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Choose your words carefully when writing about the sub-prime ssector

From Thomas Reeh

Isabelle Kassam has been at it again – using tabloid hysteria to drum up yet another controversy with her attack on sub-prime mortgage brokers and lenders (Mortgage Strategy June 5). It worries me when journalists use phrases like “I wonder” and “I suspect” – it sounds like code for “I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Consumer debt is at record levels. We all know that. Is it any surprise that the number of clients defaulting on their commitments is also at record levels? Not really. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again – prevention is better than cure. For example, who is regulating the direct mail market? Why do I get multiple credit card, loan and store account offers through my mailbox every week? Perhaps more industry and regulatory focus is needed at that level.

We attempt to credit cleanse our clients – it’s the cornerstone of our business model. So gravy train or highly competitive sub-prime sector? Increased competition – which is set to get even hotter – is good news for sub-prime clients. Near prime and prime rates are almost indistinguishable and most big sub-prime lenders have significantly relaxed their early repayment charge policies.

The vast majority of brokers do business ethically and compliantly and are in business to stay in business. Please stop using words like probably, dodgy lending and irresponsible, Isabelle. It does your credibility and that of the mortgage industry no good.

Thomas Reeh

Chief executive, blackandwhite.co.uk, By email

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