Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Bradford

Mystery Shopper: Bradford

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.

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This week, the mystery shopper visits Bradford.

The shopper is calling on behalf of her mother who is interested in a pension transfer. She has a final salary pension with Marks & Spencer, where she worked for 20 years.

She now works part-time for John Lewis and has not started drawing her pension yet.

Adviser:Perspective (North) (independent)

Address: York House, Cottingley Business Park, West Yorkshire, Bingley BD16 1PE

Speed of response: 10.18am. Transferred to adviser after one ring. 5/5

Telephone manner:  Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Diploma in regulated financial planning and in-house pension transfer specialist. 5/5

Payment method: A scale applies, but when investing up to £75,000, the initial set-up fee is 4 per cent. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser gave an excellent overview of the pensions sector and the role of the Pension Protection Fund. He also told the shopper he would need to assess if a transfer were to be truly in her mother’s best interest, because doing so would put at risk her guaranteed income for life. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser was knowledgable and explained matters clearly. 5/5


Email: 4/5

Verdict: The adviser was professional, clear and helpful.



Adviser:Atrium Financial Limited (part of Intrinsic) (restricted)

Address: 10 Harvest Mews, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD3 0PQ

Speed of response: 10.40am. Call answered by an adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipFA / pension transfer specialist. 5/5

Payment method: On initial investments of £150,000 there is a charge of 5 per cent, but if the amount is considerable the adviser could be flexible. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser offered an overview of the sector and explained how the new flexibility in the sector has changed how people draw on and use their pensions. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded very knowledgeable about the sector. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: Shopper’s choice. The adviser was helpful and was prepared to discuss reducing the investment fee. The shopper felt her mother’s circumstances were being considered.



Adviser:Investing For Tomorrow (independent)

Address: Dean Clough Mills, Suite K1, K Mill, Halifax HX3 5AX

Speed of response: 12pm. Transferred to an adviser by receptionist after one call. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipPFS and in-house pensions transfer specialists. 5/5

Payment method: £1,500 for research and report. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser told the shopper that pension transfers were too involved to explore over the phone. He was keen to set up a meeting with the shopper and her mother to go through all the details. 4/5