Intrepid Mole, digging up the stories behind the news
Mole found himself in the Court of Appeal this week to hear more on West Bromwich being challenged by landlords for raising premiums on buy-to-let mortgages without a base rate rise. The public gallery and press boxes were rammed with people keen to hear an update.
Then in walked Brian Leveson QC, the famously dry judge. Running his eye over the assembled hordes, Leveson said: “Ah. If I’d have known, we could have sold tickets.”
What defines a challenger bank? Mole would say the criteria must include being relatively small, nimble and being a disruptive influence to some of the larger lenders.
What Mole is getting at is that the label is probably not the best fit for a lender like Santander, which this week described itself as a ‘well-run scale challenger bank’.
Santander was the second-largest UK lender in the CML’s latest figures, and Mole wonders how long it is before the largest, Lloyds, tries the same.
Brokers will no doubt have heard plenty about procuration fees last week, with news breaking that several lenders are either introducing these for retention business or have plans in that area, with many lenders having no such plans at all.
But Mole wonders how impressed brokers would be if they knew that representatives of more than one lender, who shall remain nameless, had not heard of proc fees for retention business at all? Mole imagines this could explain a lot.