Your Industry  

Mystery shopper: Coventry

Mystery shopper: Coventry

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 Coventry. The shopper has recently inherited £70,000 and is seeking to invest the sum for extra income to supplement his self-employed earnings. He rents, but wants to purchase a property in the future.

Adviser (Independent):

Article continues after advert

Cotswold Independent Financial Services Limited

Stanley House, 1 Warwick Street, Earlsdon, CV5 6ET

Speed of response:

Time of call: 11.17am. The call was answered after five rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Courteous and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

3 per cent of initial investment. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser suggested arranging a meeting to get a better understanding of the shopper's circumstances. He said he would conduct a fact-find and seek to gauge the shopper’s attitude to investment risk. The adviser added he would consider investments that are not tied up for long periods of time because of the shopper’s plan to purchase a property. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser seemed to have a good grasp of the topic. 4/5

Email/web presence:

mquinncotsworldfs.co.uk

www.cotswoldifs.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

Good overall. The adviser gave decent pointers and should be particularly commended for considering how the prospect of a house purchase in the future affects investment decisions in the present.

33/35

Adviser (Restricted):

Personal Touch Financial Solutions

19 Stoneleigh Avenue, Earlsdon, Coventry, CV5 6DA

Speed of response:

Time of call: 11.23am. The call was answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly. 4/5

Relevant qualifications:

Advanced Financial Planning Certificate. 5/5

Payment method:

Varies – depends on the circumstances. 4/5

Guidance given:

After hearing the shopper’s scenario, the adviser suggested arranging an initial meeting to get a better gauge of his circumstances. When prompted to give generic guidance, the adviser said it would be “out of order” to do so without having a good understanding of the shopper’s situation. 3/5

Knowledge:

Difficult to gauge based on the guidance given. 3/5

Email/web presence:

tony.rossborough@gmail.com

www.tonyptsolutions.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

The adviser’s friendly approach to the conversation put the shopper at ease, but he did not deliver much on the guidance front.

29/35

Adviser (Independent):

Adrian Smith & Partners

ASPL House, 9 Elm Court, Meriden Business Park, Copse Drive, West Midlands, CV5 9RG

Speed of response:

Time of call: 11.27am. The call was answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

The representative was not qualified to give advice. 0/5

Payment method:

The representative explained that this was something to discuss with an adviser. 2/5

Guidance given:

The shopper was transferred to the representative under the illusion he was being passed onto an adviser after speaking to the receptionist. After listening to the shopper’s scenario, the representative asked a host of questions akin to a preliminary fact-find, such as whether he has current investments. The representative then asked for the shopper’s contact details to put him in touch with one of the firm’s advisers. 3/5