RUN A MILE
Anyone who thinks Mole is tougher than those nice, well-dressed PR people who invite us to so many champagne-fuelled events should take a look at the Olympian feats of the Lansons Communications team. A group including Rowena Merrick and Georgie Gannon, who represent Mortgage Express among others, are training hard for the Great North Run in aid of Leukaemia Research Fund. It is the largest ever half marathon and 47,000 people will take part on October 6 in Newcastle. Mole wouldn't walk 13 miles even for a pint, so hats off to the girls.
Bad news for lender marketing departments across the board this week. While some lenders spend millions a year on marketing budgets, the message may not be getting through. Speaking to a West Country broker earlier this week, Mole was somewhat surprised to hear of his preference for dealing with building societies “you know, like the Portman, Britannia or Birmingham Midshires”. Birmingham Midshires still a mutual? Somewhere a village is missing its idiot.
The CML is sorry to announce there will be no sandwiches available at the next Mortgage Intermediary Advisory Group meeting, to be held on August 19, because the building is being refurbished. Mole wonders if the experts will be able to cope with a morning's discussion of “initial reaction to the FSA's consultation paper” armed only with a Hobnob and a cup of coffee. Incidentally, the CML's beautiful Savile Row building is the ex-headquarters of the Beatles' Apple record label. So if you begin to wilt at the meeting, take comfort in the fact that you are at least being bored in a piece of pop history.
The glamorous world of pop and premier league football seems a world away from New Barnet. But the back streets of Hertfordshire is exactly where Mortgage Express product manager David Connolly is recovering from a past life as mortgage counsellor to the stars. A French footballer with famously long hair and a member of Duran Duran are among the celebs happily shacked up thanks to Connolly's advice when he worked with the wealthy. Mole can only hope they didn't treat Connolly too well in return – after all, the costs of a 'quiet drink' in celebrity land are just as likely to make a bank manager reach for the repossession forms.
No more horn
The mortgage industry was in shock last week after news broke that 'gentlemen's club' Spearmint Rhino could be forced to shut down its Camden branch amid allegations of prostitution. Mole knows true sorrow when he hears it as one senior Saint in the industry contacted Mole to express his disappointment. “This announcement is a crushing disappointment for the mortgage market,” he told me. “They are trying to stop us from keeping our ends up when the tough times come.”
This week's photo: Bob Hope eat your heart out. Here's Guy Batchelor, Patrick Ponsford and Richard Hurst with Wentworth golf club's leading George Formby impersonator Alan Randall