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The Mortgage Mole

Who knows

Mole was stunned by an FSA spokesperson last week. In need of a quote to accompany St Michael of Bolton&#39s comments on non-conforming loans, Mole rang the FSA press office and was dumbfounded by the spokeswoman&#39s reply. “What is a non-conforming loan?” she asked Mole, who nearly choked on his Bovril. FSA staff may be busy people but Mole suggests they give their own consultation papers an occasional scan.


It seems Mole isn&#39t the only one who needs glasses in this industry. While doing the rounds at the Mortgage Expo, Mole noticed that the Blemain Group had the brilliant idea of promoting its adverse lending with the slogan &#39The Good, the Bad and the Ugly&#39 while staff paraded around in Wild West kit. Surely, this was bound to upset Bristol & West which used the same slogan to market its own sub-prime deals? But Mole was even more flabbergasted to find B&W hadn&#39t even noticed Blemain&#39s publicity stunt – considering their stands were right next to each other.

Bush off

Not content with rooting out Al Qaeda it seems George Bush has started to meddle in the affairs of the UK mortgage industry. Mole was looking forward to posh pre-Christmas drinks last week with those nice chaps from Alliance & Leicester only to find the gig cancelled at the last minute.

“We feel it sensible to postpone the Alliance & Leicester drinks evening,” A&L chairman John Windeler told Mole. “The event was due to be held at the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. There are now plans for a demonstration to take place in Trafalgar Square concerning the visit of US President George Bush. There is every chance that it will cause significant disruption at the time our event was due to start. We decided the sensible course of action is to reschedule our drinks evening for a later date.”

Get a Round

Confirmation has arrived that mortgages are indeed the new rock and roll. Word gets back that after last week&#39s NACFB gala dinner, three members of The Money Centre were still going strong at the Holiday Inn hotel bar at a shocking 7am. In line for Mole&#39s future liver transplant award, Mike Woodfine, Hannah Harvey and Katie Jackson were asked to leave by bar staff to make way for breakfast service. The hardcore posse were up wide eyed and bushy tailed to attend Mortgage Expo at 9am.

Old joke

Octoganarian Bruce Forsyth was given a helping hand by his gorgeous wife on Thursday as he shakily descended the stairs of the National History Museum to present a certain downmarket publication&#39s so-called awards. However, it appears such assistance ends at the bedroom as 75 year old Brucie then went on to regale the audience with a heart-warming tale of his attempts to seduce a 21 year old. How the missus laughed.


SecureMove welcomes HIPs go-ahead

SecureMove Property Services welcomes the Government&#39s stand on HIPs in the Queen&#39s speech, saying the move brings to an end years of speculation. Peter Bray, managing director of SecureMove, part of the Bradford & Bingley Group, says that with the announcement on legislation, the industry can move away from debating the rights and wrongs of […]

Worrying imbalances in British economy warns Lib Dem

The Liberal Democrats warn that GDP data of this year&#39s third quarter reveals worrying imbalances in the British economy. Vince Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, says that while overall growth is reassuring, business investment fell in the third quarter. He says: “Low business investment inevitably means low competitiveness. Manufacturers can hardly be expected to […]

Butlers Wharf broker wins Manager of the Month in Dream Team competition

Broker Paul Spicer of Butlers Wharf Financial Services has won the Manager of the Month award for the second consecutive month in the APS Europe Mortgage Club Dream Team competition. Spicer&#39s team, Isotopia, maintained its position at the top of the APS Europe league, earning him October&#39s prize sponsored by lender Mortgages PLC. Spicer says: […]

Sales growth suggests a gradual return of consumer confidence

New business figures from the ABI show that, for the first time in two years, the amount invested in regular premium life and pensions policies is on an upward trend. In the first nine months of 2003 the value of new premiums increased by 3% from £836m in January to £863m in October. This compares […]

Guarantees in the retirement income market

Lorna Blyth, Royal London  Do guarantees benefit customers and, if so, when? To answer this conundrum we commissioned Millimans, a global actuarial consulting firm, to conduct an independent review of the UK retirement income market and whether guarantees really do offer customers better value for money. The brief The study was one of the most comprehensive undertaken […]


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