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Information for clients

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How we'll work together

Thanks for choosing Squirrel. We don’t take it lightly. We want to work together with you to ensure the best possible outcome. Read on to find out more about how we operate, what you can expect as a Squirrel client and our complaints process. If you'd like to download your own copy of the information on this page, you can do so here.

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The legal bit

Squirrel is a New Zealand owned and licensed financial services provider and mortgage brokerage. We help clients arrange mortgages with a large number of New Zealand banks and non-banks and also have our own mortgage products for borrowers and for retail investors via our peer-to-peer platform and managed funds. 

Squirrel Mortgages is a licensed Financial Advice Provider and regulated by the Financial Markets Authority to provide advice on mortgages and insurance. FSP 136364. 

Our Financial Advisers are all members of the industry professional body, Financial Advice New Zealand, and are members of the independent disputes resolution service Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL). 

Squirrel Money is licensed by the FMA as a peer-to-peer lender FSP 354706.

You'll find all our legal agreements on this page.

Scope of Service and Advice

What we'll do

We will help you arrange a mortgage or other forms of finance required to purchase or refinance a property. 

We will guide you through the process of buying property including helping you navigate your due diligence. 

Access to your very own property expert between 8:30am-5pm, five days a week

You can reach your adviser on the phone and via email, from anywhere. Handy if you live in Mongolia, or Tangimoana.

Impartial mortgage and property advice

Our mortgage brokers help first home buyers, property investors and busy professionals successfully buy around $1 billion of property every year. Our expert advice is usually free to you and will save you money so you can spend it on things you actually want. We can help you make the right property decisions, provide feedback on prospective properties, and help you with your due diligence once you find a place you like. 

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Advice on how to climb the property ladder

We look at and research hundreds of properties every month to help our clients get the best possible deals. Helping Kiwis find, buy, renovate, build, and finance property is what we do, so we are experts at it (if we do say so ourselves). 

We will offer you other financial products like life and general insurance. Where this is the case we will provide you with a financial adviser with that expertise or competency. 

Advice on how to pay your mortgage off faster

With a bit of structured planning and ongoing support we can help you shave years off your mortgage term. 

Who we use for mortgages

As well as the below main banks and finance companies we also work with Sovereign, Avanti Finance, Resimac, Liberty and DBR Property Financiers.

Who we use for insurance

We can help you with both life and general insurance and work with the following providers.

How we are paid

Commission

Squirrel advisers are paid salaries, not commission. This means they have no agenda to push any particular lender or insurer (the ‘Provider’) - they’re there only to find you the right home loan or insurance product. 

As a business, Squirrel is usually paid an upfront commission directly by the Provider and in some cases an additional trailing commission over the life of the loan or insurance policy. Commissions are typically calculated as a percentage of the loan value or issued insurance premium at a rate that can vary by Provider. 

This all means we don’t normally have to charge you for the services we provide. 

Service Fee Clawback Recovery Fee

In certain situations, Squirrel may have to charge you a service fee for services rendered, including where: 

An upfront commission is not offered by the Provider your loan will be sourced through; 

The services we provide you are advisory in nature or involve a significant amount of work that will not result a commissionable transaction; or 

Your loan is expected to be repaid within a short timeframe and thus incur a full commission clawback; 

Any proposed service fee will be discussed with you as soon as it becomes clear that it will be required and will only be charged following your formal acceptance of that fee. 

If a loan is repaid within 27 months of settlement (the ‘Clawback Period’), Squirrel may have some or all of the original upfront commission ‘clawed back’ by the Provider. To ensure that Squirrel is fairly compensated for the services originally provided to you, we may seek to recover some or all of this cost from you via a clawback recovery fee. 

If you are charged a clawback recovery fee, it will be charged at the lower of the actual commission clawback amount or 0.35% of the balance repaid. For example: $500,000 of lending repaid within the clawback period would result in Squirrel charging you a clawback recovery fee of up to $1,750. 

Examples of when we may charge you a clawback recovery fee include: 

The property is refinanced within the clawback period and Squirrel was not given the opportunity to arrange the refinance; 

The property is sold and/or the loan repaid within the clawback period. 

We will not charge you a clawback recovery fee if we were given the opportunity to secure new lending or refinancing for you but were unable to at least match a finance approval that you obtained elsewhere, or if we charged you an upfront Service Fee for arranging the original loan.

Conflicts of Interest

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We are unbiased

Squirrel advisers are paid salaries and do not receive any incentive to put one provider’s product in front of another including our own. Our promise is to always provide the best possible solution to clients and put a clients interests first. 

Unlike other mortgage broker firms we do not have a formal or financial relationship with real estate agencies or property investment firms. Our company has a policy of not paying third parties for referrals and for maintaining the independence of our financial advisors. 

From time-to-time we may have a direct or indirect relationship with the buyer or seller of a property and this will be disclosed to you. 

How we manage a conflict of interest

We maintain a register of conflicts of interest. This register is maintained and disclosure guidance provided to advisers as required. Where there is potential for a conflict of interest you can expect this to be properly and fully disclosed to you. 

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If you would like to make a complaint

Our internal complaints handling process is as follows:

We want to give you the best experience possible. If we’ve let you down in any way, please let us know and we’ll do our best to make things right.

For a complaint about a mortgage or dealing with an adviser:
  1. Address your complaint with your Adviser to make sure they are aware of your concerns. This will start the official process. In most cases, we will endeavour to contact you within 48 hours.

  2. If your complaint is not resolved by Step 1, you can call or email Squirrel’s Chief Customer Officer – Dan Bell by calling 021 913 663 or email dan@squirrel.co.nz.  Dan will get back to you within 48 hours either with a solution or next steps.

  3. If your complaint cannot be resolved through our internal complaints process in steps 1 and 2 we encourage you to refer to our independent disputes resolution scheme Financial Services Complaints Ltd.

For a complaint about borrowing or investing with Squirrel:
  1. Phone 0800 21 22 33 or email money@squirrel.co.nz. Someone will get back to you within 24 hours either with a solution or next steps.

  2. If your complaint cannot be resolved through our internal complaints process in steps 1 and 2 we encourage you to refer to our independent disputes resolution scheme Financial Services Complaints Ltd.

     

Our external complaints process:

If we cannot agree on how to fix the issue, or if you decide not to use the internal complaints scheme, you can contact our external disputes resolution scheme – FSCL services. This service will cost you nothing, and will help us resolve any disagreements. 

How you can contact FSCL services

Address: PO Box 5967, Wellington 
Email address: info@fscl.org.nz

Privacy Policy

Anything you discuss with us, and any information you give us, stays secure and confidential. If you want to see or correct any of that information at any time, you can. 

Information provided by you will be used by Squirrel for the purpose of providing advice to you and may also be used by any lender or insurer when implementing any of our recommendations. 

If you are referred to us for a mortgage by a third-party that has a referral relationship with us, such as a construction company or builder, we may provide a representative of that third-party the status of your loan application to enable that third-party to provide products or services to you. 

We may also release information to other professionals such as solicitors, accountants, finance brokers or financial planners when such services are required to complement our advice and as requested by you. From time to time we share customer demographic and location data with contracted third parties to assist us with market research, targeting and analysis to help make our services better. This does not include sharing information that specifically identifies you the individual. You can access our full Privacy Policy here.

Disclosure

You can request our disclosure statement by calling 0800 212 230 or you'll find it on our legal agreements page. All Rights Reserved.