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‘Malicious glee at misfortunes’

Robert Sterling managing director Kevin Duffy believes Northern Rock has been the subject of schadenfreude by other UK mortgage lenders.

Duffy said: “Northern Rock has for the last two years been a very much envied lender and that might explain potentially why some of the lending community have not been falling over themselves to shed a tear.”

He said Northern Rock has been eating the lunch of mainstream and specialist lenders for some time now.

John Charcol senior technical director Ray Boulger added: “Northern Rock has been at the forefront of some of the changes in lending policy. When they introduced high income multiples they were pretty much out on their own but the markets caught up. Clearly, Northern Rock are innovative but they have basically been unlucky.”

Mortgage Force managing director Rob Clifford considered that Northern Rock’s problems were not about negligence in terms of lending policy. He said: “I think the breadth of Northern Rock lending policy is about product innovation for good reason. We have got to be very careful about criticising lenders for that product innovation.”

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