Mortgages  

Mystery shopper: Southampton

Mystery shopper: Southampton

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent and tied 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 shopper visits Southampton. His company made him self-employed six months ago after a four-and-a half-year spell on a traditional full-time contract. He wants to know how this will affect his chances of securing a mortgage with a 30 per cent deposit.

Adviser (Independent):

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John Charcol via Simply Wealth Asset Management

Unit D, Drivers Wharf, Northam Road, Southampton, SO14 0PF

Speed of response:

Time of call: 2.07pm. The call was answered after one ring. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Polite and engaging. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Mortgage adviser. 3/5

Payment method:

Usually between £495 and £1,250. 5/5

Guidance given:

The shopper’s recent self-employed status means he will have great difficulty in securing a mortgage, the adviser said. This is because most lenders require at least one year of trading history. She said she only knew of one lender that might consider his case. To get a better gauge of the shopper’s circumstances, she politely offered to take him through a mortgage questionnaire. 4/5

 

Knowledge:

The adviser came across as having comprehensive knowledge in the area. 3/5

Email/web presence:

lisa.rolfe@johncharcol.co.uk

www.charcol.co.uk

5/5

Verdict:

The adviser came across well. She asked a few searching questions to get a better understanding of the shopper's circumstances and offered to lodge an initial query with the aforementioned lender.

30/35

Adviser (Independent):

Coleman Financial Services

4 Saxon Gate, Back of the Walls, Southampton, SO14 3HA

Speed of response:

Time of call: 2.18pm. The call was answered after a ring. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Very friendly and courteous. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Mortgage adviser. 3/5

Payment method:

Typically commission. 5/5

Guidance given:

Most lenders demand a minimum of two years of trading history, although some only ask for a year for affordability purposes, the adviser said. Here, the shopper is likely to struggle to find a loan with less than one year of books, the adviser added. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser appeared to have a good grasp of the typical lending requirements for self-employed individuals. 4/5

Email/web presence:

lewisj@colemanffl.co.uk

www.colemanfsl.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

The adviser came across as sympathetic and eager to help. He explained that the best course of action for the shopper would be to seek advice once he has one year of accounts.

31/35

Adviser (Independent):

Castle Investment Consultants

19/21 Junction Road, Totton, Southampton, SO40 9HG

Speed of response:

Time of call: 2.25pm. The call was answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly. 4/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

Commission. 5/5

Guidance given:

He said the shopper is in a tricky situation because most lenders would not lend to an individual who has recently been made self-employed. He added most lenders ask for two years' accounts. He said that although he was qualified to offer mortgage advice, his colleague had more experience in dealing with specialist situations and offered to pass on the shopper’s contact details to the individual. 3/5