View more on these topics

The Mortgage Mole: Get Shorty


Get Shorty

When former Mortgage Strategy editor Robert Thickett left the title to take up a role at the Building Societies Association, few people thought the place would ever be the same again, given the journalist-turned-policy adviser’s whacky wardrobe.

It was no rare thing to see Thickett sporting a pair of orange trousers or a leopard-print t-shirt, for some reason emblazoned with the word “Hype”, strolling around the office with a bizarre sense of pride in his own eccentricity.

However, when he made the move to the BSA it was thought that Thickett would have to kit himself out with a far more sober wardrobe, comprising of suits, ties, loafers and no doubt a pocket handkerchief or two.

But Mole paid Thickett a visit recently and found nothing had changed. Mole found Bobby at his BSA desk sporting a pair of Dr. Martens, a pair of khaki shorts and an office shirt with tie.

Some things, it seems, really will never change.

You’re ’aving a laugh

Mole has been listening to poor old Mortgage Strategy reporter Devraj Ray trying in vain to rearrange a promised interview with the housing minister.

During previous housing minister Kris Hopkins’ time in office, Ray was promised a date in the diary for a chat only for it to be snatched away at the last minute when Hopkins had another engagement.

Following Brandon Lewis’ appointment to the role, Ray approached the DCLG with renewed hope only to be met with a non-committal response. The cub reporter was last heard promising some poor press officer that he would contact her once a week until his wish was granted. The press officer was amused by Ray’s persistence and promised to arrange the interview.



Blackwell: Lenders’ conservative affordability checks will calm down

FCA mortgage and mutual sector manager Lynda Blackwell believes the tough affordability measures used by some lenders post-MMR will be relaxed as the new rules bed in. The regulator has previously said it had “wondered why” some lenders had included bizarre questions in their affordability assessments post-MMR. In the weeks following the implementation of the […]


Ana Botin takes over from father at Santander

Santander UK’s chief executive Ana Botin has become the banking group’s executive chair following her father Emilio Botin’s death after 28 years at the helm. Ana Botin has led the group’s UK arm for three-and-a-half years and, until a new chief executive is recruited, deputy chief executive Nathan Bostock will fill in. Santander UK chairman […]


Analysis: Make knowledge a two-way street

The ever-changing nature of the mortgage market contributes to both an exciting working environment and one of the most forward-thinking areas of finance. It also means brokers can fall behind in their sector knowledge. Brokers have a responsibility to not only maintain but develop their knowledge through ongoing CPD to ensure they offer all their […]


FCA’s supervisory direction questioned

Regulatory experts have questioned the FCA’s supervisory direction after concerns were raised over two of its major tools. Last month, Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie wrote to the FCA warning about the cost of skilled person reports. Also known as Section 166 reports, these check for weaknesses or failings in a firm’s practices. The […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up