AN OXFORD accountancy firm was named Shopper’s Choice by the Financial Times earlier this month.

Shaw Gibbs earned the accolade after the FT’s Financial Adviser’s mystery shopper called with questions about life insurance.

The call was answered by a receptionist, who passed it to the firm’s mortgage consultant Ed Batty.

The mystery shopper’s scenario was she had recently returned to full-time employment as a graphic designer.

She wanted to know about her options for taking out life insurance and income protection.

As part of the FT mystery shopper series, a financial advisory firm is secretly tested, to find out how calls from potential new clients are handled.

The shopper reports on the first phone interview, giving scores for speed of response, quality of guidance and level of knowledge of the advisor.

After a long discussion with Mr Batty, the mystery shopper gave him a score of 34 out of 35.

She said she found him to be ‘…knowledgeable and helpful on the phone…‘ and ‘…felt very comfortable speaking to him about her circumstances.’

Shaw Gibbs was named Shopper’s Choice over two independent financial advisors in Aylesbury and Woodstock and benchmarked against a national insurance provider.

Ed Gibson, who leads Shaw Gibbs financial services division, said: “I’m pleased that we have received such a great outcome.

“At Shaw Gibbs we believe strongly in the benefits of talking through financial matters either on the phone or in person in an expert and professional manner.”