Mystery Shopper: Greater London

Mystery Shopper: Greater London

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 Greater London. The shopper wants to get some sort of income protection cover, as she has two young children. She has been a self-employed project manager for two years and is registered as a limited company, so she pays herself a salary and a a dividend each month.

Adviser: Stadden Forbes Wealth Management (independent)

Article continues after advert

Address: 12-18 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH

Speed of response: 9.30am. One ring and put through to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Helpful and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Dip PFS (Personal Finance Society). 5/5

Payment method: A commission is paid by the insurer to cover the cost of advice. 3/5

Guidance: The adviser said a limited company set-up can be more complicated. He would need at least two years’ tax receipts to be able to make the case to the insurer. He said there was a risk of being over- and under-insured, as premiums could be based on a different income to what is used in a claim. Typically, cover would equal 60 per cent of income. Next steps would involve a meeting to do a fact find and to establish which lenders should be approached. 5/5 

Knowledge: The adviser was knowledgeable about product options, but did not offer a more holistic view of the product’s impact on her income, nor did he mention statutory benefits. 4/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser seemed fairly knowledgeable about the shopper’s options and put her mind at ease that she could find something.



Adviser: Lothbury Wealth Management (independent)

Address: 8 Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0BE

Speed of response: 9.42am. One ring and put through to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Helpful and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. 5/5

Payment method: Costs are based on the amount of time spent on the application rather than the product. Cost details are broken down in a fact-find document.  3/5

Guidance: The adviser told the shopper that there were various types of income protection she could get, depending on her age, expenditure, the assets she has and the sector in which she works. Furthermore, by going through a face-to-face, fact find,he would be able to explain more about the type of cover that would suit her and give an idea of the costs and charges.   3/5

Knowledge: The adviser was professional and seemed fairly knowledgeable. But the shopper would have liked a bit more detail over the phone before she decided on a face-to-face meeting. 3/5


Email: 4/5 

Verdict: The shopper would have liked it if the adviser had given her more detail and more information on how income protection works.



Adviser: Ablestoke Wealth Management (independent)