Monday: The day starts at 3am, consulting with number two son (aged 4) re his 'projectile vomiting without hitting the duvet' technique. At my desk by 9, feeling less than fabulous. Visit to Future Mortgages' head of sales, Clive Wilson in Reading to discuss a client's new sourcing system. Having comprehensively fried my super-modernistic laptop on Sunday, my attempts to demonstrate the software are less than impressive as the pensionable substitute computer fails to load pages. Clive kindly keeps a straight face and shows me gently to the door.
Tuesday: One of my corporate clients, national mortgage broker, Homebank, is looking to expand its salesforce from 200 to 500 over the next 18 months. Thus, conference call with George Dodds, Homebank's MD, to discuss PR and advertising up to the end of the first quarter of 2003. Exciting possibilities are opening up. Spend late afternoon catching up with IFA mortgage clients' cases with my partner and trying to light a fire under call centre-protected underwriting team at well-known lender based north of Watford. Discover that Fleetwood's First Law of Mortgages is again proven. It states: 'Mortgage lender with best rates seldom has best service.' Wednesday: Attend the MBL roadshow in Bournemouth. Jacki Maclean, MBL's regional manager gives a polished presentation and I understand 'Mortgage Broker' for the first time. Looks like MBL's platform could really be the next big thing for mortgages even if the actual launch dates still look vague. Have disturbing vision of Mark Lofthouse in meetings with the consortium lenders, trying to get them all singing off the same hymn sheet.
Thursday: Went to the MCCB workshop in Bournemouth. Excellent content and well presented. In fact, once the FSA is in place as regulator, there will be many looking back at the MCCB as a cuddly and friendly helpmate. If I was Luke March, I would be negotiating for the MCCB to become the mortgage regulatory arm of the FSA. Brokers and lenders won't want to have to educate 'wet behind the ears' FSA college graduate rulebook-regurgitators about how the market works.
Friday: Fleetwood's Second Rule of Mortgages states: 'The difficulty of a case can be measured in direct proportion to the client's belief in the Tooth Fairy and in his inalienable right not to take responsibility for his actions.' Patiently explain to a prospective client that self-certifying his income does not mean that someone else is then responsible if he can't afford it. Client throws toys ex pram as I suggest that inflating his income is both fraudulent and risks repossession when he can't make the payments. Bet he is one of the endowment punters lining up to fill in the DIY complaints section on the Which? website. I think about joining the professional compensation industry. Any jobs going at the FSA?
Chris Fleetwood runs Paradigm Consulting, a financial services sales and marketing consultancy. His diary runs from October 21-25