Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Swansea

Mystery Shopper: Swansea

This week the mystery shopper visits Swansea.

The shopper has £20,000 in a cash Isa and wants to put it into a stocks and shares Isa account. They hope to use the money to buy a flat in the next five to seven years. The shopper is 25-years-old, and earns an annual salary of £30,000.

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent advisers in the UK.

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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.

Adviser: WPS Financial Group (Independent)

Address: 11 Axis Court, Mallard Way, Swansea Vale, Swansea, Swansea, SA7 0AJ

Speed of response: 16:00. The shopper was transferred quickly to an adviser. 4/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was polite and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Director with PFS, CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said there would be no fee for the initial 30-minute consultation, but did not suggest a price range for further consultation. 3/5

Guidance: The adviser said clients would need to describe circumstances in more detail in the initial consultation, during which a discussion of all the risks would need to take place, and the adviser would go from there. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser was knowledgeable on the difference between a cash Isa and a stocks and shares Isa, and the risks involved in the investment. 4/5


Email: When asked, the adviser said he would give an email but then referred to the website and firm’s number instead. The shopper did not ask for the email again. 3/5

Verdict: The adviser was friendly and knowledgeable, especially on the risks associated with switching to a stocks and shares Isa, but needed encouragement to discuss the details over the phone. 

Total score: 27/35


Adviser: CBK Wales (Independent)

Address: Henley House, Queensway, Swansea West Business Park, Swansea, Swansea, SA5 4DJ

Speed of response: 09:30. The shopper was transferred to an adviser straight away. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was very friendly and helpful. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Dip PFS. 5/5

Payment Method: The adviser said fees would be around 3 per cent of the investment, about £600. There would be no fee for the initial consultation. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser said the investment would depend on the shopper’s individual circumstances, but added that generally house prices in Swansea are a lot less than in London, and so asked if the shopper had looked into a Help-to-Buy Isa instead. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser gave a good account of the differences between the investments, and hinted that a Help-to-Buy Isa might also be an option. 5/5