CottageI'm currently in the process of trying to buy a place to live humble abode in the English countryside and I thought that today's events might be of interest. I went to the Abbey National (alias Santander) for a mortgage and a smartly dressed lady called Jan went through the paperwork with me. Throughout the process I got the impression that she was really on my side, looking for ways to make my case fit in with the tight regulation.

Far from being either bureaucratic or exploitative I felt that this particular banker wanted to create a deal that would work for both the bank and me, providing me with capital that I need to escape renting whilst making a decent profit for the company she works for. I had to come in a second time, this time with my son, and the banker helped keep him entertained whilst trying out different lending options. Towards the end of the second visit I noticed a number of cards on her desk. They were 'thank you' cards from clients who appreciated Jan's efforts in getting them a mortgage. And it was clear that she was proud of them.

GM Davies is the author of Play 1 e4 e5: A Complete Repertoire for Black, Everyman, 2005





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