This week, the mystery shopper visits Aberdeen. The shopper and her sister have inherited £200,000 and would like to find out more about investing ethically.
Adviser: Phil Anderson Financial Services (independent)
Address: 12a Carden Place, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB10 1UR
Speed of response: 10.02am. Call answered by adviser after a few rings. 5/5
Telephone manner: Polite 5/5
Relevant qualifications: Diploma for financial advisers, level four. 5/5
Payment method: Can charge up to 3 per cent on investments, but this will depend on level of work done. 4/5
Guidance: The adviser said that ethical investing is an area that is becoming less complex and a number of firms have rolled out ethical funds that are performing well. 4/5
Knowledge: The adviser spoke with confidence, but the shopper would have liked to have been given more detail over the phone. 4/5
Email: email@example.com 5/5
Verdict: The adviser was professional, but was more concerned about arranging a face-to-face meeting rather than offering and overview of the sector and providing more detail over the phone. The shopper did not feel like she got all the information she needed.
Adviser: Devana Independent Financial Advisers (independent)
Address: 102 Holburn Street Aberdeen AB10 6BY
Speed of response: 10.12am. Call answered by an adviser. 5/5
Telephone manner: Polite. 5/5
Relevant qualifications: DipPFS, Personal Finance Society Diploma. 5/5
Payment method: Adviser said he would explain the different charges involved at a future face-to-face meeting. 3/5
Guidance: The adviser explained that ethical investments tend to involve funds that do not invest in companies, such as British Tobacco, or in companies involved in the ill treatment of animals, for example. He also wanted to arrange a meeting to find the most appropriate funds and to fully assess her tolerance to risk. 4/5
Knowledge: The would have liked a bit more detail over the phone about her options before agreeing to a face-to-face meeting, which the adviser was overly keen on. 4/5
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 5/5
Verdict: The adviser was friendly and helpful, but the shopper felt he could have offered her more information over the phone.
Adviser: Steadfast Financial (independent)
Address: Hopton, Muir Road, Memsie, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire AB43 7AN
Speed of response: 10.23am. Call answered by adviser. 5/5
Telephone manner: Polite. 5/5
Relevant qualifications: Diploma for financial advisers (IFS) 5/5
Payment method: The adviser said he will explain the fee calculation at the meeting. 3/5
Guidance: The adviser said when he gets enquiries about ethical investments he likes to set up a meeting to explain the service the firm offers. At the meeting he will also assess the best direction to take for the client. 3/5
Knowledge: Adviser sounded confident and explained the firm had a process when it came to ethical investments. 3/5
Email: email@example.com 5/5
Verdict: The adviser was professional, but even when prompted to do so, was reluctant to provide the shopper with more information over the phone.