Before you invest or deposit money
Obtain sufficient information and familiarise yourself with it
As a customer, before making a decision you must obtain sufficient information about product features, contract terms and conditions, costs and the party responsible for the product. You are responsible for the investment decisions you make – even if, in retrospect, they turn out to be bad ones.
The seller is obliged to explain to you all pertinent and essential features of the marketed service or product.
As a customer, it is worth remembering that the seller’s motivation is to make a sale and that product marketing is not always objective.
Give the seller correct information
For the seller to be able to serve you in the best way possible, you should give the seller sufficient information about your life situation, your financial position, savings and investment experience, and your goals.
To avoid mistaken assumptions and false expectations, you and the seller should discuss the following:
- What are your savings and investment goals?
- What kind of savings and investment products have you had before?
- Are there any products you would not like to have?
- How much are you able to save or invest?
- Would you like to make a one-time investment or invest smaller amounts, for example monthly?
- How much risk are you willing and able to accept?
- How much of your invested capital can you lose without losing sleep? The higher the return expectation, the higher the risk of losing capital you have to accept.
- For how long are you ready to commit your funds?
- Can the funds be committed for the entire expected duration of the investment or is the option of prematurely terminating the contract important to you?
- How high a return are you accustomed to and what are your return expectations now?
- Do you understand how the return is determined?
- Would you like to receive a regular return?
- Should the amount of return be predictable?
Based on your answers to these questions, it will be easier for you and the seller to choose products that the seller will give you further information about.
This information should be provided by the seller
The seller must give you, at least, the following information:
- information on the seller, the service provider responsible for the service or product and their home country
- key features of the product
- recommended minimum duration of the investment
- whether the contract can be changed during its term
- how you can withdraw from the contract prematurely and what the resulting costs would be
- possible cancellation period of the contract
- risks related to the product and whether there is a risk of capital loss
- expected return and principles of determining the return
- charges and fees (debit principles, at the least, as well as how and from where charges and fees are debited)
- what kind of reports you will receive
- how you can monitor the value of the product and the development of the return and how active you must be in monitoring them
- the kind of professional services associated or potentially associated with the product (for example change of investment targets, changes of emphasis, market warnings and whether there are any portfolio management services associated with the product)
- other factors affecting the product (for example deposit guarantee or equivalent protection arrangements, how the product is handled in terms of taxation and, in terms of insurance products, whether they include life insurance)
- the supervisory authority and its contact details
- in terms of foreign products: in what language is information made available and matters dealt with, what country’s legislation governs the agreement and where any legal proceedings would take place.
Consider your decision calmly before signing a contract
Consider any offer you receive calmly and familiarise yourself carefully with the written material you are given. Before making a decision, read the product brochure, the terms and conditions related to the product and visit the seller’s website. It is also worth getting to know other products and services offered by other service providers.
Before signing a contract, go through agreed aspects and the key points of the contract once again with the seller.
Do not sign anything before you are certain you understand what you are getting yourself involved in. Responsible sellers do not rush customers into making savings or investment decisions.
Save the documents you receive
During the sales process, the seller gathers basic information about you which the seller then saves if you enter into an agreement. Also, it is good to keep all the material you receive, so it is easier to settle any disputes that may arise.
If a customer relationship does not arise, the seller may not keep the information gathered nor use it for any other marketing purposes without your express consent. With respect to insurance, the insurance company may save such information which would serve to show that rejection of the insurance policy has been in keeping with the principles of good insurance practice.
Where can you get impartial additional information?
The seller is required to inform you about where you can obtain additional information and what you can do in the event of problems.
If a problem cannot be resolved in discussions with the seller or the party responsible for the product, impartial assistance is available from various bodies. You can obtain more detailed information, for example from the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau FINE (telephone +358 9 6850 120, Mondays to Thursdays, 10 am to 4 pm).