TMG launches PR comeback campaign

Truro-based The Mortgage Group has agreed a public relations deal with Axis Media Group in a bid to restore its tarnished reputation.

The Mortgage Group is run by Tony Murtagh and was the subject of an undercover investigation by the BBC&#39s Panorama programme in 2001. Murtagh is also a director of Capital Credit, based at the same office address. The programme alleged TMG targets the vulnerable and said 99% of the business went to one lender – igroup.

After the broadcast, igroup commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a review into the allegations. That report, seen by Mortgage Strategy, revealed TMG to have had a number of compliance failings.

The report says allegations that TMG “targets the vulnerable [and] targets people with adverse credit histories” were partially substantiated. The report also says that allegations that TMG staff ignored OFT guidelines on non-status lending were “proven in a number of aspects”.

And Mortgage Strategy can also reveal that former igroup managing director David Johnson is now a director of TMG.

Axis has yet to finalise an agreement with TMG but is expected to start working for the broker in February – a move that is likely to surprise sections of the industry aware of TMG&#39s chequered history.

Tony Yorke, head of communications at igroup at the time of the Panorama investigation and now managing director of Axis Media Group, comments: “I have no doubt that some people will raise their eyebrows but that is for them to worry about. I have looked at TMG and have assessed what we can achieve. I know we can do a good job for them.

“If there are negative perceptions out there we will change them in the fullness of time.”