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The Mortgage Mole

Digging the dirt in the mortgage world

True Ability
Delegates at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ funding conference last week nearly missed hearing one of its key speeches when Toni Moss, partner at EuroCatylist, managed to lock herself in a hotel toilet. Texas-born Moss was eventually freed by the concierge but in her rush to make it to the conference she managed to leave her script in the hotel room. “As if getting stuck in the bathroom wasn’t bad enough,” she ‘fessed up to Mole. “It happened to be the disabled toilet.”

Running Totals
John Wriglesworth’s performance in last week’s New York Mar-athon proves that indulging in copious amounts of Merlot doesn’t have to have an adverse effect on your sporting performance. The day before, the PR gnu was seen guzzling red wine with ice, seemingly unconcerned about the forthcoming race. However, Mole is pleased to announce that not only did Wrigsy make it to the finish line but it took less than six hours. Even more impressive, David Bitner finished the race in four hours and five minutes thanks to a strenuous training schedule (see picture below). And best of all, Intelligence Finance’s Brian Ewing defied expectations and finished in less than six hours and was New York’s MVP on the day. Details next week.

Loose Talk
Two of Mortgage Strategy’s hacks got a taste of their own medicine last week while stalking Soho looking for locals to answer the infamous Word on the Street question. ITV’s X-Factor approached Nicolette Botbol and new hack Lee Jones to be interviewed for ITV2 spin-off Extra-Factor. Being avid fans of the reality TV show the pair happily obliged, only later to regret their loose tongues. “I hope my boyfriend doesn’t see the show,” Bobble confided to Mole. “I don’t think he’ll be too impressed to hear me lusting over all the male contestants.”

Rubber dub dub
Jagshemash! While wrestling his editor naked and armed only with a rubber sex aid, Kazakstan’s second-best reporter Borat Sagdiyev finds himself in the middle of an American mortgage broker’s annual prize giving. Such homoerotic horseplay hasn’t been seen by a congregation of brokers since Mike Fitzgerald puckered up to Roger Morris at Mortgage Strategy’s fifth birthday party. Thankfully, during the latter event both men remained clothed although it isn’t known if any rubber aids were involved.

Name Game
The great and the good from the Yorkshire recently confessed to Mole what they thought of rival mutual Norwich Union. According to PR master David Holmes, the name is no less than an acronym – (K)Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home. Not for the first time Mole declines to comment but suggests other lenders might also have ‘alternative’ names. How about Evangelic Demigods Earn Unspecified Salaries?


This brainwave could lead to self-harm

Rumour has it that there’s been a big falling out within the Abbey’s marketing team. It seems that one faction wanted to call its new mortgage offering the ‘Victor Meldrew’ range while another felt the ‘Andy Millman’ mortgage’ more appropriate.

Assetz named top agency in France

Assetz France has won the ‘best real estate agency in France’ award for the second year running at the International Property Awards. Stuart Law, managing director of Assetz, says: “We are delighted that we have once again been recognised by the industry as the leading new-build and French property leaseback estate agent.”

Linden comments on interest rate rise

Philip Davies, chief executive of Linden Homes, says: “Today’s interest rate rise was widely expected and the majority of homeowners had already priced it in, so I do not expect it to have a significant impact on the housing market. “A further rise in December or January, however, would have a detrimental effect on consumer […]

Trustguard expands inhouse underwriting team

Trustguard is planning to expand its inhouse underwriting team because of rising business levels. First National has placed an in-house underwriter at the Cardiff-based packager after Trustguard’s completed applications with the lender rose 300% over the year to the end of October this year. The underwriter is the latest additions to Trustguard’s inhouse team that […]

China tech and Global Alpha: a new great leap forward

By Robin Geffen, Fund Manager and CEO

Internet giant Alibaba is exactly the type of entrepreneurial company that the high-conviction, top-performing Neptune Global Alpha Fund seeks to invest in. Established just 14 years ago in an apartment in Hangzhou, today Alibaba is larger than Amazon and eBay put together and is challenging some of the most powerful internet companies in the world…

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