Trustnet Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU?

We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.

COOKIES

In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.

HOW WE USE INFORMATION

We store and use information you provide as follows:

We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.

ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION AND CORRECTION

We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.

OTHER WEBSITES

Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

CONTACT

If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email publishing@financialexpress.net in the first instance.

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Structured Products



Consider

What do investors need to consider before buying a structured product?
Pros and cons
The benefit of structured products is that the range of underlying asset combinations available can accommodate an investor's view of the prospects for a particular asset or - for more complex investment strategies - mix of assets. Unlike traditional investment funds, with most structured products the investor is not exposed to a particular manager's style or ability. Also, investors will know how their upside participation is limited or enhanced by the terms of the offering and, in tandem with the degree of capital protection in the structure, the risk and return characteristics of the product will be both transparent and fixed.
Clearly, nobody likes to lose money, but after assessing the structured product's terms the investor can at least be certain of the best- and worst-case outcomes; the return may turn out to be disappointing, but at least nobody can say that they were unaware of the possibility that it would be so.
It is important that this assessment is based on the investor's aims and attitude towards risk: this can be fairly closely targeted by the mix that the product offers between capital preservation and the possibility of higher returns from more volatile investment vehicles.
Usually, the product has to be held to maturity if the capital protection is to operate. This is not a vehicle in which to hold money that may be needed at short notice, since exiting before the plan's maturity date could involve high charges.
A growth-based plan can yield positive returns even if direct investments in a market would have produced a loss. Income options can return more than your investment could earn on deposit. Either of these outcomes is available with a degree of capital protection.

Conversely, caps on participation rates will limit the returns investors could have made in a strongly rising market.
Death and taxes
These are subjects that revolve around the nature of the vehicle behind the structured product, and its tax domicile.
The earlier products were founded on life assurance bonds, and some of the underlying contracts were written by offices in jurisdictions like the Isle of Man, which is still a big offshore insurance centre today.
More recently, tax-efficiency has been increased through the establishment of offshore investment companies - many based in Dublin - and the use of Medium Term Notes (fixed-term bonds issued by major European banks).
Tax treatment will depend on which of these various instruments lies behind the product offering. The following guidelines are correct at the time of writing, but may change with new legislation.
UK life assurance bonds:
All growth and income gains are taxable, and basic-rate tax will be deducted at source. Higher-rate taxpayers are responsible for paying the difference between the tax already deducted and the higher rate that is due. Non-taxpayers cannot claim a refund of the tax deducted.
Offshore life assurance bonds: No tax deductions are made at source, and any proceeds from income or growth are paid to the investor gross. These must be declared on tax returns as they are received. However, this does mean that you will not have had tax deducted at source, and will not have to pay it if it is not due. Also, for investors in growth-type products, gains are only declarable when they are realised or repatriated to the UK, which provides a useful tax-deferral facility.
Life assurance bonds have one disadvantage, in that they do not qualify for ISA or PEP wrappers.
Offshore investment companies:
The structured product here consists of shares in a closed-end investment company, similar to UK Investment Trust. These are established for the purpose by well-known financial institutions in offshore centres.
Income from these plans is paid gross of tax and, as with offshore bonds, non-taxpayers will not have to pay any. Taxpayers will have to declare income, but since it is treated as an offshore dividend, it will be taxed at a lower rate than onshore payments. Any returns made under a growth option are subject to capital gains tax (CGT) rules, which means that they will be exempt up to the annual CGT personal limit, and will also qualify for taper relief if the shares have been held for three or more years.

These companies do qualify for ISA and PEP wrappers, thus adding a further layer of tax-efficiency.

Medium Term Notes (MTNs), or listed bonds:
These are fixed-term bonds issued by major European (including UK) banks. Tax treatment is not so advantageous as offshore companies, since investors must declare all income from this source, and pay tax at their highest rate. As before, returns from growth options above the annual personal limit are subject to CGT.
Upon death of the investor, life assurance-based products will pay out their proceeds to the investor's estate. Other products will transfer to the investor's estate, and be handled by the trustees according to the investor's wishes, but will lose their PEP or ISA eligibility in the process.
Timescales and costs
A structured product is an investment for a fixed term, at the maturity of which the plan is closed and investors are paid out. Typical investment periods will be five or six years, although shorter and longer terms are marketed. Plans with a 'kick-out' provision could mature earlier than their nominal term, if the investment return objectives have been met. In all cases it is important to hold the investment until maturity in order to avoid annulling any capital protection provisions, and the high costs of early withdrawal.
It is not unusual for some products to run for odd periods, like five years and three months, and the extra period allows for the final reckoning to be completed, and the plan's assets to be realised.
Costs are calculated at the outset, and taken into account in the product's projections. This means that 'what you see is what you get': the returns from the investment already have all the fees and charges deducted.
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