Top 150 Client Questions

Why is your FAQ more extensive?

Our FAQ is longer than the industry standard – but we like that. Cameron James (CJ) believes clients deserve clear and accessible information. It allows you to educate yourself and decide if you are a good fit for us.

We are passionate about improving client knowledge. For every relevant new question we receive, a £20.00 credit will be applied to your future CJ services. This is our thank you for helping us improve the understanding of more clients.

1. Due Diligence

Regulation, Qualifications & Security

Due diligence should always come first, especially when it involves your money. Everyone wants to enter a relationship feeling comfortable. At CJ, we encourage clients to do their due diligence on us. It improves our advice process as clients are more informed on areas such as regulation and security, allowing us to focus on your area of advice.

Complete your due diligence at your pace and Contact Us when you are ready. Our FAQ continues to grow, so if your question is not listed, ask us, and we will answer within 24hrs.

Cameron James is FCA, FSC and CySEC regulated. We are also EU MiFID II regulated. Markets in Financial Instruments Directive – (MiFID II) is a legislative framework from the European Union to better regulate financial markets and improve investor protections and outcomes.

MiFID II is the gold standard of financial regulation in Europe. Being MiFID II regulated ensures all financial advice CJ provides is monitored to the highest levels of European investor protections. MiFID II is valuable for expats clients residing beyond the EU who want accountable and regulated advice.

Directly obtaining an EU MiFID II licence is extremely costly. There are also significant costs in maintaining this licence annually. As such, it is more cost-effective for CJ to have a business relationship with BFMCL and pay them a percentage of earnings in return for this regulation. This helps to reduce costs for our clients.

Directly on the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission – Regulated Entities Register. You will see the trading name of Cameron James/BFMI listed halfway down the page. That confirms our regulation and can be checked online 24/7.

You can check our FCA regulation on Financial Services Register by searching for Cameron James.

Our BFMCL regulation can be checked on Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySEC).

MiFID II offers greater protection for investors by injecting greater transparency into all asset classes. It is the most extensive financial legislation available in Europe and has more than 1.4m paragraphs of rules which are continuously growing. We cannot list all the rules here, but it provides clients with peace of mind (The Financial Times).

No. Our regulators do not control what advice CJ can give or which providers or solutions to use. CJ and its Financial Advisers are independent in the advice they give. Our regulators are there to review and approve the advice we provide not instruct on which advice we can give.

Yes, Cameron James Limited are an FCA regulated firm (Reference number 945566). Kindly click the link in the previous sentence, to independently check our status with the FCA. As best practice, we advise you to check the FCA register for any IFA firms or IFA you might be researching to work with whether you are UK resident or not UK-resident, as invariable you will be dealing with UK pensions assets.
You can also find our Founder and CEO, Dominic James Murray, on the FCA Register. Along with our IFA’s in the team. Our Advisers also adhere to UK guidelines on RDR Level 4 minimum advice qualifications.

CJ is always your first point of call. If you are still unhappy though there is a transparent Complaint Process. It can be argued that with our regulators reviewing any complaints, it provides a more unbiased assessment than CJ reviewing its client complaints. We are pleased to confirm that CJ has not had a complaint.

If you have a complaint you should contact a respective regulatory body as per our Complaint Process page:

  • Blacktower Financial Management – for UK residents
  • Blacktower Financial Management Cyprus Limited / Blacktower Insurance Agents & Advisors – for EU residents.
  • Blacktower Financial Management International – for clients residing outside UK, US or EU.

All our Advisers complete weekly Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training. That ensures they are up-to-date on industry changes and best positioned to provide your advice. This is very relevant in areas such as pension planning where the regulatory landscape changes continuously.

Our Advisers hold UK RDR Level 4 qualifications as a minimum. Typically, in addition to their higher education Undergraduate Degrees (BSc) and Postgraduate Degrees (MSc).

You can view these qualifications on Meet The Team and on the Adviser’s LinkedIn Profile. Should you wish to obtain a copy by email, ask your Adviser.

We understand. You can email qualifications@cjfinance.co.uk, and we will distribute a copy to you via email.

Extremely secure. The only person who can access your capital is you. We only work with institutions who have track records and robust custodian banks.

CJ has a robust cash flow management system. With a decade of experience in servicing expats, our senior management team is dedicated to servicing the needs of expats for many decades to come.

No. Your Financial Adviser does not have access to your capital; neither does CJ. Only you can withdraw money with a signed withdrawal form. In addition to this, any withdrawals can only be sent to a bank account in your name.

No. All changes will require your written signature and approval.

No. Your capital can only be withdrawn to a bank account in your name.

Our Advice Process

Simple and Straightforward
  • Contact Us
  • Situation Analysis
  • Solution Appointment
  • Complete Application
  • Ongoing Reviews

2. Our Costs

How much will your advice cost me?

Many companies avoid discussing costs until the last moment. At CJ, we want our clients to have as much information as possible on costs. It helps our clients understand what the broad level of the cost will be in return for the services we provide. We like openness. For example, when we are researching a new SEO Manager, we also like to have a rough idea of cost in advance. It allows us to assess the market and engage with the correct professional.

Of course, we do understand that the quality of service can vary from one company to another and cost is not everything. That is why people do not search for the cheapest dentist but the one well priced with good reviews. While every effort has been made, all client situations are different. Below is a broad overview, it is not an exhaustive list.

Our costs are the same for all clients. We have an initial advice and set-up fee of 1-3% depending upon the size of your investment and an ongoing annual management charge of 1%. View Our Costs.

An unlimited number of appointments for our Financial Adviser to complete a thorough review of your finances and your objectives. An analysis of the market for the solution that matches your requirements. This is followed by a detailed Advice Report highlighting all the relevant information for you. Once you feel comfortable, our Adviser and Admin pre-complete all relevant paperwork for you to review. We then take responsibility for the end-to-end delivery.

Our quarterly review service with your dedicated Adviser keeps you updated on your portfolio performance and track with your objectives. This annual cost also includes portfolio rebalancing to maximise your portfolio returns and ongoing market analysis to see if a better or more cost-effective solution may be available. Finally, we pre-complete all future paperwork for you.

The cost for an International SIPP via Novia Global is £0 set-up and £180.00 pa (plus VAT). This cost was previously £300 set-up and £500 pa via other Trustees. Competition in the International SIPP marketplace has dramatically reduced client costs.

The cost for UK resident SIPP via AJ Bell is £60 (plus VAT) transfer in fee and 0.20% pa. This pricing is one of the lowest cost structures for UK residents.


The Trustee cost of a QROP for a pension below £100k is £350.00 set-up and £575.00 pa (+VAT). For pensions between £100k and £500k there is £650.00 set-up cost and £750.00 pa (plus VAT). For pension plans over £500k there is £750.00 set-up cost and £950.00 pa (plus VAT).

The costs of QROPS have reduced dramatically since 2006 when they were first born into legislation (£2,500). However, they remain significantly more expensive than an International SIPP.

For clients with pensions in excess or approaching their Lifetime Allowance (£1,073,100 – 2022/23), a QROP can offer considerable tax advantages. The client would typically need to be an EEA resident (and intend to be for the next 5 years) for a QROP to be advisable. Read – QROP Advantages Page.

If you are resident in the EEA standard VAT rules apply. However, if you are a resident beyond the EEA, you will not be applicable to pay VAT. For example, the annual Trustee fee of an International SIPP will be £180.00 plus £36.00 VAT (20%) for EEA residents and £180.00 for non-EEA residents.

Our standard advice and transfer fee of 1-3% will apply, and this is dependent on the size of the DB pension(s) – Our Costs. To adhere with FCA guidelines on Final Salary Pension Transfers an FCA report fee is also required by law and the cost of this will be between £2,750-£4000 (depending on the size of your pension and the correct Pension Transfer Specialist for your country of residency etc) applies to all Defined Benefit Pension Transfers over £30,000. Final Salary Pensions are a valuable asset, and so the FCA wants to ensure clients are receiving suitable transfer advice.

Our advice and set-up and cost for a Defined Contribution Pension Transfer is our regular sliding cost schedule of 1-3% depending on the value of your pension. With economies of scale for larger pensions. As DC pensions do not have safeguarded benefits, there is no requirement for the FCA advice report fee that applies to Final Salary pensions.

The cost of Retirement Planning will depend on the solution most appropriate to you. Platform Retirement Planning has higher up-front costs per contribution (1-3%) with an annual provider fee of between 0.1-0.4% and our annual service cost of 1.0%. This solution provides greater freedom and access to your capital.

Structured Retirement Planning has lower up-front costs per contribution (as low as 0%) with an annual provider fee of circa 1.5% for the majority of the term. While this solution can help provide structure and discipline, there will be high exit-penalties should you abandon the plan early. A structured Retirement Plan should not be taken light-heartedly. It is a contractual commitment.

The cost of Education Planning is dependent on your requirements. A Platform Education Planning solution will have higher up-front costs per contribution (1-3%) plus our annual service costs of 1.0% and an annual provider fee of circa 0.1-0.4%. A Platform Education Plan has far greater flexibility on contributions though, and there are no penalties for withdrawing capital early.

A Structured Education Plan will have a fixed term of saving. For example, 18 years. It has lower up-front costs per contribution (as low as 0%) with an annual provider fee of circa 1.5% for the majority of the term. These types of plans are only suitable for those who are dedicated to saving towards their children’s education, no matter a change in their situation. Exiting this type of project early will likely see you get back less than you originally invested.

The costs of Lump Sum Investing is our usual schedule of 1-3% set-up and advice fee plus our 1.0% annual service charge as outlined in Our Costs. The provider cost will depend on the amount you are investing and what your requirements are.

Two examples of provider costs would be 0% set-up fee plus 0.1-0.4% pa and 0.5-1.0% set-up fee plus £400.00 pa. The latter of these options is more beneficial for clients with larger amounts to invest. That is because they pay a higher one-off cost on day one but then have extremely low ongoing annual costs (£400 pa irrespective of the size of the portfolio).

Our cost for Estate Planning is a set-up and advice fee of between 1-3% and our ongoing annual service cost of 1.0%, as outlined at Our Costs. Based on the complexity of your situation, there may be a requirement to utilise a trust structure. You need to bear in mind, it would have further costs, and you may also need to seek independent tax advice.

Our cost for IHT Planning is a set-up and advice fee of 1-3% (with lower costs for larger portfolios) and our ongoing annual service cost of 1.0%. Additional costs would apply should you need to utilise a trust structure, make a will or seek independent tax advice. Read more about Our Costs.

There is no cost for our Existing Policy Review. We provide this service and our Advice Report without charge. We would generate an operating loss if we provided all our advice services for free. However, with Existing Policies, we are acutely aware that a client may have already unknowingly paid a very high commission to the previous Adviser. That is why we do not believe it is fair to apply a further set-up cost to this client. We instead only apply our ongoing annual service fee. This way, we are remunerated for our ongoing work to you, but we absorb the costs of the initial set-up and advice process.

The cost of financial advice for Digital Nomads is the same as all of our clients. Our charging schedule of 1-3% set-up plus 1.0% ongoing service cost pa apply. Depending on the solution that you may need a platform cost of between 0.1-0.4% will likely apply. Should you require other services such as Company Formation or Tax Residency Assessment, additional costs would apply.

Your costs are deducted from the value of your investment or transfer. So, you will not need to send us a cheque or separate payment amount. That is useful for pension clients as it is the most tax-efficient way to pay your fees.

We would like to be able to state that we keep all the fees to ourselves, but unfortunately, we have several different costs as a business. Main costs include our regulation and licensing fee to our parent company, staff training and offices, professional indemnity insurance and our website expenses. You can discover more detailed information on Our Costs.

In Financial Advice, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The costs of running a regulated Financial Advisory company are high and are ever-increasing with additional layers of regulation to protect investors. Any Financial Adviser ‘working for free’ should be treated with caution. They are likely receiving a high opaque commission from the product that they are selling you. In our experience, this can lead to terrible clients outcomes.

Our costs are non-negotiable. They are calculated on our net costs and expenses, and a discount is already provided for more significant cases which attract a lower set-up fee.

Our set-up fee and the annual fee will not increase over time as they are already percentage-based. Some industry providers reserve the right to raise their fixed costs in line with inflation which is currently around 9.1% pa. It is standard across all UK pension providers and companies.

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    3. Pension Transfers

    Pension Transfers are 67% of our business. You are in safe hands!

    Pension Transfers can be a rather technical area of Financial Advice. In addition to this, the landscape of UK pension legislation is continuously changing and adapting. At CJ, our Financial Advisers are at the forefront of these changes and have a wealth of experience from previous pension transfers in their career.

    A pension transfer is the consolidation of one or more UK pensions from a stakeholder or company pension into a private pension arrangement.

    A Trustee is your International SIPP or QROP provider. They are regulated to be able to hold UK pension assets in line with HMRC pension guidelines. They are obliged to protect you as an investor. A Trustee does not provide any Financial Advice; they produce the pension wrapper. Your Financial Adviser provides your Financial Advice.

    A Defined Contribution (DC) scheme is a UK pension scheme that you will have built up through your UK employment. You will likely have a pension with each of your previous employers in the UK.

    A Final Salary pension – also called Defined Benefit pension, is a workplace pension that your employer created for you. Final Salary pensions have what is known as safeguarded benefits. As such, Final Salary Pension Transfer advice is highly regulated to protect clients.

    There is no simple answer. Transferring a DC Pension is a more straightforward decision. Transferring a DB Pension requires careful thought as you will effectively be losing your safeguarded benefits.

    Perhaps not. You may also be better off transferring your pension. However, you could also be better off leaving it where it is. Speak with an Adviser to learn about your pension – Book Free Appointment.

    A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a tax-free wrapper for making pension contributions or consolidating other UK pensions together in one place. A SIPP gives investors more control and flexibility compared to a UK company pension.

    An International SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension) is a SIPP for non-UK residents. An International SIPP has precisely the same tax treatment and benefits as a non-international SIPP. Within Expat financial planning, SIPP transfers form the majority of Final Salary Pension Transfers and Defined Contribution Pension Transfers.

    QROPS is an overseas pension scheme that meets criteria laid down by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). QROPS came into effect in April 2006 when the UK responded to EU legislation regarding the freedom of capital movement. QROPS legislation was created to make it easier for individuals living abroad to manage their UK pension assets.

    The fundamental difference is that a SIPP is regulated by the FCA and thus adheres to UK pension rules and obligations. As such, any future changes to UK pensions legislation includes SIPPs. Conversely, a QROPS is regulated in its local jurisdiction such as Malta. As such, any future changes to UK pension legislation may not directly impact it.

    There is a common misconception that a QROP or a SIPP is in itself the investment advice. As such, pensions performance (or lack of performance) is related to the fact that a QROP or SIPP was advised. This is incorrect. A QROP and SIPP are both a pension wrapper. Without any financial advice, the capital would remain in the QROP or SIPP cash account, and there would be no portfolio growth or portfolio loss. As such, it is the Financial Advice that follows the QROP or SIPP transfer that then impacts the portfolio performance.

    Since 2006, there have been instances of clients being ill-advised on what investments to hold within their QROP — typically holding assets that were beyond the client’s level of understanding or risk profile. That led to several high-profile cases of clients losing significant value within a QROP compared to a SIPP. Mainly because assets deemed to be beyond a retail client’s level of understanding are not permitted within a SIPP. In summary, it was the bad Financial Advice that followed the QROP transfer, not the QROP itself.

    While QROPS are typically used more by those residing beyond the UK, this statement is not true. A QROP can be a highly tax-efficient planning tool for UK-residents to minimise their Lifetime Allowance (LTA). With LTA of £1,073,100 (2022/23), many professionals within the UK are at risk of breaching their allowance and paying 25% tax on any growth over and above this allowance.

    The opportunity for a UK resident to utilise a QROP may be finite though as if the UK leaves the EEA then an Overseas Transfer Charge of 25% would apply.

    While SIPPs are most commonly used in the UK, this statement is wrong. An International SIPP is in many instances, the best advice for clients living all over the world with UK pension assets. There used to be a misconception that SIPPs were for UK clients and QROPS for non-UK clients. It is just not right and has led to bad advice in the past.

    If your UK pension assets have surpassed or are approaching your Lifetime Allowance (currently £1,073,100) and you are resident within the EEA and do not intend to leave the EEA within five years – a QROP may be in your best interest. If you do not tick all three of these conditions, then an International SIPP will almost certainly be in your best interest.

    Your pension may well already be in the best place. A Final Salary Pension Transfer may not be in your best interest. You may be worse off by transferring it. To understand your pension in detail – Reserve Your Free Consultation.

    Our standard cost schedule of 1-3% initial set-up fee and 1% ongoing annual service fee applies. Please see Our Costs.

    Our standard cost schedule of 1-3% initial set-up fee and 1% ongoing annual service fee applies. Please see Our Costs.

    Currently, the best value​ International SIPP provider is £0 set-up fee and £180 pa (+VAT). Other International SIPPs charge £300 set-up plus £500 pa (+VAT).

    The best value SIPP for UK residents is charging £60 (plus VAT) for transfer in fee per pension scheme and 0.20% annual management fee.

    The typical Trustee cost for a QROPS pension below £100k is £350 set-up fee plus £575 pa (+VAT). The average Trustee cost for a QROPS pension between £100k-£500k is £650 set-up fee plus £750 pa (+VAT). The average Trustee cost for a QROPS pension over £500k is £750 set up fee plus £950 pa (+ VAT). To understand why a client may prefer to pay for a QROPS instead of the cheaper option of a SIPP, read our detailed QROPS Article.

    Yes. Typically we see costs reducing for clients as more competition enters both the International SIPP and QROP market. For example, in 2007, the average annual cost of a QROP was £2,500. It is now £895. Similarly, in 2018 the average annual cost of International SIPP was £500. It is now £180.

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    4. Pension Transfer Process & Service

    What actually happens when transferring a pension

    For many clients, transferring their UK pension is not a small decision. They want to understand the process as much as possible to be sure that it is the right move for them. This section gives examples of the most common questions.

    The average time for a pension transfer is 1-2 months. Many factors can affect this. Including the complexity of the UK pension, the efficiency of UK pension providers admin, and how well your paperwork has been completed. Errors lead to longer transfer times. International SIPP transfers generally are quicker, while QROP transfers take longer.

    The average time for a Final Salary (DB) Pension Transfer is 2-3 months. It is mainly because of additional due diligence. For example, your UK pension provider must request additional documents and verify that you have received appropriate advice from an FCA regulated adviser.

    Twenty-one months is the longest time we have seen a pension transfer take. The case was delayed as the UK provider refused to action the transfer. UK pension provider made mistakes at their end, and perhaps instead of admitting to these earlier mistakes, they dug their heels in. Our response was to register a complaint on behalf of the client with The Pensions Ombudsman in the UK.

    The Pension Ombudsman ruled in favour of our client and instructed the UK pension provider to pay damages to our client. While the case went on for twenty-one months, we did not charge the client any additional fees.

    Five days. Most International SIPP transfers are done utilising the Origo transfer system which is extremely robust.

    An electronic pension transfer service that over 80 UK pension providers have signed up to. It automates the transfer process making it smoother and faster.

    Within the UK, many SIPP providers will permit you to complete a transfer yourself if the value of safeguarded benefits is below £30,000. However, QROPS and International SIPP providers do not work directly with retail clients and as such clients must utilise a Financial Adviser.

    A Letter of Authority (LOA) is the first step in understanding your requirements. It allows us to ascertain with certainty the details of your existing pension. For example, clients often say I have an XYZ pension, but when we complete the LOA, it transpires there was an ABC pension. Without a Letter of Authority, we cannot analyse your situation and provide advice.

    Our pension transfer department emails your Letter of Authority (LOA) to your existing UK pension. Then they confirm all the necessary information we need to know about your pension. An LOA is an information only tool.

    No. A Letter of Authority (LOA) is for information purposes only. Your pension will not be changed in any way.

    The International SIPP or QROP Trustee will inform us by email once the funds have been received, confirming the exact amount to the penny.

    The International SIPP or QROPS Trustee will typically allocate the funds to your SIPP or QROPS cash account on the same day or 2-3 days after depending on how busy they may be.

    Once the money is in your SIPP or QROPS cash account, it will automatically be allocated to the underlying portfolio as outlined within your Advice Report. It ensures the capital is not sitting around waiting to be invested.

    Our initial set-up fee of 1-3% is only deducted once the transfer has been successfully completed. This means it is always in our interest to ensure transfers are completed as efficiently as possible.

    Yes. Every Cameron James client has their own dedicated Adviser. It ensures you only need to explain your situation once, and it allows you to build a strong connection with your Adviser who understands all elements of your finances.

    Yes. Appointments are scheduled in advance by email. Our Adviser will then contact you by telephone, Skype, WhatsApp call, Zoom, or whatever works best for you.

    With our quarterly review service, your Adviser will call you each quarter to keep you updated on your portfolio performance. Some clients prefer a more detailed bi-annual or annual review instead of quarterly. This is your choice.

    Our Advisers and Admins respond to all clients emails within 24hrs during the working days. We believe in this high-level of service. If they are unable to supply you with an answer to your question within 24hrs (perhaps because it requires further thought or analysis), they will still let you know it has been safely received and that they are working on it.

    Every Cameron James client also has a dedicated Admin. So, if your Financial Adviser is unavailable, you can contact your dedicated Admin. They will either deal with your enquiry or inform your Financial Adviser. This system means you should always be able to get a quick answer for simple questions.

    Your dedicated Financial Adviser and dedicated Admin will typically not be on annual leave at the same time. So, your Admin will be able to deal with any enquiries to allow your Adviser to enjoy a well-deserved break. Should it be something urgent, your Financial Adviser will be duly informed.

    Should your Financial Adviser pass away, your policy and file will be reviewed by senior management. It will be allocated to most appropriate or experienced Adviser throughout our offices. Should your Financial Adviser leave Cameron James, your plan will be matched with the most experienced Adviser for your requirements.

    Benefits Of Working With Cameron James

    Approved by Expats

    Used & Approved by Expats in 23 countries across 6 continents.

    Highly Regulated

    Our advice is EU MiFID regulated. All Advisers are UK RDR Qualified.


    Clients know how much their advice will cost in advance. No extras.

    Low Online Cost

    Our Online Costs deliver a premium service without usualhigh costs.

    Dedicated Adviser

    Direct line to your DedicatedAdviser. No hold music.


    Our Advisers see thousands of Expat situations. We know your needs.

    5. Application Pack Process

    OK so I think CJ is a good fit for my needs. What happens next?

    Once you have had your Solution Appointment with your dedicated Adviser and you want to proceed with the advice, we prepare your pre-completed application pack for you to review and sign. This application pack is sent to you using DocuSign and where required Admins will inform you that certain documents might need your wet signatures.

    No. Your application forms and paperwork will be sent to you pre-completed with your details for you to review and sign.

    Yes. That is exactly right. We make the process of Financial Advice as simple as possible. Please note, some sections may be left blank if you have not provided this information to us.

    Most of our Advisers are often not far from their computer. Send them a quick WhatsApp or email, and they will likely be able to either answer your questions by email or call you back to explain. Your dedicated Admin is also on hand to answer any admin related questions.

    In our experience, this process is beneficial for all parties. Our admin team pre-completing paperwork significantly reduces the number of errors which in turn reduces issues further down the application process.

    No problem. You can cross it out and write in the new information by hand and sign next to the amendment. For example, if your mobile number changed.

    If you spot a mistake on the DocuSign documents, please inform Admin team, and they will send you the updated documents to sign via DocuSign with the error amended.

    Your dedicated Admin will send you your paperwork to you on DocuSign following with the instructions on email should any documents need to be signed in original format and posted to the ceding scheme. Our turnaround for sending the documents to clients is quick, we aim to send the paperwork in 1-2 business days.

    If you prefer, yes, our admins could post the documents to you via DHL. However, the most efficient way of signing the documents is DocuSign. You can simply review the documents in your own time and sign once ready.

    If you prefer, yes, our admins could post the documents to you via DHL. However, the most efficient way of signing the documents is DocuSign. You can simply review the documents in your own time and sign once ready.

    If you prefer, yes, our admins could post the documents to you via DHL. If you are travelling with work or on holiday, the paperwork can be shipped to any address worldwide. Clients travelling long haul sometimes collect and review paperwork on the way home to use their time in the air. However, the most efficient way of signing the documents is DocuSign. You can simply review the documents in your own time and sign once ready.

    At your office – Your reception staff will typically have a system of signing for your mail and deliver this to you.

    At home – Your concierge staff will usually have a system for signing for couriers and delivery to you.

    Alternatively – A delivery notice will be left to reschedule the delivery for the following day. You can also collect it from your local DHL centre if you prefer.

    Using DocuSign allows you to review the documents at your own time and return them when you are ready to sign.

    While DHL adds an expense for Cameron James in our experience, it provides a smooth and streamlined process for all our clients which is what we want. Additionally, local postage systems can be unreliable. The tracking also allows us to allocate our admin resources for processing your case more efficiently.

    We have adopted DocuSign electronic signing system after Covid and found that this speeds up all the internal and external processes when dealing with pension transfers. Some pension providers also started accepting the DocuSigned documents and forms, which contributed to faster transfer times.


    The average pack should take no longer than 20-30 minutes to thoroughly review, sign and date.

    Firstly, we pre-complete the majority of your application. Secondly, your application pack is couriered/emailed back to your dedicated Admin who will review the file again. Finally, the application pack goes through our compliance department for a final review. So we have three layers against mistakes.

    Simple. You return the application by DHL. The cost of the DHL return is on us. DocuSign only requires your signature and no posting costs, once you sign we will receive a copy of the signed documents as well as the copy of these documents will be provided to you on email.

    Yes. Some clients prefer to use their internal courier system at work as it is more straightforward for their reception staff to process the courier. Just ask them to send you the tracking number or link, so we can track its return journey.

    Yes. Email your Financial Adviser or dedicated Admin, and they will schedule the DHL pick-up on the day that you request. It can be left with your reception staff or concierge for DHL collection if you are busy or in and out of meetings.

    Yes. If you are travelling with work or are away from your normal country of residence provide us with the address and DHL will collect globally.

    There is no cost to you. We have made a business decision at Cameron James to pay for both DHL & DocuSign costs to improve our service for all clients. We were also able to negotiate reduced shipping costs compared to our clients paying full price.

    In many instances, yes. Final Salary Pension Transfers have a 3-month deadline before the CETV expires. Given that there are many steps to complete, we try to process this as early as possible. This avoids needing to request an additional CETV which can typically cost £250.00 if taken within 12 months.

    Yes. Your dedicated Admin will confirm safe receipt of your application pack. They will begin processing your case and keep you updated until it is finalised.

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    6. Client Verification

    Like any regulated financial institution we must verify your identity

    All regulated financial entities must take steps to ensure that they are not be used to launder money being made from illegal sources. This is standard practice but we make this as simple as possible for you.

    A Proof of Address (POA) – sometimes referred to a Verification of Address (VOA) – is a document which provides evidence of your address.

    Suitable POA documents are Utility Bill or Bank Statement, a letter from a central or local government department, and a Tenancy contract or agreement. That is not an exhaustive list but represents 99% of the POAs that our clients supply. These can either be physical letters you have received in the post or ones downloaded as a PDF from your online account.

    Yes. Your POA must be dated within 3-months. As such, it is advisable to always provide the latest version you have. Downloading these online ensures you always send us the most recent version.

    A Proof of Identity (POI) is a verification of your identity.

    Suitable documents are your Passport or ID Card. Passports account for 99% of all POI’s we receive from our clients.

    Yes. If your passport is expired, it will not be acceptable.

    Banks must complete due diligence on all clients. That is to avoid financial institutions being used for money laundering of illegally sourced funds. It is a fundamental requirement of all banks, and we must adhere to this.

    It is a common situation in places such as Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. In this instance, we have a template Employer Letter POA for your employer to complete.

    An Employer’s Letter POA is used when a client has no POA document in their name. It allows your company’s HR team to confirm you live at that address.

    Yes. Download this template – Employer’s Letter POA.

    Yes. Either email it or drop it in person to your HR department. HR departments in these parts of the world are familiar with this type of request.

    No. Your HR department is used to this and can typically complete this within 24-48hrs and return to you as a PDF via email.

    Yes. We will require a POA for both policyholders.

    Yes. For example, a utility bill or bank statement with both of your names on it is acceptable.

    At Cameron James, all of our Advisers typically have suitable certifier status. In some cases UK pension providers may request an independent certification from one of the below:

    – Members of the judiciary, senior civil servant, serving police or customs officer.
    – An officer of an embassy, consulate or high commission of the country of issue of documentary evidence of identity.
    – An individual who is a member of a professional body that sets and enforces ethical standards, e.g. an Accountant or Lawyer.

    It is often preferential than sending the original copy of your passport. Firstly, you would be unable to fly, and secondly, no-one likes posting their passport.

    On all new applications, all top-up applications (if later than 3-6 months from the original request) and all withdrawal instructions.

    We do not charge for this. It is part of our service. In our experience, it helps provide a smooth and streamlined service for our clients.

    Feedback from our clients is that our certification of documents makes their life easier. When a client is paying annual fees, we think it would be bad practice to raise an invoice for £50.00-£100.00 for certification as some firms do.

    No. We are committed to keeping our costs as low as possible for our clients.

    Our Advice Process

    Simple and Straightforward
    • Contact Us
    • Situation Analysis
    • Solution Appointment
    • Complete Application
    • Ongoing Reviews

    7. Tax Advice & Online Banking

    The nitty gritty - Tax and logging in online!

    We always make it clear that we are not qualified Tax Advisers. You should always seek independent Tax Advice if needed. Online banking is simple and easy though and allows you to stay up-to-date anywhere in the world.

    No. Cameron James is not a tax advisory company. While some of our Financial Advisers may hold tax advice qualifications, we do not provide tax advice. Our advisers may know an area of tax from hands-on experience with clients, but they cannot give you tax advice. We will always recommend you seek professional tax advice if required.

    There are numerous ‘Tax Advisers’ who are Financial Advisers. They attract clients by offering free Tax Advice and then place the clients into solutions which earn them money as a Financial Adviser. We prefer not to blur the lines. It is hard to be an expert in numerous fields and can also lead to conflicts of interest. Additionally, no reputable or qualified Tax Adviser we have ever worked with offers free Tax Advice.

    The first 25% of your International SIPP or QROPS can be withdrawn free of income tax – your Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS). The remainder of your pension will be taxed at your marginal tax rate in your country of residence at the time of withdrawal.

    There is no legal duty to inform HMRC, although it may certainly be in your interest to let them know. For example, this may allow your International SIPP or QROP provider to send any withdrawals amounts to you as a gross amount.

    The process is relatively straightforward, for a detailed understanding read – How do I apply for an NT (No Tax) code from HMRC.

    Applying for an NT tax code severs your connection to the UK for personal income tax. HMRC will update your file to an NT (No Tax) code which means your pension income payments would be sent to you as gross payments.

    For security reasons, we cannot communicate with HMRC or apply for an NT tax code on your behalf. We can lead you in the correct direction, though.

    HMRC will only talk to you individually. We can’t communicate or call them to enquire about your tax matters.

    It will depend on where you are a tax resident. Many countries have capital gains tax on investment growth that you take as income. Other countries have no capital gains tax. Personal tax is a matter for you to discuss with your Tax Adviser if you need one.

    Cameron James does not report taxes. Some of the providers we work in Europe can automatically report your taxes for you as a value-adding service if you wish to opt in. You can also opt out and complete reporting yourself.

    Yes. Every Cameron James client has 24/7 online access. It is similar to online banking. You can access your online investment account from anywhere in the world.

    You will get a username and password that you will need to remember. You simply go online and plug in your username and password, and you will have access to your investment account.

    Your online access is set up at the same time as your account opening. You will receive an email straight from the provider to register for online access.

    Yes. You need to request this through our Financial Adviser as it is not always done automatically with pension Trustees.

    Yes. There are no geographical restrictions.

    For obvious security reasons, Cameron James cannot reset your username. You will need to contact your provider for them to verify your identity.

    Cameron James cannot reset your password. For obvious security reasons, you must contact the provider directly.

    You can inform us by email, and we will provide the best contacts for you to call or email. We cannot fix it for you though due to obvious security reasons. The provider will need to verify your identity first.

    Clients ask this a lot. It would be helpful but would also decrease the security of your online access. Your online access should only be accessible by yourself.

    Every client is different. We advise reviewing your online account in advance of your call with your Financial Adviser so that you are up to speed. However, we would avoid checking your account daily or weekly. Any investment is usually a long-term commitment and growth objective.

    8. What if I want to leave CJ?

    We will make leaving CJ as smooth as it was joining us!

    When starting a relationship, it is always good to know what your options are if you want to leave. At Cameron James, we are pleased to say we have not had a client leave us before, but the below should answer any questions you may have.

    Yes. You can talk with your feet, so to speak. If you are unhappy with the annual service provided you can move to another Advisory Firm and your fees to CJ will no longer be deducted. This system helps ensure it is in our interests f all clients to receive an excellent level of ongoing service.

    No. There is no fixed contract. If you feel displeased with the given service, you are free to leave at any time.

    We advise you to email your Financial Adviser and outline your concerns in as few or as many sentences as you wish. It is useful for us as a company as it allows us to understand where the service may have been below our usual standards. Our senior management will also review your email. If you do not want to contact your Financial Adviser, you can email us directly at nothappy@cjfinance.co.uk.

    There is no cost or exit penalty for leaving Cameron James.

    Certainly not. We will ensure any transfer is smooth and unhindered.

    No. You are free to withdraw your money or leave without penalty.

    If an alternative provider was offering a more cost-effective or improved service, we might as well advise you to transfer.

    It will depend on the type of product and investment. There are too many providers to cover here. However, your Financial Adviser can always highlight these for you in detail. In many instances, exit penalties are in place to protect providers from being taken advantage of by clients using them for a short period for an ulterior motive.

    No. Platform providers are as professional in closing accounts as they are in opening them.

    Touchwood, we have not had a client leave CJ before. We put this down to the high-level of ongoing service we provide and low Adviser turn-over. This day will certainly come, but for the moment we are proud of this statistic.

    If you didn’t find the answer you were looking for then Ask Your Question and we will answer you within 24hrs. You will also earn yourself a £20 credit on your CJ account for every relevant question.

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