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Correspondent’s Week

This week by Marc Webber, assistant news editor and editor of Sun Money online.

Overpaid, highly untalented and desperate for any opportunity for exposure. No, I’m not talking about my fellow colleagues at Sun online – I’m talking about that annual desperationfest that is called Celebrity Big Brother.

Yes, even at Sun Money, where we work out how our readers can avoid becoming financial zeros like some of the plebs in the Big Brother house, Celeb BB will be a winner.

There is no doubt that it has been a tough time financially for some of our readers. Quite a few of them would have been caught up in the Farepak debacle. Others will be caught up in one hell of a post-Xmas debt hangoverand we have to help them out of it. So, we get that up and then start thinking how we are going to merge Celeb BB and high finance. I hammer out my “grand vision” emails to all my Sun Money and online news colleagues (as assistant editor of the whole of the Sun online, I also manage the newsdesk and I am in charge of our video team). I spend the rest of the time making sure our freelance staff get paid.

Anyway, now it is time to get to grips with debt. We got some dealing with debt stories up over Christmas but I am determined that our support for readers in debt has a long-term feel about it so we think up some ideas for articles in the next few weeks and months.

We are back at full staff and attention turns to my rather short haircut. Mocking jibes that I should be at the army recruitment centre are in plentiful supply -mostly from freelance staff (if only I hadn’t paid them yesterday).

The world is slowly waking up. The email story offerings are coming in at a much thicker rate. What amazes me is the reaction emails I am getting off the back of stories we have done on Sun Money.

For example, within a few hours of doing a story about 0 per cent balance transfers, I got three other companies wanting to talk to me about the same thing. Now, I do not know if 0 per cent is the hot topic among the chattering classes of the PR world but they were all emailing after seeing that article.

Spent the night getting three attractive women drunk for business purposes as I went for drinks with some of the people from Lansons PR.

My week has been punctuated by calls to Lloyds TSB and Eversheds over my badly managed remortgage. They could not organise a knees-up in a brewery. Our remortgage was supposed to be completed at the end of November and here I am in deepest January still without a remortgage because they failed three times to get my redemption statement from my previous mortgage owner.

Triumph of the day has to be my Delia Smith-inspired headline on my piece about Norwich & Peterborough’s new homeloan for people with poor credit ratings -Bad credit? Let’s be ‘avin ‘ya!

Try to make some headway with partners on two key parts of the Sun Money site, namely our editorial coverage on our Get Britain Saving “experiment” with IFAP and our Switch and Save partnerships with Money Expert.

And, in what some may consider the perfect end to a week, I have the privilege of watching some of our Page 3 girls on video and deciding whether we should put them on our recently launched Page 3TV channel on our video player.


HBOS unveils new head of mortgages

HBOS has announced Joe Higgins as its new head of mortgages.Higgins will start work on March 5, and until then, will continue his work as chief operating officer of Bank of Scotland’s Irish division. He will primarily be responsible for products across both the direct and intermediary channels and will work alongside intermediaries managing director […]

Halifax pledges to continue general trail cash

Halifax General Insurance has pledged to continue to pay trail commission on home insurance or accident, sickness and unemployment insurance policies.It follows the decision of HBOS’s former subsidiary Paymentshield, which was sold to Towergate at the end of last year, to stop paying trail commission to brokers that are no longer regulated to sell such […]

‘Refinance quickly to catch best rates’

Sub-prime lender Victoria Mortgages says borrowers looking to refinance should move quickly to avoid missing out on current deals.Victoria predicts that high-street lenders will be quick to raise lending rates after last week’s base rate increase.It says although high-street lenders are funded largely by customer deposits and therefore an increase is not crucial to their […]

Sesame ARs to drop as multi-tie picks up

Sesame says as 1,450 advisers have been recruited into its multi-tie proposition it expect network members to fall as a result. According to parent Misys’ latest interim results, Sesame is still for sale despite operating profit improving by over 100 per cent to 8m.Misys says Sesame is still seen as non-core strategically and is embarking […]


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