Financial services 2: Mortgages
This chapter continues the review of our research in financial services workplaces, looking at a mortgage company, Current Mortgage Ltd (CML), which specialised in just one mortgage product, a ‘current account mortgage’ (CAM). The CAM was a complex product and it was not a simple matter for a prospective customer to understand how s/he might benefit, since there were many factors to quantify and compare with other possible types of mortgage. So it was not an easy sales task to make the case for the CAM. The company therefore became interested in the notion of technomathematical literacies and how our approach to improving TmL could impact on their sales practice. At the time of our work in this company (2005-2006), the UK mortgage market was booming and frenetic, with thousands of different mortgage products on offer. Whilst the credit crunch of 2008 has had a huge impact on the mortgage business, we are confident that our findings remain relevant; indeed, as we already noted in Chapter 4, it was the widespread lack of understanding of the mathematics underlying financial products that was a key factor in the financial crisis.