Surely only the hardest of hearts will ever forget the trauma of New Year’s Eve 2011, when the peaceful village of Ambridge was rocked by the first squalls of new-born Henry, and the ungodly shriek of Nigel Pargetter plummeting to a presumably sticky end.
Nor indeed are we likely to forget the outstanding gaffe of the Archer’s Editor revealing on the Today programme that Nigel’s cliffhanger, um, wasn’t – giving the game away with words to the effect of “one out, one in.”
That phrase, and memories of sobb sweating over the stove during the Sunday omnibus, come forcefully to mind this week, as we learned that ING will close its doors to new business on 5th March, when it’s taken over by Barclays.
I’m sure everyone in the industry agrees that ING has been real and positive force in mortgages over the last few years – certainly since the credit crunch. It was one of the few institutions that was consistently keen to lend, and doing so with strong – often market leading – rates, sensible policy and good service. Very many borrowers may well have ended up paying rather more had ING not been there.
So call me a sentimental fool if you like, but let’s take a moment to say farewell to ING. We’ll miss you.
But in the finest tradition of soaps of all media, this is also the time to welcome new life in the form of Investec Mortgages. To be fair it’s not entirely new: Investec already has a couple of brands in the form of the high-net-worth Private Bank, and specialist lender Kensington. However the new brand is pitched at a different market by targeting professionals – business people, medical or legal types, accountants and so on.
Being even newer to this world than young Henry, it is of course far too early to tell how Investec’s professional arm will turn out – there is nothing but promise and potential. So for now let’s celebrate this new arrival, and all hope it doesn’t turn out like Brian Archer, the cad.