Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Lancaster

Mystery Shopper: Lancaster

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 Lancaster.

The shopper has seen adverts for 100 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages and was considering taking this route to get a mortgage. She thought that lenders were not offering these types of mortgages any more.

Adviser: PBS Independent Financial Advisers (independent)

Address: Castle Chambers, China Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1EX

Speed of response: 10.10am. Transferred to adviser after speaking with receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: £295 for producing mortgage offer. 5/5

Guidance: Adviser explained that lenders do not offer 100 per cent mortgages in the same way they used to. He gave examples of current offerings, such as Barclays where the lender requires 10-15 per cent to be kept in a savings account alongside the mortgage for three years, or Aldermore, which uses the security on a second property belonging to a family member. The adviser suggested it would be less risky all round if a relative were to arrange a gifted deposit. 5/5

Knowledgeable: Adviser sounded quite knowledgeable about the market and what options were available to the shopper. 5/5


Email: 4/5

Verdict: The adviser was professional, helpful and offered examples to illustrate points.



Adviser: Kieron Bassett Financial Services (independent)

Address: 32 Victoria Street, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4AJ

Speed of response: 10.21am. Transferred to adviser by a receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Advanced mortgage advice certificate. 5/5

Payment method: Mortgage fee is typically £250, but can be waived if the shopper takes on protection cover within three months. For borrowers with adverse circumstances the fee is £595. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser explained that 100 per cent mortgages are not what they used to be, as they are now secured against a relative’s property. The adviser said that a gifted deposit route might be a better option, where the shopper is given 5 per cent of the mortgage value and 95 per cent comes from the lender. The adviser reminded the shopper that 100 per cent mortgages typically attract high interest rates. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded very knowledgeable about the mortgage market and gave the shopper plenty of detailed information. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: Shopper's choice. The adviser gave the shopper a lot of information and was very helpful.



Adviser: Haworths Financial Services

Address: 6 Station Road, Bentham, Lancaster LA2 7LS