TFSA’s Privacy Commitment
Your privacy is important to Total Financial Solutions Australia (TFSA). This policy outlines how we manage the personal information we hold about our clients and others. It applies to all members (e.g. Authorised Representatives) of the TFSA group in Australia. It is TFSA’s policy to respect the confidentiality of information and the privacy of individuals. TFSA is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which is a part of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, which amends the Privacy Act 1988.
Open and Transparent Management of Personal Information
We are committed to being open and transparent about how we use personal information. Where our documents ask for personal information, we will generally state the purposes for its use and to whom it may be disclosed. If any of our documents do not clearly state the purposes for which we will use your personal information please ask us and we will clearly explain them to you.
Why does TFSA collect personal information?
Our business is to understand and meet our clients’ needs over their lifetime for a wide range of financial services. To do this effectively, we need to collect certain personal information. We will not collect personal information unless the information is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to the services we provide to you. Our representatives provide financial services (e.g. advice) in relation to a broad range of financial products. They include (but are not limited to):
life insurance products protecting against risks
investment products to build wealth
superannuation and retirement income products to provide for retirement
banking and other services to provide deposit and credit facilities
financial planning advice and other services to help individuals understand their financial needs and make financial and investment decisions
management of investment assets such as shares, property (including shopping centres), fixed interest and cash
Unless informed otherwise, the personal information we hold is mainly used for establishing and managing the financial products or services of our customers, and reviewing their ongoing needs.
Collecting personal information also allows us to meet legal obligations we might have including those under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.
We may also use personal information we have collected for purposes related to those set out above - for example, enhancing customer service and product options and providing our customers with ongoing information about opportunities that may be useful for their financial needs.
The use of sensitive information is subject to greater restrictions and is discussed below.
What kind of personal information do we ask for?
Because of the nature of the products and services provided, government regulations and taxation laws, we ask for a range of personal information from our clients. The type of personal information we may collect can include (but is not limited to):
Means of collection
TFSA will only collect personal information by lawful and fair means and will only request it from yourself. The exceptions to this are:
if you give us written consent to the collect this information from another specified individual,
or if we are required or authorised by Australian law, or a court/tribunal order to collect the information from another individual
If it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so.
We obtain most of the information directly from our clients through a Confidential Client Questionnaire or other forms, and from maintaining records of information provided in the course of ongoing financial planning advice or customer service. We may also obtain information from other sources. We may ask for other information voluntarily from time to time (for example, through market research, surveys or special offers) to enable us to improve our service or consider the wider needs of our clients or potential clients.
Some insurance plans and other contracts also require us to collect sensitive information. For more details, see the section 'Sensitive information is subject to greater restrictions'. If you choose not to provide the information we need to fulfil your request for a specific product or service, we may not be able to provide you with the requested product or service.
Notification of collection
Where our documents ask for personal information, we will generally state the purposes for its use and to whom it may be disclosed. If any of our documents do not clearly state the purposes for which we will use your personal information please ask us and we will clearly explain them to you.
If your personal information is obtained from third parties, we will inform you of this.
Dealing with personal information
We will not use your personal information for any purpose other than for which it was originally collected, unless you have given us your consent to do so, or unless it is reasonably expected that we will use the information for another purpose (a secondary purpose). An example of a secondary purpose is providing information in a court of law or dispute resolution.
Dealing with unsolicited personal information
Should we receive personal information that we have not asked for, we will establish whether the information could have been assessable and contained in a Commonwealth record and if the collection of this personal information was reasonably necessary or directly related to our service. Should the above not apply, we will as soon as practicable destroy the information.
While we may send you marketing material from time to time that we think will be useful to you, we are conscious of the need to respect your privacy. Unless you are informed otherwise, the personal information we hold is used for establishing and managing your financial products or services, reviewing your ongoing needs, enhancing customer service and product options and giving you ongoing information or opportunities that we believe may be relevant to your financial needs and other circumstances.
If, at any time, you do not wish to receive this information, you may contact us with this request. We will endeavour to meet your request within 2 weeks. We maintain a register for those individuals not wanting direct marketing material. Please refer to the end of this document for our contact details.
Cross-border disclosure of personal information
TFSA takes its obligations to protect your information seriously, this includes when we operate throughout Australia and overseas. As part of our operations some uses and disclosures of your information
may occur outside your State or Territory and/or outside of Australia. We will obtain your consent prior to doing so.
Adoption, use or disclosure of government related identifiers
Although in certain circumstances we are required to collect government identifiers such as your tax file number, Medicare number or pension card number, we do not use or disclose this information other than when required or authorised by law or unless you have voluntarily consented to disclose this information to any third party.
How do we use this information and who may we disclose it to?
Depending on the product or service concerned and particular restrictions on sensitive information, this means that personal information may be disclosed to:
other members of the TFSA group who provide financial and other services
financial planners, brokers and those who are authorised by TFSA to review clients' needs and circumstances from time to time
service providers and specialist advisers to TFSA who have been contracted to provide TFSA with support, administrative, financial, insurance, research or other services
other insurers, credit providers, courts, tribunals and regulatory authorities as agreed or authorised by law
credit reporting or reference agencies or insurance investigators
anyone authorised by an individual, as specified by that individual or the contract
Generally, we require those organisations outside the TFSA group who handle or obtain personal information as service providers to TFSA acknowledge the confidentiality of this information, undertake to respect any individual's right to privacy and comply with the -Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and this policy.
Sensitive information is subject to greater restrictions
Some personal information we hold is 'sensitive'. Sensitive information relates to a person's racial or ethnic origin, membership of political bodies, religions or trade unions, sexual preferences or activities, criminal record, state of health and medical history. The way we use tax file numbers and information received from a credit reporting agency about an individual is also restricted by law.
Sensitive information is usually needed for applications for death, sickness and disability insurance and to manage claims on those products. It may also be relevant to credit and other applications. We will not collect sensitive information about you unless you have consented to the collection of this information. It is TFSA policy that sensitive information will be used and disclosed only for the purposes for which it was provided, unless the client agrees otherwise or the use or disclosure of this information is required or authorised by or under an Australian law or a court/tribunal order, and/or if the information is necessary in the establishment or defence of a legal claim. Documents asking for sensitive information will explain this.
Management of personal information
TFSA requires its employees and financial planners who handle personal information to respect the confidentiality of client information and the privacy of individuals. TFSA regards breaches of your privacy very seriously and will impose appropriate penalties, including dismissal.
How do we store personal information?
Safeguarding the privacy of your information is important to us, whether you interact with us personally, by phone, mail, over the internet or other electronic medium. We hold personal information in a combination of secure computer storage facilities and paper-based files and other records, and take steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We may need to maintain records for a significant period of time. However, when we consider information is no longer needed, we will remove any details that will identify you or we will securely destroy the records.
How do we keep personal information accurate and up-to-date?
TFSA endeavours to ensure that the personal information it holds is accurate and up-to-date. We realise that this information changes frequently with changes of address and other personal circumstances. We can generally update your information over the telephone or upon receipt of a written request.
Your right to request what personal information about you is held by us
You have the right to check what personal information about you is held by us under the Privacy Act, you have the right to obtain a copy of any personal information which TFSA holds about you and to advise TFSA of any perceived inaccuracy. The Act does set out some exceptions to this. To make a request, you will need to complete an application form verifying your identity and specifying what information you require. We will acknowledge your request within 14 days and respond promptly to it. We may charge a fee to cover the cost of verifying the application and locating, retrieving, reviewing and copying any material requested. If the information sought is extensive, we will advise the likely cost in advance and can help to refine your request if required. We will endeavour to ensure the information we have is accurate, however should you find it is incorrect, you may seek the correction of it and we will ensure it is corrected as soon as possible.
Anonymity and Pseudonymity
When you contact us, you have the option to remain anonymous. You may even use a pseudonym where it is lawful and practical to do so. In some cases, it may be impracticable for us to deal with you if you have not identified yourself, or if you have used a pseudonym.
What if you have a complaint?
To make a complaint, please call us initially on 02 8297 1600. We may then get you to make a formal complaint in writing. If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can telephone the Australian Information Commissioner’s office on 1300 363 992, or if calling from outside Australia, +61 2 9284 9749.
To make a complaint, please forward it in writing to the address below and allow 30 days for a response.
The Privacy Officer
Total Financial Solutions Limited
PO Box R986
Royal Exchange NSW 1225
How to contact us
If you want to:
change your personal information
obtain an application form for access to your personal information
Please call us on 02 8297 1600
Or write to us at:
Total Financial Solutions Australia Limited
PO Box R986
Royal Exchange NSW 1225