From Mike Lazenby
There are few certainties in life – one is that we will all die and another is that there are too few financial journalists who are sufficiently astute, bright, challenging, scary or honest to take the mortgage industry to task when it falls down.
Speaking as a long-time media tart, there are a few journalists that I would never try to fool – or play the fool with.
And right up there with the best of these is Isabelle Kassam. She tells it like it is and that can hurt. She gives us a reality check when as an industry we play fast and loose.
There are parts of the mortgage industry that are less than transparent, that do not treat customers fairly, that are dishonest – why else would we be bound up in excessive regulation?
As an industry we do not have a great track record and quality journalism such as that produced by Kassam does us a big favour.
Without it we could face even more regulation as standards slip and institutions find yet more ways to duck and dive to avoid the systems of control.
Kassam and journalists like her must challenge those intermediaries who can and do churn, often for reasons of best fee rather than best advice.
They must also tackle companies that operate on the edge of fairness. If we want to be treated like the mature industry we aspire to be then we have to face honest criticism and not ask for it to go away.