I have had a Bradford and Bingley mortgage since 1983. And I am getting slightly angry about my current image.
Am I a buy-to-let borrower, who has self-certified wildly inflated assets and an improbable salary, and is just about to walk away from my buy-to-let property rather than keep up the mortgage payments I could never have afforded anyway? Not I’m not. I was an old fashioned B and B saver, who bought her first flat in London 25 years ago, traded up in Cambridge when she met her husband and then again 15 years ago.
I went through all the old fashioned questions they used to put to you about your assets, and I didn’t fib. After all they got in touch with your employer, so how could you tell a whopper?
When demutualization came in 2000 we voted against it, in what was a hard-fought battle with the carpet baggers who wanted to turn the B and B into a bank. We weren’t great economic geniuses, but it didn’t take much common sense to see that the interests of most savers and investors were better off with a mutual. How could they not have been? Though Mr Brown was hardly in evidence then, when we needed him. He was all in favour of the demutualisation, wasn’t he?
So why did we stay with the B and B after that?
Simple. Because the staff were wonderful and they had always been nice to us, at the counter.