Victorian Surgery in the Modern Mortgage Market

Probably an odd title to broach a subject on my mind. So how are mortgage market practices reflective of those within Victorian surgeons? I hear you ask.

In 1842 Sir Robert Liston, the most pre-eminent surgeon of the age was timed amputating the leg of a patient; the time recorded? A mere 30 seconds.

30 seconds, a blink of an eye within a lifetime, no time to think of alternative treatments, no time for the poor (and conscious)  patient to back out and make a judgement call, and no consideration period where the poor patient may have come to the conclusion that waiting for 86 years for Penicillin to be unearthed, may be the preferable option.

How did he get so good? How did Sir Robert Liston become so very proficient at sawing off an adult leg in less than a minute? Well he used to do it all the time, it was his “go to” treatment.

“Got a bunion? … Amputation is the answer”

“What’s that a verrucca??? Ooooh nasty… yes I shall have to remove your leg at the hip”

“Sprained ankle sir…”   You get my drift


It would be lax for me to suggest that Sir Robert was a bloodthirsty fiend carelessly hacking off limbs, when a sticky plaster and a “wait and see” approach would have sufficed.

I think it is a fair assumption that Sir Robert thought he was doing good for his patients, ridding them of toxic infections by totally removing the problem, and through habit, becoming the very best at hacking off limbs.

Fast forward to today, and let’s not pretend what we do is leg surgery, but all too often the habitual approach within the mortgage market is embraced without a thought for an alternative “stick plaster wait and see” option. I speak to dozens of brokers each week who pronounce “I have no need for secured loans, I am able to remortgage all of my customers”.

Whilst I don’t doubt the mortgage brokers’ proficiency at performing remortgages, and I don’t doubt that for those mortgage brokers who power through a remortgage in record time their heart is firmly in the right place, surely it is worth considering the alternatives?

“Why remortgage a client looking for a further advance who is on a rock bottom SVR on their principle mortgage? Why not top it up with a second charge before waiting for interest rates to rise and fix a remortgage on that event?”

If the answer is “I will always remortgage” perhaps, just PERHAPS there are some legs being hacked that merely need an elastoplast.


2 thoughts on “Victorian Surgery in the Modern Mortgage Market

  1. […] Victorian Surgery in the Modern Mortgage Market | view from the coalface […]

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