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Moody's grants Scotland independence from mortgage report

Moody’s certainly seems to be doing its best to be left off Scotland’s list of approved rating agencies when that country issues its debut bond — something its government was granted powers to do last year.

A report from the agency ended up in Blog’s in-tray last week with the intriguing headline “Northern UK Borrowers Are Almost Twice Likely to be Caught In a Mortgage Debt Trap”. It then cited a load of numbers about non-conforming borrowers and “mortgage prisoners”, which we assumed was the correct phrase for someone that had been sent to jail in Monopoly.

Anyway, a glance at the map of mortgage prisoners revealed quite clearly that it was those in the north of England — rather than the UK — that were likely to be caught in a debt trap. Those north of the border fared rather well, behind only the south of England in terms of a lack of mortgage prisoners.

Perhaps the report had been readied before last year’s Scottish independence referendum and Moody’s had been expecting a ‘Yes’ vote, so the north of the UK would have been the north of England. Or maybe with the pro-independence Scottish National Party tipped by many pollsters to hold the balance of power after next month’s UK general election, Moody’s wanted to future proof the report against another independence vote — this time returning a ‘Yes’.

Either way, we thought we better ask our Scottish cousin McBlog for his opinion.

“It’s just like with Andy Murray,” said a rather riled McBlog.

“When he wins Wimbledon, the press say he’s from the UK. But when he loses, they say he’s from Scotland.”

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