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Mystery shopper: Sutton

Mystery shopper: Sutton

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 Sutton and the surrounding area. The shopper, and his wife, are seeking to switch from a repayment to an interest only mortgage after his wife was made redundant with a baby on the way. The shopper earns a basic of £35,000 and has a track record of obtaining a further £10,000 in commission. The property is valued at £270,000 and the current mortgage value is £220,000.

Adviser (Independent): Footman Sherwin Financial Services, FS House, 7 Vernon Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 4QX

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Speed of response:

Time of call: 10.54am. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

£450. The shopper would be required to pay half of the sum in advance the adviser said. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser told the shopper to inform his existing lender of the changes in his circumstances and seek an interest-only deal. He explained that lenders tend to have a more lenient criteria for existing customers. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser displayed a good understanding of the area in the little guidance he gave. 4/5

Email/web presence:

mail@footmansherwin.co.uk

www.footman-sherwin.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

The conversation was notably brief but the adviser was able to outline the key consideration. 33/35

 

Adviser (Independent): Mantle Financial Planning, 77-79 The Broadway, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 2HP

Speed of response:

Time of call: 11.00am. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Very friendly and helpful. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Mortgage adviser. 4/5

Payment method:

Commission. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser told the shopper to inform his current lender of the changes in his circumstances and negotiate an interest only deal – even if it is just for a year. She explained that most lenders have a strict lending criteria for interest only mortgages – with most stipulating that applicants have an annual salary of £100,000  and a minimum of £100,000 of equity in the property.  5/5

Knowledge:

Excellent. The adviser explained that many lenders withdrew from the interest only market following the financial crash which was largely blamed on risky loans. 5/5

Email/web presence:

info@MantleFP.com

www.mantlefp.com 5/5

Verdict:

Impressive. The adviser knew that she was unlikely to secure new business given the shopper’s circumstances but provided comprehensive guidance nonetheless. 34/35

 

Adviser (Independent): TFM LLP, Top Floor, 100 East Street, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 1EB

Speed of response:

Time of call: 11.11am. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Chartered financial planner. 5/5

Payment method:

£250. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser kicked off the conversation by asking whether the shopper had consulted with his existing lender, adding that this should be the first port of call. He said for an interest only loan, most lenders would lend up to 50 per cent of the value of the property. He added interest-only lenders stipulate that applicants must have a minimum salary of £100,000 and at least £150,000 of equity in the property. 5/5