DIGGING THE DIRT IN THE MORTGAGE WORLD…
Following the collapse of The Mortgage Times Group last year Mole was interested to see the list of creditors the network was unable to pay.
As well as obvious candidates such as HM Revenue & Customs Mole was intrigued to find a dairy company, a coffee supplier and a hygiene firm were also left out of pocket. Mole thinks ARs can take comfort in the knowledge that Mortgage Times directors were clean and caffeined-up while the network was going under.
After making himself enemy number one for some brokers with his comments about the intermediary market at the Building Societies Association annual conference in Manchester last week Grenville Turner, group chief executive officer of Countrywide, was careful to cover his back when making market predictions.
“There’s a health warning with this one and it’s not necessarily to do with the general election or uncertainty in the housing market – it’s about the speaker at the podium,” he told delegates.
“I’m going to make some predictions but this is the guy who paid £940m for the largest estate agency group in the country in May 2007. So I’d take whatever I say with a pinch of salt.”
The London Marathon may now be a distant memory but that doesn’t mean the industry has stopped its fund-raising efforts for worthy causes.
This time it’s the turn of Intrinsic Financial Services as group marketing director George Higginson, his wife Michelle and some of the Intrinsic team grab their bikes in aid of Children’s Hospice UK.
The intrepid cyclists are training for the London to Paris Cycling Challenge in September which will see them cover nearly 200 miles in three days, starting in London and finishing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
“This is a worthy cause so please dig deep,” Higginson told Mole.
All donations should be made via www.justgiving.com/George-Higginson.
In the same vein Mole was intrigued to hear that a crack team from Mortgage Talk will attempt to scale the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in less than 24 hours on May 15 and 16.
Joining Mortgage Talk chairman Peter Birth will be staffers Lee Cardwell, Scott Howitt and Jonathan Borrington, along with fellow fund-raisers Kevin Simmonds, Mark Jones and Andrew Smith.The challenge involves climbs totalling some 10,000 feet, 25 miles of walking and 450 miles of driving.
Participants will set off from sea level, climb Ben Nevis and cover around nine miles by the time they return to the River Nevis.
Then they will travel by road to Seathwaite in Cumbria and climb Scafell Pike in the dark before descending again to Seathwaite, having covered around eight miles.
Finally, they will drive to Pen-y-Pass and climb before crossing the finishing line – a walk of eight miles.
“Although the team has done endurance events before none are mountaineers so it will be a test, but not as tough as life is for those we are fund-raising for,” Birch told Mole.
The team is raising money for children’s hospice Bluebell Wood, Help For Heroes and Orchid Male Cancer Research.
Donations can be made by visiting www.charitygiving.co.uk/3peaks.