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The Mortgage Mole

No final answer The Financial Services Authority could have done with the ’phone a friend’ lifeline last week when quizzed by the Treasury Select Committee about the Mortgage Market Review.

Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the FSA, was grilled alongside Martin Wheatley, managing director of the conduct business unit at the FSA, about the MMR proposals.

But Wheatley was stumped by a couple of questions put to him.

When asked why it had taken the regulator so long to close down the sale-and-rent-back market and whether victims would be compensated, a flustered Wheatley told committee members he would have to get back to them.

Turner was also fazed by its policy on interest-only and had to double check with his entourage when a lender needs to check on repayment vehicles.

Mole wonders if being in the hot seat made the FSA heads sympathise with brokers who are sometimes left with no other option but to phone a friend or use 50:50 to decipher some of its rules.

Odds-on The great and the good of the mortgage industry were trying their luck at the Cheltenham Races last week.
“It’s the mortgage market’s unofficial conference,” one race-goer told Mole.

Another said they hoped they’d have better luck at the races than they had trying to book funds with Woolwich.

Mortgage Strategy features guru Samuel Dale crossed to the dark side after being invited to the races by HSBC.

Dale had wondered whether HSBC had invited him because it was going to announce it would be launching through the broker market, but unfortunately not.

After leaving the racecourse with a lighter wallet, Dale wished he had resisted the force.

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