The Mortgage Mole

Digging the dirt in the mortgage world

Running total
It’s back and this time it’s got even more teeth. Mole is delighted to announce the return of the battle of the brokers. That’s right, Hamptons’ Kevin Duffy and John Charcol’s Walter Avrili are to battle it out again in the New York Marathon 2006. And this time the London brokers are to be joined by HBOS luvvies Grenville Turner and Nigel Stockton. The four mortgage maestros will lead a contingent of 12 runners in New York next year. Out of the 12, nine must be over 40 years old and the aim is to raise over 200,000 for selected charities. Already B&B’s David Bitner and Strategy’s own Barney McCarthy have pledged to join the under-40s.

“We are inviting applications from people aged 40 and above, work in the industry and can raise at least 15k in sponsorship,” Duffy tells Mole. “We are drawing inspiration from what Deidre McManus has achieved with the Broomstick Ball . I have a list of industry heavyweights I shall be calling in the coming weeks. I would suggest Messrs Harris and Malone enjoy their Christmas puddings – boot camp opens in January.”

Bid of a joke
Mole knows how keen readers are to get their hands on the latest issue of Mortgage Strategy each week but one broker seems to be having a festive clearout. While browsing online auction website eBay, Mole was surprised to discover 54 editions of his industry bible up for sale. The seller of the back issues is listed simply as duncan88888 and is based in Edinburgh. Mole has dispatched his Scottish spies to track down the racketeer who trousered the princely sum of 11.03. Most amusing of all was the name of the winning bidder – 3seesejays. Who said mortgage humour was dead?

Lord’s was the venue for Mole’s cricketing dinner with GE Money Home Lending last week. The meal was held in the hallowed Committee Dining Room at the headquarters of English cricket and once more the rightful home of The Ashes, with an after-dinner speech from New Zealand legend Sir Richard Hadlee. The sumptuous three-course feast and evening’s entertainment provided considerably more fun than England’s touring side are having in Pakistan at the moment.

Ripping yarns
Mole had to wrap up warm for a gory Jack the Ripper tour last week courtesy of those kind folk at Platform. Hot from scooping another industry personality award at the Hamptons awards bash, Guy Batchelor hosted the grisly trail around the East End of London which takes in the spots where five of the Ripper’s victims were found, disembowelled. But it was left to Platform marketing guru and Ripper enthusiast Paul Hunt to detail the theories surrounding the atrocities. On retiring to Grapeshots for dinner after the tour, Mole’s stomach turned on learning there was a starter of liver pat笠Anyone for fava beans and a nice chianti?