Personal Pension  

Mystery Shopper: Norwich

K2 Financial Services, 83 Grove Road, Norwich NR1 3RT

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.20pm. Call answered after two rings 5/5

Telephone manner: Polite and friendly. 5/5

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Relevant qualifications: The adviser explained that all advisers had to be qualified to QCF level four to give advice on pensions and investments. 4/5

Payment method: He explained that the initial consultation would be free, and thereafter a fee would be agreed depending on the level of advice sought. 5/5

Guidance given: He confirmed that she does have the option of leaving the pension scheme and advised her to go to the employer to ask how to go about this. But the adviser said that without assessing her personal circumstances he would not be able to tell her whether she would be better in or out of the pension. He recommended that the shopper should think about her main priority: saving for a deposit for a house or putting money away for retirement. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser explained a little bit about auto-enrolment and pension reforms, but it would have been more helpful if he had gone into more detail. 3/5

Email/web presence: 5/5

Verdict: A well-rounded discussion but a little bit more detail on why the shopper had suddenly found that she was in a pension scheme would have been helpful.

Score: 30

Adviser: Mansbrook Brosche & Co, 31 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1BG

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.44pm. Picked up after five rings. 5/5

Telephone manner: Polite.4/5

Relevant qualifications: He explained that from January 1 this year the benchmark qualification for advisers was raised. 3/5

Payment method: He explained that most advisers would offer a free initial meeting. 3/5

Advice given: The shopper was told that she should speak to human resources department at work to see what options there were. Any decision made after that would depend on the employment contract. He explained that he worked for a small firm and it would not take on new clients so it might be better to approach a bigger firm. He also said it might be worth the shopper going to her local bank for general savings advice. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser was helpful but did not volunteer much information about why the caller had been put into a pension without being consulted. 2/5

Email/web presence: 5/5

Verdict: A fair amount of information was given considering the adviser was not looking for new business.

Score: 25/35

Adviser: Oracle Financial Services, 30 Cattlemarket Street, Norwich NR1 3DY

Speed of response: Time of call: 3:59pm. It took 49 seconds to be put through to an adviser. 2/5

Telephone manner: Very friendly, polite and patient. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: The adviser was qualified to diploma level and could therefore advise on pensions and investments. 5/5