Aug 2 2017

Mystery Shopper: Greater Manchester

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Mystery Shopper: Greater Manchester

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. The purpose is not to expose poor selling practices, but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.This week, the mystery shopper wants to find out what her options are after coming into a pot of money worth £60,000. She also has savings of £15,000 and is looking for investment advice, as she has a £200,000 mortgage left on a property worth £250,000.  

Adviser: Principle Investment Management (Independent)

Address: 91 Stockport Road, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 6AA

Speed of response: 11.20am. The adviser was put through to adviser after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and polite 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMAP qualified and diploma level 4 qualified. 5/5

Payment method: The mortgage fee on application is £300. The additional fee in relation to the Isa will depend on the type. 4/5

Guidance given: The adviser tried to establish a broad profile about the caller’s circumstances by asking lots of questions relating to the shopper's current mortgage situation. He also explained that the funds could be used to pay down some of the mortgage. If the shopper wanted to progress further then he could arrange a meeting at the office. The first meeting would be free. 5/5

Knowledge: The adviser was very knowledgeable about the mortgage rates in the market that the shopper could potentially be moved onto.  5/5

Website: 5/5

Verdict: Shopper’s choice. The adviser was very courteous and knowledgeable. The shopper liked the fact that he was able to give her a rough idea of what her options could be.


Adviser: Prosper IFA Ltd (Independent)

Address: Prosper House, 99a High Street Standish, Wigan, Lancashire WN6 0HD

Speed of response: 11.40am. The adviser was put through to adviser after just one ring. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Cert CII in financial planning. 5/5

Payment method: The initial meeting is free. Fees are then based on the percentage of investment the IFA will manage and level of work undertaken.  4/5

Guidance given: The adviser said he preferred to arrange an initial meeting to talk about the shopper's circumstances and to discuss the various options open to the shopper. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser spoke with a lot of confidence, but as he was reluctant to discuss matters further on the phone it was hard to gauge what advice he might be able to offer. 3/5