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The Mortgage Mole

Tri harder

The standard cover letter produced by a white-labelled version of Trigold&#39s Prospector software lets down the system&#39s hi-tech image. The cause? That most human of errors, a spelling mistake. One broker tells Mole: “I don&#39t send the automatically-produced cover letter to my clients because it has the exotic word &#39consititute&#39 in the first paragraph instead of the more everyday &#39constitute&#39. There are also a few random capital letters and missing full stops. They&#39ve been there a while but I didn&#39t have the heart to say anything.” Mole of course, has no such qualms. Trigold fixed the errors and a spokesman tells me: “We&#39re grateful to be told such things.” Glad to be of service.

Hector&#39s house

They are both fam-ously hirsute, but the resemblance just about ends there. News that the Virgin that was is to swap a billionaire entrepreneur for, um, a speaking dog, had Mole&#39s furry ears twitching last week. After building an empire on the back of Richard Branson&#39s brand, VirginOne is to drop the bearded one from its adverts to make a hound called Hector the star of its ads. Now Mole is obviously too young to remember, but more stately occupants of the burrow tell me that Hector&#39s House was a successful 1970s kiddie programme. Copyright must have been cheap then.

Bongo&#39s bet

Mole was a little shocked on hearing that MPLC&#39s Peter Beaumont had declared himself “on the wagon” for the whole of January. Bongo&#39s also promised Mole that if anyone catches him falling off, he&#39ll cough up £250 for the NSPCC and £100 for each subsequent offence thereafter – a healthy packaging fee in anyone&#39s eye. “Seriously, I&#39m not going to drink in January,” the tight-fisted one told Mole. “I do the same every year and I&#39m willing to put money on it.” But will Bongo manage to pull it off? Seems unlikely.

“He didn&#39t mention being teetotal,” my MPLC insider tells me. “There&#39s no way that&#39s going to happen. Trevor Pothecary will kill him if he doesn&#39t drink anything on Burns&#39 Night!” Chalk up £1,000 to the NSPCC.

City suckers

Speaking of mugs… Mole had the pleasure of MPLC&#39s company the other week to watch Man City crash out of the FA Cup against mighty Liverpool. Mole was quick to take up the offer of a £20 bet with MPLC&#39s Pete Thomson. The ardent City fan actually believed his sky blue “warriors” actually stood a chance and Mole was more than happy to deprive the head of sales of his supposedly hard-earned cash. Within 60 seconds in the second half, Liverpool won a penalty when Foe rose to block a Smicer cross, allowing Danny Murphy to fire the Reds through to the fourth round. It was a desperate piece of luck for Foe and for poor old Pete who had to brush the cobwebs from his wallet at full time. Tickets to watch Liverpool obliterate Crystal Palace to the usual address.


Virgin rebrands and launches flexible deal

VirginOne has rebranded as The One account and launched a flexible mortgage for sale exclusively through intermediaries, writes Harriet Williams. The Flexible Mortgage option offers a three month discount of 1.75%. This gives a 3.2% introductory rate on loans up to 85% LTV, reverting to a 4.95% variable rate, and a 3.7% rate on loans […]

Halifax under fire for hiding payback

Halifax has been criticised for hiding early payback features on mortgage offers issued to borrowers.Andy Wilgoss, managing director of Square Mile Mortgage Finance, told Mortgage Strategy that one of his clients raised the issue when hoping to pay a 10% lump sum prior to retirement. Only after a written enquiry did the lender confirm that […]

My mortgage week – Alan Hill

Monday: My week starts at 5.45am. Between now and 9am I&#39ve got to get my three sons ready for school and fit in a few hours revision before my CeMAP Bridge exam at 10am. (The exam was tough but I&#39m pleased to say I passed.) At 1.00 pm I am meeting our architects to discuss […]

Bradford & Bingley goes the distance with Shelter

Bradford & Bingley has agreed to be the key sponsor for Shelter – the official charity of The Flora London Marathon – with a £100,000 donation. The marathon, which takes place on April 13 2003, attracts around 38,000 runners, amateurs and professionals alike. Shelter is aiming to attract over 1,000 runners, raising more than £1m […]


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