Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Birmingham

Speed of response: At 10:15am the adviser answered the phone within seconds. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was very professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Level four Dip PFS. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said the business offered a menu of payment options: an hourly rate, a fixed charge, or a percentage of the amount to be moved and/or invested. He suggested a fixed charge, in this instance, may be the most cost-effective option, but he did not give a range. 3/5

Guidance: The adviser said any decision would very much depend on whether the mother was planning to rent or take out a mortgage in Spain, because any investments and/or mortgages would be substantial factors in any financial planning. He outlined what an initial consultation would look like; it would be crucial to find the facts, mother’s objectives and needs, and the options available in a face-to-face meeting. He also noted one option could be a transfer to a private pension or overseas pension scheme. He asked whether the mother was in good health because unless she had any health problems, it would probably be best to say within the scheme, but that he could not give such advice over the phone without knowing more details. 5/5

Knowledge: The adviser was very knowledgeable and admitted it was difficult at this point in time to know exactly what was going to happen in the future, but nevertheless it was possible to point the shopper and her mother in the right direction with what was known now, including advice on how best to take her pension; whether the mother decides to take her pension from the scheme, transfer to a personal pension scheme or a qualifying overseas scheme. But he noted that Brexit probably would not have too much of an impact, as a final salary pension scheme is guaranteed, so there are very few risks and they are good schemes to keep. Currency functions could, however, be a key factor to keep in mind. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser was very knowledgeable and gave good guidance. He was honest about the remaining uncertainties relating to Britain’s departure from the EU, but adamant that the mother’s final salary scheme would be protected if she decided to keep it, aside from currency fluctuations, which would be an unavoidable factor. He could not give a range of the fees involved.



Adviser: Whateley Wealth Management (Independent)

Address: 3 Parsonage Drive, Cofton Hackett, West Midlands, Birmingham, B45 8AS

Speed of response: At 10:30am the shopper was connected quickly. 5/5

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

Relevant qualifications: Level four DipFA. 5/5

Payment method: Following a free face-to-face consultation, there would be a range of costs and charges dependent on the business; a 4 per cent charge of whatever the outcome; or an hourly rate. He said a range was difficult to give without knowing more details. 4/5