Trick of the mind
Mole read with interest this week that a new lender is being set up by industry heavyweight David Tweedy.
Mole got wind of this before the initial announcement. However, when he went to research the new lender, Belmont Green, on Companies House, he was confounded by the apparent registered address of 20-22 Bedford Row, London.
A quick Google search revealed that this address was registered by Julius Dein, who describes himself as “London’s premier magician and mind reader”. Was Tweedy going into business with some sort of modern-day wizard, Mole wondered? Then the penny dropped – the address is shared with a secretarial firm that is employed by Belmont.
Belmont Green is actually based in Egham, where Mole is told the skills of mind readers are not so highly sought after.
A near miss
Last week saw the news that Russian president Vladimir Putin “probably” ordered the murder of KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in a London hotel in 2006.
But the sad tale also proved a narrow escape for a group of mortgage folk, who were drinking in the bar where Litvinenko’s fate was sealed that night.
James Prosser says that he and a group of mortgage pals, including James Chidgey, who worked for Nationwide at the time, had headed to the Millennium Hotel in London to attend the Broomstick Ball. But after 20 minutes of drinking, the group realised from the lack of other mortgage bigwigs that they had made a mistake and needed to be in the Marriot Grosvenor Square hotel nearby.
Prosser says he thought nothing of their error until the news about Litvinenko broke several weeks later.
“Thankfully, I was tested [for polonium] as a safety measure and got the all-clear,” he says. “Very scary, when you think about it.”