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The mortgage mole

Feel the burns

Just over Christmas, Mole gamely stuck with the spirit of alcohol to celebrate Burns&#39 night in London&#39s Boisdale eatery. Described as being “dedicated to preserving traditional Scottish fare,” Mole must confess to being slightly put off by the “Mini-roast MacSween Haggis”. But the prospect of sampling the 150 wines and 165 single malt whiskies on offer – and that Mortgages PLC&#39s Trevor Pothecary was footing the bill – kept me from scampering back to the hole. With Dunkeld salmon, fillet of Highland venison, Scottish tart [? – Ed] and Rod Stewart&#39s Do you think I&#39m sexy? on the bagpipes, the great man himself would have been proud.

On the (rep)tiles

Ahh… the delights of Glasgow. Not content with London&#39s finest Scottish restaurant Mole was spurred into taking a trip to Scotland&#39s biggest city to see Malcolm Mercer, Lockhart Bruce and Graham Cranstoun of Bond-to-Let fame. It was only over dinner at the famous Ho Wong cantonese that Mole suddenly realised the gravity of his mistake. It seems Mr Cranstoun has a penchant for keeping dead mice in his fridge-freezer.

“They&#39re for my boa constrictors,” he announced. “A Brazilian rainbow and a rosy. I&#39ve also got a Mexican redknee tarantula – and my girlfriend has a bearded dragon lizard.” Mole made his excuses and moved on to peruse the more tempting desserts on offer in nightspot Truffles.


Curious medical news from Brighton-based Pavillion Securities this week. Mole has heard of a post-vasectomy treatment that could cause much embarrassment in the locker room (though David Beckham is understood to be an advocate). Some men, contemplating the ageing process and realising that their youngest child will probably have to be their last, inevintably turn their thoughts to a vasectomy. For others, though, the op evidently means little more than an excuse to wear ladies&#39 knickers.

Mole was startled to hear that one Pavilion character was overheard suggesting his wife&#39s underwear was the perfect design to soothe the “tenderness” problem commonly experienced after the operation. Mole can only salute anyone who could come up with such a fantastic and elaborate excuse for being caught wearing the aforementioned garments…

Toy boy

Now Mole&#39s not the type to be frivolous or to undermine industry figures without good reason – OK, OK, so that&#39s not entirely true – but I did hear this week that, at Dunfermline they count Mr Potato Head from Toy Story among their senior staff. One famously tight-lipped industry source drummed: “People just can&#39t help noticing the similarity.” Mole leaves you to draw your own conclusion.

Ryder Cup glory: Sandy Jones, chief exec of the PGA, ICMG&#39s George Carroll and Ray Bohringer, Mel Fordham of Olympian Financial and Steve Clawley of Squirrel Financial Management “Right move… that&#39s what some people said to me when I stopped playing football for Arsenal.”

From Sue Hunt, Oak Financial Management, Stevenage

There comes a time when everyone does something a little foolish that they want to keep quiet. However, we prefer it when the world knows and Mortgage Strategy is offering you the opportunity to share your colleagues&#39 finest hours by publishing any photographic evidence you have. Whoever submits the best caption wins a jeroboam of bubbly – that&#39s four bottles worth a whopping £125 – courtesy of Sun Bank. You should know by now that the editor&#39s decision is unfair but it is final. Email your entries to


BMS offers advice on healthy homes

Homeowners should take advantage of this week&#39s cold weather to give their home a winter MOT, says BM Solutions. Matthew Grayson, a spokesman for BM Solutions, says: “Every homeowner has a list of odd jobs which need doing around the house and the recent cold weather is likely to have added yet more to the […]

Three-year stepped discount from Earl Shilton Building Society

Earl Shilton Building Society will launch a new three-year stepped discount with no extended tie-in on February 1. The product has a 1.95% discount for the first two years, giving a pay rate of 3.65%, followed by 0.95% discount for the following year, a pay rate of 4.65%. There is an arrangement fee of £295 […]

Lords help us, please

Advisers are being urged to air their grievances about mortgage regulation to the House of Lords. The House of Lords&#39 Constitutional Committee is currently reviewing the constitutional implications of the government&#39s regulatory activities, including that of the FSA. Though the Committee is seeking responses from the public on questions of accountability, legal foundation and transparency […]

Dodgy MPPI deals pushed on the high street too

From David RogersI was delighted to see much of last week&#39s Mortgage Strategy devoted to single premium MPPI. It is not only unscrupulous brokers that promote this money-spinner though. High street banks and finance houses are also guilty of pushing the product in support of personal loans, without regard to the borrower&#39s employment position, health […]


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