“What a shambles” “A complete farce” “Sweet FA to do with this market”. Just some of the comments made to Mole following the hilarious efforts of a certain publishing company to host their first 'Mortgage Awards' at London's Quaglino's restaurant last Wednesday. With lenders picking up awards for sectors they don't operate in and a packager/network winning a gong whilst having less than 30 ARs under its belt (and having claimed 12 months ago: “We don't package”), it was a memorable occasion indeed.
“What was that all about?,” a bemused John Malone of PMS fame asked Mole. “I've seen more sense in Rangers' midfield play, last season.”
“I must say, given that The One Account has never had an offset facility I'm quite surprised it managed to be awarded so-called Gold Status in that sector,” one highlyrespected broker told Mole.
“True, it has a current account mortgage and a fully flexible mortgage but it does not have an offset. And as for it winning the Bank Lender of the Year award, you try and find a branch of The One Account! This shows a lack of expertise among those who work on the sponsoring publication.”
Indeed, quite what Marjorie Scardino, the respected chief exec of parent company Pearson would have made of it all, Mole can only wonder.
On to the exclusive Walbrook club in the City of London and a surprise for Mole's host Scottish Widows Bank: it was the winner of the Offset category in the aforementioned awards.
“Award?” exclaimed a confused Neil Cameron from Scot Wids. “You mean we won but none of us got invited to the ceremony?” Still, celebrations were in order and a top troupe was soon wine tasting with Café Royal winemeister Michael Sheeres, egged on by John Malone and Charcol's Ray Boulger.
Disappointment for Mole last week as it transpired that Michelle Bass, the Big Brother hopeful claiming to be a mortgage adviser, never made the grade.
Mole spies within Northern Rock let slip that lovely “mortgage adviser” Michelle – who confessed on the first night in the BB house to a penchant for pornography and lesbianism and to being a wannabe page 3 girl – was never employed as an adviser at all.
“I can confirm that Michelle joined us in March this year,” Mole's source confessed, “But she did not train to be an adviser. She started work in a service centre as a call agent.”
Michelle left the bank in May, explaining that she had been offered an opportunity in London that was “too good to miss”. Mole's sure Michelle will capture the industry's hearts either way.