Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Glasgow

Mystery Shopper: Glasgow

This week, the mystery shopper visits Glasgow. 

The shopper hopes to secure a responsible investment solution. She recently inherited £30,000 and would like to put the money to good use, ethically and as a source of long-term growth. She wants to know what the viable responsible investment solutions are and what other options are available.

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.

Adviser: Corporate Benefits Consulting (independent)

Address: 8 Sandyford Place, Glasgow, G3 7NB

Speed: At 10am the shopper was transferred to an adviser within seconds. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Qualifications: Dip PFS. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said there would be zero cost for an initial meeting, where fees would be discussed in more detail. He added that one fee option is an hourly rate of £175. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser suggested they would need to review the shopper’s current pension arrangement, as transferring into another, more ethical one was an option, but so was investing through an Isa. He said it was important to establish the aim of the fund and the level of income the shopper requires first. He was reluctant to give more details over the phone. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser explained the types of funds an Isa invests in, such as cash, government bonds and emerging economies, and that there are different types of screenings used by advisers for ethical/responsible funds. He also explained it is possible to tailor portfolios to the individual. He explained his firm has its own investment process and suggested options, but the solution will depend on what the client’s ethical views are. He added that as they are a fully independent firm, they are able to look through the whole market and at many different options. 4/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser was friendly and professional, he explained what the process involved clearly, but was unable to give any real details without more information.



Adviser: Armstrong Watson Financial Planning & Wealth Management (independent)

Address: 1st Floor, 24 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, G2 4BG

Speed: At 10:30am the shopper was connected to an adviser within seconds. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Qualifications: Chartered financial planner with APFS. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser explained there was no initial cost, that the shopper could choose between an hourly rate of £200 an hour or a fixed fee depending on the situation. 5/5