Mystery Shopper: Walthamstow

Adviser (Independent)

Time of call: 12.52pm. Answered after one ring. 5/5

Telephone manner: Very friendly, confident and authoritative. 5/5

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Relevant qualification: CII mortgage-specific qualification. 5/5

Payment method: First meeting free. But one-off payment of £350 for doing the business. 5/5

Guidance Given: The adviser immediately comprehended the situation, and knew that as a self-employed person things would be difficult if the shopper did not have the right information to present to lenders. She knew which forms the shopper needed to prove income, and also described the use of credit reports by the lenders. She explained that lenders like borrowers to use credit cards as that shows they have a line of credit. 5/5

Knowledge: Absolutely on top of her game. 5/5

Email: 3/5

Verdict: Very impressive. She gave the shopper a clear picture of what he might expect and what he should do even before talking about coming in to see her. She is one of those advisers who prove it is worth paying the fee.


Adviser (Independent)

Baigrie Davies, 25 City Road, London EC1Y 1AA.

Speed of response: Time of call: 1.27pm. Two rings to receptionist who quickly put shopper through. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly but quick-fire talker. 4/5

Relevant qualifications: Adviser said he was a broker with an FCA-recognised qualification. He said that everyone in the company was either certified or chartered. 4/5

Payment method: First visit free. Fee thereafter depends on what level of fee adviser gets from bank. If they get £1,000, client pays nothing, but if less the client makes up the difference. 5/5

Guidance given: Rapid but still relatively thorough. Adviser pointed out that as a self-employed person, the shopper needed to show profit after deductions but before tax – the net profit figure is the crucial one. He questioned the shopper about credit card use; about whether he had ever defaulted and his debt repayment record. 4/5

Knowledge: Adviser knew his stuff, but sounded like he probably needed to keep such chats short and to the point. 4/5

Email: 5/5

Verdict: Friendly but business-like tone may not suit people who want a lot of hand-holding. However, that may be appropriate for the market he is in.


Adviser (Independent)

Instant Mortgages Ltd, 376 High Road, Woodford Green, London IG8 0XQ.

Speed of Response: Time of call: 1.54pm. Answered after three rings. Quickly put through by receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Very friendly, bright and positive. 5/5

Relevant Qualifications: Broker and compliance officer for company. He said he had done financial planning certificates one, two and three, and that all eight brokers in the company have to have Certificate in Mortgage Advice Practice one, two and three as a minimum.5/5

Payment method: First visit free. Fee only payable “if we do what we say” and complete loan. Then for loans of up to £150,000 there is a £500 fee, and £250 is charged for loans of more than that. 5/5