Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Nottingham

Mystery Shopper: Nottingham

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 Nottingham. The shopper is self-employed and wants to take out life insurance to cover the cost of her mortgage should she die and to provide some kind of financial protection for her two young children.

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Adviser: Credencis (independent)

Address: Castledine House, 7 Heanor Road, Ilkeston DE7 8DY

Speed of response: 11.25am. Transferred to adviser by receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Qualified financial planner (CII). 5/5

Payment method: Commission from insurance company. 5/5

Guidance: Adviser wanted to arrange a meeting to go through the shopper’s circumstances in more detail but he told her that typically life insurance is taken out to pay off the mortgage and to protect the children. 4/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded confident but the shopper would have liked to have been given more information over the phone. 4/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser behaved in a fairly professional manner but the shopper felt he could have given her more detail.



Adviser: James Ryan Thornhill (independent)

Address: 41 Wollaton Rd, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 2RN

Speed of response: 11.33am. Transferred to adviser by receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Certification in mortgage advice and protection. 5/5

Payment method: Adviser gets paid commission by insurance company. 5/5

Guidance: Adviser explained there are many different types of life insurance, depending on what the shopper wants to achieve. He explained the difference between mortgage protection and level term life protection policies, as well as other types of protection cover the shopper could get, such as income protection and critical illness. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser spoke with a lot of knowledge and provided a lot of detail. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser behaved in a very professional manner and was very helpful.



Adviser: Russell Ulyatt (independent)

Address: 1 The Triangle, ng2 Business Park, Nottingham NG2 1AE

Speed of response: 11.54am. Transferred to member of paraplanning team. 4/5

Telephone manner: Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Shopper spoke to member of paraplanning team, not the adviser. 4/5

Payment method: There is a typical initial charge of 3 per cent of the money the adviser manages on the shopper’s behalf.  5/5

Guidance: The paraplanner explained that as the firm has a holistic approach to the way it provides financial planning, it does not just look at providing advice on life insurance in isolation. It also looks at the pensions and investment opportunities. This, in turn, means the fee paid by the shopper would be value for money. He also explained the different types of protection policies. 4/5