Protection and Compensation Fund Regulations, 2003).
The purpose of the Protection and Compensation Fund is limited to:
- pay for any claims against an insurer which have remained unpaid because the insurer became insolvent. These claims must be in respect of protected risks situated in Malta or protected commitments where Malta is the country of commitment; and
- compensate victims of road traffic accidents in certain specified circumstances. No interest shall be payable by us on such monies held for your account
More information may be obtained from www.compensationschemes.org.mt.
9. Contacting you
Unless you advise us to the contrary (in which case this will be documented by the Bank), we will assume that you agree to us communicating with you by telephone, letter and/or by email.
You agree that we may use any contact details you have provided to us, including your postal address, telephone number(s) (including your mobile telephone number) and email address to contact you. The Bank may also make use of contact details provided by you to HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Ltd. You also agree that we may contact you for service or operational reasons on any address in which you appear to hold any abode and which may be obtained by us from any public sources (including the electoral register and MFSA website amongst others).
For your security, and to enable us to comply with HSBC Group procedures and regulatory requirements, telephone calls made or received by our Mortgage Protection Managers will be recorded. We will also keep records of e-mails and other communication/s between us. Such recordings will be stored and accessed in line with HSBC Group procedures and applicable rules and regulations. Such records will be kept for a period of 5 years or as long as may be required in terms of any applicable law and you may ask us for a copy of such records during this period. These records remain our sole property and may be used as evidence in any dispute or anticipated dispute.
10. Data Privacy & Confidentiality
The way we process and share personal and/or confidential information about you and your affairs with the Bank as well as the way we use such information for marketing purposes is explained in our Privacy Notice which you may obtain from our website www.hsbc.com.mt, from any of our branches or by calling us on (+356) 2380 2380.
Our Privacy Notice for Retail Business applies to personal information held by HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. and HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Ltd as data controllers. It explains what information we collect about you, how we will use that information, who we will share it with, the circumstances when we will share it and what steps we will take to make sure it stays private and secure. It continues to apply even if your agreement for banking, insurance, investment or other products and services with us ends. It should also be read alongside your banking and/or other product terms and conditions, as these may also include sections relating to the use and disclosure of information.
For the purpose of HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. being able to satisfy its obligations under the Banking Act of 1994 and the Professional Secrecy Act of 1994, you hereby give your express consent to us sharing your information with other members of the HSBC group (HSBC Holdings plc, and/or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, associated entities, and any of their branches or offices) and any other third parties when this is necessary for us to be able to provide you with the services you have requested from us and this, in the manner and to the extent explained in Our Privacy Notice.
11. Verification of Identity and Other Information
Prior to proceeding with your request, in order to protect our customers, you are required to produce satisfactory evidence to enable the Bank to validate your identity. Ideally, this will be by way of an identity card, residence card or passport. If you are unable to provide a satisfactory identification document, then we will not be able to conduct business with you.
Additionally, as part of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and the Bank’s ongoing monitoring obligations, if during this transaction it is identified that there are any changes to your identification document which also include a change in the residential address (e.g. an update of an expired identification document) from the one held in the Bank’s records, we would be bound to make and retain photocopies of the latest identity document that you provide. In cases, where you advise the Bank with a change of residential address, and the address information is not held in the identity document that you provided (such as a passport), then alternative documents to validate your new residential address would be required (such as a recent utility bill, or a recent statement or reference letter from a reputable credit institution or a valid lease agreement).
The Mortgage Protection Manager will be asking for information relating to ‘Source of Funds’ and ‘Source of Wealth’.
12. Our responsibilities and your responsibilities
12.1 The Bank is not liable for:
i. Errors of judgement made in good faith;
ii. Acts or omissions in the course of our service, or any partial or total non-performance of our obligations under these Terms arising from:
- interruption of power supplies
- machinery failures; or
- other causes beyond our control
We will only be liable for acts or omissions arising from our negligence, fraud or wilful default.
12.2 Nothing in these Terms shall exclude or restrict:
i. any obligation which we have to you under the Insurance Distribution Act; or
ii. any liability which we may incur under the Insurance Distribution Act 2006, the Insurance Distribution Rules or the MFSA Conduct of Business Rulebook in respect of a breach of any such obligation.
12.3 It is your responsibility to ensure that accurate and up to date information is given during meetings held with the Bank and at any other time thereafter because this information will be relied upon and used by the Mortgage Protection Manager.
Therefore, during the completion of application forms, proposal form, or any other document, the Mortgage Protection Manager is responsible to verbally inform you that all the answers or statements are your own responsibility.
The Bank must also be promptly updated with any material changes to any information provided including email address, residency and correspondence address, and telephone number you wish to be contacted on. Providing incorrect or inaccurate information may result in business being declined by the Bank. Please refer also to your disclosure obligations described further below.
The Bank will not be liable for any loss to you if it declines business or refuses to follow your instructions as a result of you not providing it with any information it reasonably requests or if it becomes aware that the information you provided is no longer accurate or up to date.
If you are or become knowledgeable of any material facts concerning the risk being discussed or insured that you feel the insurer/manufacturer should be made aware of, please advise us immediately. It is your duty to disclose all material circumstances and give a fair presentation of the risk. Material facts include any information which could in any way influence the insurer’s consideration and assessment of the acceptability and terms to be applied to a risk.
These disclosure obligations are of a continuous nature operating before the policy of insurance commences, at the time of renewal or extension, when lodging a claim as well as throughout the duration of the policy period. Not conforming to such obligations can have serious consequences on the operation of your protection and may enable insurers to void an otherwise identifiable claim thereunder. If you are in doubt as to whether a circumstance constitutes a material fact, you should disclose it.
You should be advised (verbally), that the consequences of failure to make full disclosure of information of the relevant facts, including providing incomplete and/or inaccurate information, may lead to a number of consequences as follows:
a. That a policy may be cancelled;
b. That claims may not be paid or be rejected;
c. The difficulty you may encounter in trying to purchase insurance elsewhere.
12.4 Taxation depends on a combination of your individual circumstances and government tax legislation. HSBC does not provide tax or tax credit advice.
The Bank strongly suggests that you seek independent tax advice, for any obligations emanating from any tax related legislation currently in force and which may change from time to time.
You should contact an independent tax advisor or the Inland Revenue Department directly for tax advice or for tax related queries.
13. Sanctions, Fraud and Prevention of Money Laundering
We and other members of the HSBC Group are required to act in accordance with the laws and regulations and requests of public and regulatory authorities in various jurisdictions which relate to the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing and the provision of financial and other services to any persons or entities which may be subject to sanctions. We or any other member of the HSBC Group may without any liability, take whatever action we consider appropriate to meet any obligations, either in Malta or elsewhere in the world, relating to the prevention of fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist activity and in the provision of financial and other services to persons who may be subject to sanctions.
We or any other member of the HSBC Group may also, without any liability, take whatever action we consider appropriate in case we know or suspect a breach of security or other suspicious circumstances in respect of or in connection with the operation of one or more of your investments/insurance products. This may include, but is not limited to, investigating and intercepting payments into and out of your investments/insurance products and investigating the source of or intended recipient of funds. It may also include making enquiries to establish whether an investment account holder/policy holder/ recipient is subject to sanctions issued by any authority having jurisdiction over any part of the HSBC Group, in Malta or abroad including United Nations Security Council (“UN”), the United Kingdom (“UK”), the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HK”), the European Union (“EU”) and the United States of America (“US”). Exceptionally, this may delay the carrying out of your instructions or the receipt of funds, prevent/block access to your funds or even block or close your investment/s or insurance product/s without giving you notice or reason except where expressly required by law or contract to provide you with such notice or reason.
To the extent permissible by law, no member of HSBC Group shall be liable to you or any third party in respect of any loss (however it arose) that was suffered or incurred by you or a third party, caused in whole or in part in connection with the actions set out in this clause.
You, or we, may terminate our authority to act on your behalf at any time without penalty. Notice must be given in writing and will take immediate effect. Termination will be without prejudice to the completion of any outstanding transactions and the collection of any outstanding expenses, fees or commissions. This may also require that we terminate the Nominee relationship. Please refer to the Nominee Terms and Conditions.
15. Cooling-off Period
You have the right to cancel the policy within thirty (30) days from receiving the Statutory Notice (a document the insurer issues which informs you of your right to cancel the Policy during the Cooling-Off Period and for which you are to acknowledge receipt), by completing and returning the Notice of Cancellation which we send to you together with the Statutory Notice to HSBC Life or the Bank. In this case the Policy will be null and void. Any Premiums paid will be refunded in full. No benefit can be claimed under such Policy once the Notice of Cancellation has been sent to HSBC Life or the Bank. Any such Notice of Cancellation shall be irrevocable once sent.
The Statutory Notice and the right of cancellation will not be applicable:
- if the policyholder is not an individual person
- if the Policy has been taken out by the Policyholder in order to obtain credit or loan facilities and evidence of this is attached to the proposal form
Thus, considering you have agreed to take out this policy which is to obtain loan facilities (to cover your mortgage), the Statutory Notice and the right of cancellation do not apply.
16.1 At HSBC, we are committed to providing you with the best customer experience we can. We would like you to let us know, as soon as possible, whenever our service does not meet your expectations so we may promptly address your concerns.
To register a complaint please feel free to contact us by:
- telephone: 2380 2380
- secure Internet Banking Message
- letter addressed as follows:
HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.
The Customer Relations Manager
- in person – to the Branch Manager or your respective Mortgage Protection Manager
16.2 If your concern is not resolved within 48 hours we will send an acknowledgement indicating the timeframe for resolving your complaint.
16.3 Following a detailed investigation, we will provide you with a response to your concern in the agreed upon timeframe, containing details of our investigation, our decision and an explanation on how it was reached.
16.4 If you then feel that your concern has not been dealt with in a satisfactory manner, you may refer the matter to the Arbiter for Financial Services (see details below) or you may consider instituting civil action:
Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services
St Calcedonius Square
Floriana, FRN 1530
Freephone number: 8007 2366
Telephone number: 2124 9245
Details on how to lodge a complaint may be found on the financial arbiter’s website.
17. Applicable law & jurisdiction
These terms of business are construed in accordance with the laws of Malta and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Maltese Courts.
18. Representations and Warranties
You represent and warrant, now and on a continuing basis throughout the duration of your relationship with us, that:
- you are not under any legal disability which prevents you from entering into this Terms of Business or any agreement related to the product/service provided by us
- you are not subject to any law and/or regulation which prevents you from entering into this Terms of Business or any agreement related to the product/service provided by us and from performing your obligations including purchasing of investment and insurance products recommended/specifically purchased on your own initiative
- the execution, delivery and performance by you of this Terms of Business or any agreement related to the service/product provided will not violate or conflict with any applicable law and/or regulation
- you are in compliance with all laws to which you are subject, including, without limitation, all tax laws and regulations, exchange control requirements, and registration requirements; and
- the information provided by you is complete, accurate, up-to-date, and is not misleading in any respect. In the event that the information is not complete, accurate and/or is misleading, you agree to indemnify us against all actions, costs and demands arising from any information provided by you
19. Overseas Residents
The Bank will only allow sales from customers who are located in Malta. In fact, the Services provided by the Bank may not be available in countries where the use thereof is prohibited by local law.
If in doubt, you should contact a legal adviser. The Bank will not be responsible for the use of its Services by persons in countries where the use of such Services is prohibited.
You hereby agree to indemnify the Bank in respect of any action, claim or proceeding brought against the Bank as a result of you using any of the Bank’s services that are prohibited by local law in your country of residence. You will remain liable for any costs the Bank may incur in this regard.
Please note that HSBC Life reserves the right to terminate or freeze your contract of insurance if upon changing the country of habitual residence or nationality outside Malta, the new country of residence or nationality is not within the list of countries that HSBC conducts business of insurance in. Failure to notify us of such change in residence or nationality may affect your rights under this contract of insurance such as declining service requests in relation to this policy.
20. Amending these terms
20.1 The clauses below set out our rights to change these Terms of Business during the period we are providing you with Insurance Distribution services and the notice we will give you.
20.2 We may only make changes to these Terms of Business for any of the reasons set out below:
- if the change is favourable to you
- following or in anticipation of, and to respond to a change in relevant law or regulation or to respond to a change in industry guidance or code of practice or good practice
- to respond to the making of a relevant recommendation requirement or decision of any Court, Ombudsman, Regulator or similar body
- to respond to the costs or consequences of any event beyond our control that may impact our provision of accounts, services or facilities to you
- to respond to any change in our systems or procedures including any change arising from any re-organisation of our business as a result of it being acquired by, or by our acquiring another Bank or organisation
20.3 Where we do make a change, the change will be proportionate to the reasons for the change.
20.4 If we reasonably consider that the change is favourable to you or that it has no material impact on you, we will not give you any notification of such change. Such changes will be shown in an updated version of our Terms of Business document that can be obtained from any of our branches or through the Bank’s Internet site.
For other changes that are material or unfavourable to you we will give you at least 14 days’ notice in advance of the change coming into effect. We will provide you with this notice in writing by mail, email or via our Internet Banking.
20.5 When we give you advance notice of a change before the change takes effect, you may end your relationship with us by writing to us before the expiry of such notice.
For any information or details on the content, please contact:
HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.
HSBC Wealth and Personal Banking
HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.
Appendix - HSBC Conflicts of Interest Policy
A Conflict of Interest (“conflict”) is a situation or arrangement where we – or someone who works for us – come under multiple influences in the course of conducting business. Competition between these influences might adversely affect decision-making or outcomes.
A conflict can be due to:
- the competition of legitimate influences, such as acting for multiple clients; or
- the presence of harmful influences, such as personal gain
Because we provide a wide range of services across our global network, our interests could conflict with yours from time to time.
We have established policies and procedures designed to identify, and prevent or manage conflicts. Our aim is to safeguard your interests. We review our conflicts policies at least annually.
How we deal with conflicts
We design our organisational structures so that we do not incentivise or reward behaviour that could lead to conflicts. Where necessary, we restrict the flow of information to certain employees in order to protect your interests.
We have procedures in place to:
- identify all types of potential conflicts that could reasonably arise in the context of our activities
- maintain registers of all potential conflicts identified
- prevent or manage conflicts on an ongoing basis
- disclose conflicts where appropriate
- maintain evidence of all occurrences of conflicts that cannot be managed
Each of our Global Businesses is required to consider the types of potential conflict relevant to the specific services and activities they carry out.
For example, we consider potential conflicts when:
i. Developing a new product;
ii. Establishing or amending any cross-referral, revenue sharing or joint venture arrangements;
iii. Transferring businesses, activities or operations (or parts thereof) to another part of HSBC.
When potential conflicts involve clients, we also take into account whether our employees or we:
- are likely to make a financial gain or avoid a financial loss at your expense
- have an interest in the outcome of a service or transaction that differs from yours
- have a financial or other incentive to favour the interest of one client (or group of clients) over another
- carry on the same business as you
- will receive an inducement from anyone other than you in relation to a service we provide
We maintain internal registers, documenting and evaluating all identified potential conflicts. These registers also record the controls in place to prevent or manage each type of conflict, and our senior managers regularly review them.
Preventing or managing conflicts
We pay, deploy and manage our employees in a way that minimises conflicts.
Conflicts clearing procedures ensure that, where necessary, we escalate and manage potential conflicts before we commit to a transaction.
In some cases, we will consider declining to act for you or another client. For example, if:
- a conflict is too great
- confidentiality obligations prevent adequate disclosure – see below
- we cannot obtain informed consent, or this is an insufficient control to manage a conflict
A dedicated Conflicts Management Office, reporting to the Compliance department, is the point of escalation for significant conflicts, and resolves cross-business conflicts brought to its attention. Written reports on the services and activities reflected in the registers of conflicts are presented to our senior management at least annually.
We may make general disclosures to you about certain types of potential conflicts, explaining how we manage such conflicts to mitigate the risk of damage to your interests. For example, through separation of businesses or measures to prevent unauthorised sharing of confidential information.
However, where we have made all reasonable efforts to prevent or manage a conflict but the risk of damage to your interests remains, we will make a specific disclosure to you in writing before concluding a contract. We will include sufficient detail to enable you to take an informed decision.
At times, a duty of confidentiality to one client might limit the disclosures that we can make to another.
We require our employees to apply good judgement and act with integrity, objectivity and independence of mind. We ask them to take all appropriate steps to:
i. Avoid personal conflicts, for example, in their personal account dealings
ii. Proactively escalate personal conflicts that do arise.
No employee is permitted to advise a client on any matter in which they have a personal interest, nor take commercial decisions on our behalf if those decisions are connected to their personal or external business affairs until steps have been taken to satisfactorily manage the conflict.
1 The HSBC Group means HSBC Holdings p.l.c., its subsidiaries and its associated companies.
2 When providing “execution only” services, such services are being provided at your initiative, where the Bank will be merely executing your specific instructions without providing you with any advice. Please be aware that when acting in this manner, the Bank will be obtaining information to specify your demands and needs. Since we only sell pure protection products on an execution only basis, the Bank will not carry out a suitability or appropriateness assessment to assess or recommend the transaction as suitable or appropriate for you and you are responsible for ensuring the transaction is suitable or appropriate for you. Therefore, you will not benefit from the protection of the MFSA Conduct of Business rules.