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Southland visits Leeds

Ross Smith, chief executive of the New Zealand based Southland Building Society, has met with Ian Ward, chief executive of Leeds, as part of Southland’s drive to understand how a mutual organisation in the UK can benefit its members in New Zealand.

Smith says: “Leeds is an extremely well run mutual organisation and there are a number of synergies between our societies.

“We operate in a different market place but the challenges are very similar and I am delighted with the support Ian and his staff have given us.

“Although we are 12 hours ahead of the UK in time we are certainly not ahead in business and the competition in the UK is extremely strong.

“Given this, our relationship with Leeds will better prepare us for the future in New Zealand, where strong competition is likely to mirror that in the UK.”

Ward adds: “These visits are extremely useful and an excellent opportunity to look at ways of improving how we operate to increase value to members. Like us, they are a one-member one-vote mutual, which differentiates us from banks.

“It is also interesting to look at products and compare, for example, mortgages. We are currently offering a best buy 10 year fixed rate at
4.69% compared to its best three year fixed at 8.05%. Clearly, the UK market differs slightly from that in New Zealand and our keen, innovative pricing is something Ross was extremely impressed with and interested in.”


B&B purchases loan portfolio of 410m from GMAC-RFC

Bradford & Bingley has purchased a mortgage loan portfolio from GMAC-RFC for 410m. This is the fourth and final purchase resulting from an agreement made in January 2005 to acquire up to 1.4bn of loans during 2005 from GMAC-RFC.The purchase, funded from B&B’s existing resources, has been made by Mortgage Express, its wholly owned subsidiary.This […]

First-time buyers returning to the market

First-time buyers are returning to the mortgage market after a period of enforced exile caused by the deadlock of high property values and lack of accessible mortgage products.Paul Hearnden, managing director of My Mortgage Direct, says: Over the past three months we have seen a 15% increase in enquiries from first time buyers. The stability […]

Government consults on tenure for residential boats

The government is from today consulting on the security of tenure for up to 15,000 residential boats in England, particularly in London’s Canal Basins, West Midlands and Norfolk Broads.Titled ‘Security of tenure for residential boats – England and Wales, which covers boats at moorings used for long-term residential use, the consultation proposes to establish similar […]

Character assasination is more fun than mortgages

From Alan Lakey I do like it when this august organ veers away from the dry and often tedious world of mortgages across to sledging and character assassination. Who needs Ricky Hatton when we have this? Alan Lakey


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