View more on these topics

The Mortgage Mole

DIGGING THE DIRT IN THE MORTGAGE WORLD

DOPPELGANGER It was a case of mistaken identity for Lending Zone’s John Murray last week. He was invited out for lunch in London but the conversation took a strange turn when his host started quizzing him on his recent move from the Financial Services Authority.

Murray used to work for the Building Societies Association, but his only association with the FSA has been to doggedly price up how much its art collection in Canary Wharf is worth. So he had to confess that, like the classic Alfred Hitchcock film starring Henry Fonda, his date had the wrong man.

Murray told Mole: “The other John Murray was head of media relations at the FSA. If my lunch date tracks him down hopefully he’ll have some luck finding out how much the FSA is blowing on art to civilise its workers this year.”

TWISTED HEART There was a tense atmosphere in the Mortgage Strategy HQ last Friday. Reporter Samuel Dale was scratching his brow about the solid chocolate love heart he’d received in the post, which had arrived in an unmarked brown envelope without any covering note.

Spooked that after changing his name three times his ex-girlfriend had once again tracked him down, the chocolate came with a small card that menacingly said in large blood-red capital letters, BE MINE. The only identifying marks were the Bournemouth postmark, and the light green ribbon that held the chocolate’s plastic wrapping together.

Dale’s hoping that his mystery valentine was South Coast-based equity release provider LV= and not another twisted ex.

Recommended

Week in NUMBERS

9 – the number of awards ceremonies that Mortgage Strategy has held since 2002. This year’s ceremony is taking place this week (February 16) at the plush Grosvenor House Hotel in London. 17% – the increase in demand Unbiased.com has registered for independent financial advice between December 2010 and January 2011. First-time buying is back […]

We need to know the details of the Project Merlin deal

Chancellor George Osborne has reached a deal with major banks to raise business lending by £10bn this year. Osborne says Project Merlin, which involved discussions with Santander, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, will mean £76bn of small and medium-sized enterprise lending. That represents an increase from £66bn in 2010 and Osborne […]

GUY GARRARD

Signs of competition making a comeback

The specialist lending arena has seen a dearth of competition recently, more through the well documented external economic pressures rather than lenders taking their foot off the gas. But there are some signs of competition returning and we have been buoyed by the response from the intermediary market to our recent product enhancements. Increased competition […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up