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Mortgage brokers are not living saints

Mother Theresa’s youthful ambition was to be a mortgage broker. She planned to devote her life to finding the right home loan deals for struggling clients, helping them sort out their other financial commitments along the way.

Her work with the poor unfortunates who couldn’t tell a fixed rate from a tracker was to be exemplary. She’d help to credit cleanse them – even though she secretly disapproved of this crude expression.

And she’d seek out the cheapest and most suitable deals without a moment’s thought for her own remuneration.

Sadly for the mortgage business, her real role in life lay elsewhere. She never really had what it takes to become a top performing broker. She was too selfless, too caring and she didn’t have a greedy bone in her body.

But not to worry, there are plenty of other living saints playing their parts in the industry if the people who write letters to this magazine are to be believed.

Some of them have responded to a personal vocation to help borrowers resolve their lending dilemmas. The wicked temptations of man are beneath them – no flash cars, posh lunches or corporate entertainment for them. They are just honest brokers, helping the public with their problems, and if they manage to make a crust to feed their own families in the process, that’s great.

Pull the other one. Your typical mortgage broker is motivated by one thing only and it is not a selfless desire to serve his fellow man. It is money.

I’ve seen the sort of vocation that is a mortgage broker’s. I caught a vision of it on an advert the other day while I was travelling on the number 137 bus from Battersea to Knightsbridge. It promised a salary of 50,000 a year after training as a broker for just 11 days.

Mother Theresa herself could swear to it on a stack of Bibles and I’ll never believe that a newly qualified mortgage broker could easily clear 50,000 a year without resorting to some shady work.

A nurse or a teacher has to train for years to pick up a fraction of that for their annual salary. And their jobs involve dealing with blood and vomit or – even worse – patiently listening to the inane prattle of a room full of kids.

All mortgage brokers have to do is persuade their clients to sign up for a few deals and the commission comes rolling in.

I’m not going to apologise for any offence this comment piece may cause. But I will apologise in advance for the predictable letters of complaint that will arrive at Mortgage Strategy from individuals who don’t know their arse from their irony.

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