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Mystery shopper: Nottingham

Mystery shopper: Nottingham

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 that 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 Nottingham. He plans to set up a graphic design business and is looking to raise £22,000 in seed money. He is contemplating securing a loan against his property, which he owns outright, or through another lending vehicle. The shopper is currently in employment, but aims to resign from his position in the near future.

Adviser (Independent):

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Dales Independent Financial Advisors

Bridgford Business Centre, 29 Bridgford Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG2 6AU

Speed of response:

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

Telephone manner:

Particularly polite and engaging. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

Not disclosed. 0/5

Guidance given:

The adviser said the shopper was unlikely to find a lender that would allow him to secure a loan against his property because of his plan to leave his current employment in the near future. Lenders tend to only lend to individuals with recurring income. However, some may consider his application if he has evidence of future work contracts, the adviser said. 4/5

Knowledge:

Very good. The adviser demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge in the topic. 4/5

Email/web presence:

None given.

www.pndales.co.uk 3/5

Verdict:

Good overall. The adviser did not offer to arrange a meeting, or disclose his advice charge or email, because he felt the shopper was better off consulting his bank. He did deliver useful guidance though.

26/35

Adviser (Independent):

James Ryan Thornhill Ltd

41 Wollaton Road, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, Nottingham NG9 2RN

Speed of response:

Time of call: 2.49pm. The call was answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly and helpful. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

It normally costs £500 to find a mortgage. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser said the shopper may be able to secure a loan against his property because it is unencumbered. However, the shopper should consult with his bank in the first instance, the adviser explained. He also told the shopper to revert back to him after consulting his bank. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser displayed a good level of knowledge. 4/5

Email/web presence:

steve@jrtltd.co.uk

www.jamesryanthornhill.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

The adviser offered some helpful guidance and his friendly approach to the conversation helped put the shopper at ease.

33/35

Adviser (Independent):

Red IFA LLP

G3 Ash Tree Court, Mellors Way, Nottingham Business Park, Nottinghamshire, Nottingham NG8 6PY

Speed of response:

Time of call: 3.09pm. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Polite. 4/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

Something that would need to be discussed with the adviser. 3/5

Guidance given:

The adviser said he did not specialise in this particular area and referred the shopper onto his colleague who was not available. But he did explain that banks have been more reticent in offering loans in the past eight years. 3/5