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The Mortgage Mole

Who cares what Ma thinks
The FSA’s Money Advice Service, which is paid for by the industry, has hardly had the best press over the last year.

The organisation is currently the subject of a Treasury sub-committee inquirywhich will consider its effectiveness, whether it should be funded by the financial services industry and the salaries of senior staff.

The MAS plans to spend £19m of its £46.3m budget in 2012/13 on marketing and brand awareness. Last week, Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy criticised its “colossal” marketingspend.

What better way to ingratiate yourself with the industry that funds you than a six-week marketing campaignon television, in print and online with the risible tagline, What Does Ma Think?

But bizarrely MAS seems to think people will love the adverts so much it’s even included a behind the scenes video on Youtube for “fans” to look at titled ‘Behind the Scenes of the Everyday budgeting TV Ad’. With only 17 views at time of writing, it’s difficult to see what the point of it actually is – just like MAS in general!

The fastest man in Essex
Interviewing Brightstar Financial’s managing director Rob Jupp for an upcoming issue of Mortgage Strategy in the firm’s offices in Brentwood, Essex last week, Mole’s eye was caught by Usain Bolt’s shoe that was hanging on the company’s wall (see this week’s caption pic). Jupp told Mole he woke up with it after a charity auction that was held just before the Olympics, when all the reports were that Bolt would have an underwhelming games. While he wouldn’t tell Mole how much it cost him, with Bolt proving he’s still the fastest man on the planet, the value of it has certainly shot up. But what Mole really wants to know is whether three-time marathon runner Jupp will wear it for good luck on his next sporting attempt?


Ian Andrew 2

Economic tracker – Times change and buyers need help

Post-war rationing and the economic climate in 1948 meant the last time that the Olympics took place in Britain they were nicknamed the Austerity Games. Times were difficult for large swathes of the country but latest findings by Nationwide suggest – somewhat surprisingly – that those trying to get on the housing ladder back then […]

Brokers optimistic on outlook for first-time buyer sector

Nearly a quarter of brokers say the first-time buyer sector has the greatest potential for growth over the next three years. A survey carried out by United Trust Bank discovered that 23 per cent of brokers feel most optimistic about the outlook for the first-time buyer sector, followed by 21 per cent who favour the […]

Brokers feeling more confident

Mortgage brokers are more confident about the overall outlook for the mortgage market with a rise in the proportion reporting an increase in confidence, new research from Halifax shows. The findings, compiled by BDRC Continental, show 70 per cent of a survey of 300 brokers were confident about the prospects for the mortgage market, up […]

Home owners more likely to consider equity release advice prior to retirement

More help should be focused on over 50s trying to organise their finances for retirement, according to a report commissioned by Just Retirement. The study questioned more than 1,000 homeowners aged over 55 and found that many are unaware of the details surrounding equity release plans and safeguards. Homeowners are more likely to consider professional […]


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