Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Surrey

Mystery Shopper: Surrey

This shopper hopes to help her mum – leaving Austria for the UK – invest and get a regular income stream 

Her two children live in London and she is thinking of relocating to the UK. The shopper is trying to understand where her mother should invest to get a regular stream of income. 

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: Mantle Financial Planning (independent)

Address: 77-79 The Broadway, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 2HP

Speed of response: 10.32am. The shopper is transferred to an adviser after having to answer quite a few questions with the receptionist. 4/5

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

Qualifications: Dip PFS. 5/5

Guidance: He told the shopper that the mother would first need to open a UK-based bank account in order to make any type of investment. He said the client could invest in a combination of Isas and investment bonds. In order to get an investment growth of even 4-5 per cent per year, he said it would be worth investing 20-30 per cent of the money in equities. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser was very well-informed and demonstrated a good knowledge of pension eligibilities as well. 5/5

Payment method: An advice fee of up to 3 per cent of the investment and an ongoing fee of 0.65 per cent per annum. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser gave good initial advice to the shopper. 



Adviser: Arch Financial Planning (independent)

Address: 8 Godalming Business Centre, Woolsack Way, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1XW 

Speed of response: 10.47am. The shopper is transferred to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser is helpful and pleasant to speak to. 5/5

Qualifications: Dip PFS, Chartered. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser said investing in cash was not a good idea due to a low interest rate environment. He recommended the shopper’s mother invests in Isas to increase her tax-free sources of income. He also said investing in a pension product would be a good idea, and she would be able to invest £2,880 a year into a pension scheme, which, combined with the tax relief, would take it to £3,600. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser offered good advice about various investment products and investment ideas. 5/5

Payment method: An initial fee of maximum 3 per cent of the money invested. For investments of more than £100,000, only 2 per cent is levied. There is also an ongoing management charge of 0.75 per cent. 5/5