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Mystery Shopper: Derbyshire

Mystery Shopper: Derbyshire

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 visits Derbyshire. The shopper and her husband have invested in Bitcoin and want to use the yet unrealised return (around £40k), as a deposit on a mortgage. But she’s concerned about press reports that lenders are unwilling to accept Bitcoin investment returns as collateral on a home deposit. 


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Adviser: Create Financial Management (independent)

Address: York House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Chaddesden, Derby DE21 6LY

Speed of response: 12.31pm. One ring and put through to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone Manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: Charge of £299 plus commission from lender. 4/5

Guidance: The adviser offered to arrange a meeting to take the shopper through a mortgage in principle process. He also offered to do a credit check and added that although he was not 100 per cent sure, he did not foresee a problem for the shopper to use cash from Bitcoin holdings as long as she had the proper documentation. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser was friendly and helpful, but was unsure whether using Bitcoin investments would present challenges for the shopper. 4/5


Email address: 5/5

Verdict: Although the adviser was friendly and knowledgeable, the shopper felt he could have asked more questions about the shopper's circumstances.



Adviser: Orridge & Dunn Independent Financial Advice (independent)

Address: Third Floor, 35/36 Iron Gate, Derby DE1 3GA

Speed of response: 12.50pm. One ring and call answered by adviser straightaway. 5/5

Telephone Manner: Friendly, professional and helpful. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CII Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ). 5/5

Payment method: £199 flat fee. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser said lenders want proof of deposit, particularly for first-time buyers, to make sure the money has not come from illicit gains. As a first-time buyer, most lenders would also be looking at a minimum threshold of 80 per cent loan-to-value. The adviser wanted to know more about what the shopper had read about Bitcoin and offered to make some calls and get back to her. 5/5

Knowledge: The adviser certainly knew the in and outs of the market and was eager to find out more for the shopper on Bitcoin investmemts specifically. 4/5


Email address: 5/5

Verdict: Shopper’s verdict. The adviser impressed the shopper by offering to make enquiries on her behalf to find out if using cash from Bitcoin would be a problem for a potential lender.



Adviser: Great British Finance (independent)

Address: 19 High Street, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 8JE

Speed of response: 1pm. One ring and put through to adviser. 5/5

Telephone Manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: Fee depends on type of portfolio. It ranges between £295 and 0.5 per cent of the mortgage value and the adviser also gets a commission. 4/5

Guidance: The adviser said that for the shopper to use the Bitcoin cash as deposit the funds would need to be converted into euro or dollar and then converted to sterling. 4/5