James Coney  

The financial crisis' most significant moment

James Coney

James Coney

Worlds apart

One of my most treasured financial services possessions is my copy of Moneyfacts from August 2007. It is the edition from the month before everything fell apart.

It is like reading something from another world. There are 100 per cent loan-to-value deals on interest only from the Bank of Scotland, Bradford & Bingley and the Portman Building Society.

Alliance & Leicester, Birmingham Midshires, Godiva and Northern Rock had a 125 per cent mortgage; B&B, Dunfermline Building Society, Mortgage Express, Scottish Widows all had 110 per cent. 

What you will notice of course is that many of these names are now long gone. I mean, what on earth was Dunfermline Building Society (assets £3.3bn) doing offering that kind of deal? We really were all mad.

But my favourite heading comes under self-certification where a footnote adds: “Details of income required, but not proof.”

Standing by an old favourite

And so Neil Woodford disappears from another best buy list from a fund group.

It seems as if Hargreaves Lansdown is the only company willing to stick by their old favourite.

Personally, I am sticking by Mr Woodford too. He has made some howlers and if I am wrong it is also my own money at stake.

I think his portfolio is designed for Brexit and has a heap of entrepreneurial companies ready to thrive.

Plus he has been hammered more than anyone by high-profile outfows from the UK.

He has been in this position twice before, most notably in 2007. Someone as intelligent and astute as Mr Woodford does not just lose it. The market fundamentals remain the same.

And as Mr Carney said, a big mistake would be to think: “This time is different.”

James Coney is money editor at The Sunday Times