View more on these topics

The mortgage mole


Finding gold The Mortgage Strategy Awards ceremony went off without a hitch last week as guests enjoyed comedian Mark Watson gently ribbing the industry.

There were also spectacular performances from Britain’s Got Talent 2010 winners Spellbound along with jugglers and fire-eaters.

Snake charmers and clowns on stilts entertained guests as the best in the industry were rewarded for their efforts in 2010.

Among the many interesting stories doing the rounds on the night was the industry member who’s clearly doing so well he’s taken Kanye West’s advice in the song Gold Digger and got a pre-nuptial agreement for his forthcoming marriage.

Jacket dances off Among the bonhomie Mole spotted one forlorn figure standing jacketless by the dance floor.

The sage of mortgages himself Ray Boulger, technical director at John Charcol, looked downcast as he lamented the loss of his dinner jacket.

“I’ve lost my jacket,” a despondent Boulger told Mole. “I went to mingle and when I came back my table was gone.”

Boulger was a guest of Mortgage Strategy editor Rob Thickett whose table had been moved to make room for dancing.

After composing himself Boulger trudged off to find a member of staff but it is unknown whether his coat was ever seen again.

VW prize The Safe&Secure team arrived in style at the awards evening in a top of the range two litre VW Scirocco.

The insurance firm, crowned Best Broker for General Insurance, was offering use of the car as the top prize in a competition it launched at last year’s Mortgage Business Expo in London.

The competition was held between September 1, 2010 and February 15, 2011 with some 4,000 brokers entered into the prize draw. The name of every broker for whom S&S did a sale on behalf of was entered along with everyone who registered with S&S at the Mortgage Business Expo London.

The winner was drawn by Mortgage Strategy editor Rob Thickett (centre) along with S&S’s managing director Chris Griffin (left) and sales and marketing director Jason Berry.

The lucky winner was Scott Kennedy from Lifetime Planning in Scotland who gets to use the car for 12 months.

Word play For all those in the market eager to see the back of the Financial Services Authority, the festivities have no doubt been tempered by the news that just one word has changed for the new regulator’s name.

So the FSA is dead, long live the Financial Conduct Authority.

Snappy. But better than the Consumer Protection and Markets Association, a mouthful clearly deemed so large as to never make the light of day.


High fees will fall along with the remortgage giants

I was interested to read last week that loans for remortgages were at a 13-year low in 2010 (Mortgage Strategy Online, February 11). The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ latest data shows that remortgages totalled 313,200, worth £39.3bn, in 2010, down 23% by volume and 24% by value from 2009. Clearly the remortgage bubble has popped. […]

Kensington and Precise eye up bridging sector

Kensington and Precise Mortgages are believed to be looking to enter the bridging sector in 2011. Kensington recently revealed ambitions to broaden its product range after boosting its buy-to-let presence while Precise Mortgages says bridging is one of the sectors on its radar. Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise Mortgages, says the lender is researching […]


Unemployment only option back at Paymentshield

Paymentshield is restoring its unemployment only option on its mortgage payment protection insurance product. MortgageProtector will include unemployment only along with accident and sickness only and full accident, sickness and unemployment cover options from today. Neil Galjaard, insurance director at Paymentshield, says there is a demand from brokers and from customers for this option. He […]


Pension over-taxing

800,000 people are at risk of being over-taxed on their pensions, writes Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London Hundreds of thousands of people receiving company and personal pensions should check their tax code to make sure that they are not being over-taxed, according to a leading pensions firm. Mutual insurer Royal London has […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up