Frequently Asked Questions

We understand you may have a few questions about the CAF Charity Deposit Platform and how it works. Below are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive. These questions and answers are updated on an ongoing basis, so do refer back to them, but equally please feel free to contact us using the link above and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Flagstone Protection

How safe is the money deposited on to the platform?

As a company authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and subject to the Payment Services Regulations, Flagstone is required to safeguard client assets at all times, hold appropriate levels of regulatory capital and generally organise and manage its business to the high standards set by the FCA. All the UK banks on the platform are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well as the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA).

Does my charity maintain FSCS protection with deposits held on the platform?

Yes. The level of protection is exactly the same as if the deposit was placed directly with the bank. In the event that one of the banks on the platform goes into administration, assuming the bank in question was a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), then you (if eligible) would have a single claim under the FSCS limited to the deposit compensation limit of £85,000*. FSCS protection is not available for any accounts held with offshore banks (including those in the Channel Islands). Details of the deposit compensation schemes applicable to these banks can be found in the account T&Cs provided by these banks on the platform.  You can choose to exclude banks which are not covered by the FSCS with a single click using the platform’s ‘Portfolio Builder’ filter tool.

*Correct as at 17 October 2019. For more information please refer to www.fscs.org.uk

Who makes the FSCS claim if a bank on the platform goes into Administration?

If a bank in which the money was held through the platform defaulted, then your charity would be covered by the FSCS as beneficiaries subject to your charity’s status under the eligibility requirements (i.e. whether the charity would be eligible to claim if the charity itself held the deposit*).

*Correct as at 17 October 2019. For more information please refer to www.fscs.org.uk

In the event that Flagstone were to go into liquidation, how is the charity's money protected?

Flagstone is obliged under law to implement safeguarding measures to protect client funds. For this reason, all funds held by Flagstone on behalf of clients are separated from Flagstone’s own funds and only held in designated trust accounts. Were Flagstone to be placed in administration or wound up, your charity will retain full beneficial ownership of its funds at all times and as such these will be paid back to the charity by the administrator. Clients have no credit exposure to Flagstone.

Technology & Security

How is the money which is transferred protected from fraudulent activity?

From a technology perspective, Flagstone uses banking standard encryption technology to ensure the security and confidentiality of client records and information. From an operational perspective, Flagstone has adopted internal systems and controls designed to protect client funds from the risk of fraud. These include relevant IT controls, appropriate segregation of duties, restricted access rights and signature protocols. Furthermore, Flagstone does not allow any third party payments and all funds returned to clients are paid back to the originating funding account only.

Who will have access to your CAF Charity Deposit Platform account?

You will have transactional access to the account. Your charity’s CAF Client Relationship Manager will have ‘view-only’ access to your charity’s account. ‘View-only’ access can also be provided to a second individual if you want another third party to be able to see the account. Furthermore, you can elect that confirmation emails containing information on new accounts set-up, transfer instructions, and deposit confirmations be sent to additional parties.

Fees

What are the fees for using the CAF Charity Deposit Platform and how are they charged?

Flagstone charges an Annual Management Fee of up to 0.25% p.a. based on the value of your account. CAF Financial Solutions Limited (CFSL) derives a referral fee from the Annual Management Fee. This fee is included in the Annual Management Fee, and is not charged separately

Does Flagstone take commissions or retrocessions from the banks on the platform?

No. Flagstone does not take any commissions or retrocessions from the banks on the platform in respect of the deposits it intermediates.

How are the fees taken?

The Annual Management Fee is accrued daily and debited monthly in arrears from the Hub Account.

General

Why do banks work with Flagstone?

Flagstone provides its partner banks with a distribution channel that enables them to source valuable deposit funding in a controlled and cost effective way.

How can Flagstone access better interest rates for clients?

Through the relationships which Flagstone has developed with its partner banks and due to the volume of deposits it intermediates, Flagstone is often able to access deposit rates which are not available to direct client applications.

What is the ‘Hub Account’ and what is it used for?

The Hub Account is a segregated trust account set up specifically to safeguard client assets. The Flagstone Hub Account for onshore derived funds is provided by Barclays Bank Plc. The Hub Account is established to receive the initial monies transferred by the client on to the Flagstone platform before they are sent on to a deposit account. Furthermore, the Hub Account acts as the account to which all monies (principal and interest) must be returned by the relevant Flagstone banking partner at a maturity event or when they are requested back by a client in respect of a notice account.

What happens when the charity wants its cash back from the platform?

When you want your charity’s money to be returned, you will need to provide an instruction to return funds via the platform.  Any money being returned will only be sent to the ‘Nominated Account’ details which you have provided in your charity’s initial application.

If the charity would like to make a transfer from one of its accounts on the platform, is this possible?

The platform does not support third party transfers. All monies transferred from a deposit account on the platform can only be sent back to your Hub Account.
Once monies are received into the Hub Account they can only be transferred to your charity’s Nominated Account.

Can I directly contact the banks that money is placed with through the Flagstone platform, to discuss the deposits?

Any queries or issues should be directed to the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone contactable on 0203 745 8130 or at clientservices@flagstoneim.com

Will the banks that the charity places money with through the platform be able to market products and services to me?

No, the banks will not contact you directly. All contact will be through the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone.

If I have a problem or a query, who do I contact?

Please contact the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone on 0203 745 8130 or at clientservices@flagstoneim.com

What is a ‘Nominated Account’?

The Nominated Account is the account to which Flagstone will pay your charity’s monies when they have been requested back and are no longer being managed on the platform. This is the only account to which we will transfer your charity’s money from your charity’s Hub Account. The Nominated Account is set up on the basis of the account information provided in your charity’s application form.

How can the charity's Nominated Account details be changed?

To change the details of your charity’s Nominated Account they will be required to provide a written instruction with a ‘wet ink’ signature detailing the new account details along with an original bank statement for the new account. Additional security checks may also be required to complete this process.

New Accounts & Placing Deposits

How long does it take to open a Hub Account?

Once the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone have confirmed that they are in receipt of all documentation and information that is required, we aim to have your charity’s Hub Account opened in 48 hours.

How long does it take to open accounts with the other banks on the platform?

The account opening process with each bank is slightly different and thus takes a different time depending on the specific institution.
As a guide it should never take more than 5 working days to open an account although some banks are significantly quicker than this and open accounts on a same day basis.

Does a new account have to be set up with each bank on the platform every time a deposit is placed with that bank?

No. Once an account has been set up at a partner bank it can be used again. Flagstone does however reserve the right to close accounts at its sole discretion if, in its opinion, such accounts are not being, or are unlikely to be, utilised.

Can deposits be placed outside of the specified minimum or maximum amounts shown on the platform?

This is sometimes possible depending on the appetite of the relevant bank. If you have a requirement to place a deposit larger than the stated maximum then you should contact the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone on 0203 745 8130 or at clientservices@flagstoneim.com

 

Can deposits for non-standard durations be placed through the platform?

This is sometimes possible depending on the appetite of the relevant bank. If your charity’s have a requirement to place a deposit for a non-standard duration, then you should contact the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone on  0203 745 8130 or at clientservices@flagstoneim.com

Will the charity receive any statements directly from each bank that deposits are placed with through the platform?

No. All reporting is consolidated and monthly statements covering all banks will be made available via the Flagstone platform.

How is my charity alerted to new banks, interest rates, products available on the Flagstone platform?

If subscribed, your charity will receive email alerts in respect of new banks, rates and products which are available on the platform.

When a new deposit rate is selected through Flagstone, is the rate guaranteed at that point?

No. Interest rates are only confirmed at the point a deposit is physically made (i.e. once the relevant account has been opened). If the rate is the same (or better) than the one selected, then the deposit will be automatically placed. If however a rate moves downwards between the time a deposit is instructed and the time it is actually placed, then your charity will be contacted by the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone to confirm the new rate prior to the deposit being placed.

How do I update or change my details?

Some of you details can be updated in the Admin section of the platform. If you are unable to update on the platform you should contact the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone on 0203 745 8130 or at clientservices@flagstoneim.com

Financial Strength Scores and Methodology

What is the 'Financial Strength Score' and how does it work?

A numerical ‘Financial Strength Score’ out of 100 is available for each bank on the platform, benchmarked against a ‘Model Bank’ which has a Financial Strength Score of 50. A higher score indicates greater financial strength from the point of view of a cash depositor The banks are ranked according to their Financial Strength Score on the ‘Portfolio Builder’ page of the platform. For each bank on the Flagstone platform, their Financial Strength Score, the analysis behind that score and some further useful information is available in a ‘Fact Sheet’. Facts Sheets for each bank can be accessed by clicking on the bank’s name as the cursor is moved over each account in the graph view on the ‘Portfolio Builder’ page of the platform, or by clicking on ‘Fact Sheets’ in the platform navigation bar. Fact Sheets are updated on a weekly basis.

How are the Financial Strength Scores calculated?

Flagstone looks at a number of key financial ratios that can be used to assess the financial strength of each bank. These relate to its balance sheet strength, its operational performance, liquidity, funding and asset quality. Each ratio is compared to a ‘Model Bank’ benchmark (with an overall Financial Strength Score of 50).
The Fact Sheet then shows whether the bank for each ratio:
(i) meets the benchmark criteria (Green); (ii) has a negative divergence of less than 15% (Amber); or (iii) has a negative divergence of over 15% (Red).
The “Trend” arrows indicate the direction of travel vs. the previous financial year and the colour code indicates whether the trend is considered to be positive/negative/ neutral.
The full Financial Strength Score methodology and disclaimer are set out in detail in the ‘Methodology’ tab of the Financial Strength Scores Explained’ page of the platform, which can be accessed via ‘Fact Sheets’ in the platform navigation. The purpose of the information provided is to assist clients in making their own assessment of the relative financial strength of the different banks on the platform and does not constitute advice. It is important to note that Financial Strength Scores are for illustrative purposes only. The data used in the Financial Strength Score analysis is based solely on publicly-available information which has not been independently verified and which may be subject to changes not reflected in the Financial Strength Scores.

Tax Reporting

What about tax reporting, how does the platform help me with that?

At the end of a tax year, a summary detailing interest earned and, where applicable, tax withheld on all accounts operated within the previous year is made available via the platform. This summary should be available to you within two months of the tax year end.

Currency Accounts

If I already have a CAF Charity Deposit Platform and now would like to place US Dollar or Euro deposits, what do I need to do?

Please contact the CAF Charity Deposit Platform Client Services team at Flagstone on 0203 745 8130 or at clientservices@flagstoneim.com who will be happy to help

Notice Accounts

If the charity opens a Notice Account, does it automatically close at the end of the notice period or does the charity need to instruct its closure?

With a Notice Account, the funds remain in the account indefinitely until your charity provides Flagstone with notice that the funds should be returned to the charity’s Hub Account. Once your charity provides an instruction, Flagstone will give notice to the bank and the notice period will start (e.g. 120 days for a 120 day notice account). When the instruction has been placed and the notice period expires, funds will be automatically returned to your charity’s Hub Account. Once the funds are back in your charity’s Hub Account, you will be sent confirmation by email.

Term Accounts

If the charity opens a Term Account can the funds be withdrawn before the end of the term?

A Term Account has a specific term (e.g. 3 months, 12 months). Once a Term Account is open and funded, it cannot be broken until the end of the term. This means that your charity’s cash is locked up in the account for the full length of the term, after which it automatically returns to their Hub Account with the interest that has accrued on the deposit.

Offshore Accounts

Are offshore accounts available?

The platform is built so that clients can only see banks and deposit accounts which are available to them. Therefore, if an account from an offshore provider is visible on the platform, then this account is available to your charity.

The CAF Charity Deposit Platform is provided by Flagstone Investment Management (‘Flagstone’) and introductions are made by CAF Financial Solutions Limited (CFSL).

Minimum amount to open a CAF Charity Deposit Platform account is £50,000

Flagstone is registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 08528880. Registered Office: 1st Floor, Clareville House, 26-27 Oxendon Street, London, SW1Y 4EL. Flagstone is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference Numbers 676754 and 605504).

CAF Financial Solutions Limited (CFSL) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 189450. Authorisation can be checked on the financial services register at www.fca.org.uk. CFSL Registered office is 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA. Registered under number 2771873. CFSL is a subsidiary of Charities Aid Foundation (registered charity number 268369).

© Copyright 2020 Flagstone Investment Management