Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Camden

Knowledge: The adviser demonstrated an adequate knowledge of life assurance. 3/5


Email:  5/5

Verdict: The shopper felt the adviser sounded a bit curt but gave sufficient information to the shopper. 



Adviser: Lighthouse Financial Initiatives (independent)

Address: 25 Belsize Crescent, London, NW3 5Q

Speed of response: At 12:18 the shopper was transferred to the switchboard after two rings and then was connected to an adviser after two rings. 4/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was extremely enthusiastic and friendly. 5/5 

Relevant qualifications: Level 6 Chartered Financial Planner. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said the shopper had a choice of paying roughly £2000 as an upfront fee to the adviser or higher premiums through commission paid by the provider. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser flagged up a few points which the others did not. He told the shopper that passing the house on to children independent of the life assurance policy was not a feasible option unless the shopper is prepared to pay rent to the new owners (that is, the children) or move out of the property. He also warned of the seven year rule that the property would still be taxed as part of her estate if it is given away less than seven years after the death. He said the whole of life policy may be best as it is the only one that would guarantee the IHT liabilities would be paid. 5/5

Knowledge: The adviser demonstrated outstanding knowledge of IHT and wider regulations surrounding inheritance and of protection products. 5/5


Email: The adviser gave a generic email address and kept asking for the shopper’s email address so he could email her and share contact details that way instead 5/5

Verdict: This adviser at Lighthouse Financial Incentives appeared most helpful to the shopper. He was enthusiastic, gave the most detailed information over the phone, and of the consequences if the shopper doesn’t take out a life assurance policy and opts for gifting the flat instead. He also openly spoke about fees without having to be prompted to do so (Shopper’s choice). 



Adviser: Gale & Phillipson (independent)

Address: Railway House, 1 Whittlebury Mews East, Greater London, London, NW1 8EQ

Speed of response: 12:42. The shopper is connected straight away to an IFA directly, albeit after four rings. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was polite. 4/5 

Relevant qualifications:Level 4 Dip PFS. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said the shopper will have to choose which payment method works best and said the upfront fee could cost around £3,000. 4/5

Guidance: The adviser said to check whether the shopper gets life assurance with her current work employer and depending and to adjust the amount of cover she should purchase with the life assurance policy. He said the rest depends on whether the shopper wants to pay less for a fixed term policy or purchase a Whole of Life policy. 4/5