Intrepid Mole, digging up the stories behind the news
Fleet of foot
Mole wishes the intrepid team at Fleet Mortgages the best of luck in their training sessions as 17 staff members prepare for a 10k challenge on 23 October in support of their local hospital through Frimley Health Charity. Chief executive Bob Young says: “The charity uses the money to provide equipment and services beyond what the NHS provides for patients and their family. We are delighted to be supporting them and wish all the Fleet Mortgages runners the best of luck. We expect some very quick, and not so quick, times.” The team has an ambitious target of £2,500 and would love help in getting there. To make a donation please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Fleet-Mortgages
Bordering on insane
Mole is thinking of moving to Scotland after reading the latest eyebrow-raising press release on the state of the London housing market. Online estate agency eMoov has crunched the numbers and calculated that it would be cheaper to buy a house in Glasgow (average price: £155,195) and commute by plane from Monday to Friday (including four nights’ accommodation) than to buy a house in London. In fact, the estate agency says Mole would save nearly £12,000 a year in mortgage costs by doing so. Or he could dig a nice molehill in the back lawn of an oligarch’s prime central London property investment and be done with it.
Sugaring the pill?
Phil Whitehouse is a busy man. Not only does he head MCI Mortgage Club but he is back on TV every Thursday evening as Lord Sugar’s right-hand man in the BBC’s The Apprentice. But really, Mole thinks our Phil is far friendlier than his reality-TV lookalike, although who can blame Claude Littner for being grumpy when facing some of the less clued-in characters on the show?Meanwhile, mortgage broker Michelle Niziol, one of this year’s candidates, was first to leave the competition.
Mole congratulates Erika Neves on completing 25 years’ service at Newbury Building Society.
Neves joined in 1991 as an administrative assistant covering a colleague’s maternity leave. She stayed with the society and has since worked across an array of departments, from customer services to underwriting. In 2002, Neves was promoted to the executive team as branch controller, and in 2015 she assumed responsibility for risk and conduct.
“The society has changed significantly over the past 25 years,” she recalls. “When I started we didn’t have PCs on our desks. There was one PC in the office that enabled us to do account enquiries but the data held was basic.” That’s not all that has changed, adds Neves. “When I started, our variable rate was 11.5 per cent… very different from now!”