When well-known financial journalist and BBC Money Box presenter, Paul Lewis, advised those seeking a mortgage to not “find a mortgage broker over the local cab shop in the high street”, he was effectively insulting millions of small and micro businesses around the UK. The implication of his comments is that small businesses on the UK’s high streets are grubby and untrustworthy.
Instead of doing the right thing and apologising, he doubled down on Twitter by throwing kebab shops into the mix, too. So now it’s taxi ranks, mortgage brokers and kebab shops he has managed to disparage, as well as every other small business to boot.
Paul has a large platform, both on social media and in the mainstream media, and people listen to his advice. It is deeply damaging for him to attack small businesses at a time when hundreds of thousands of them are at breaking point as a result of soaring energy prices, rising interest rates and high inflation.
If we follow Paul’s logic, then none of us should buy our groceries from a small local firm but should head off to Tesco instead. Equally, we shouldn’t go to our local high streets to buy a gift from a small independent but should line the pockets of Jeff Bezos and Amazon. And don’t, whatever you do, use a local broker who may have countless 5-star reviews and be the bee’s knees, because if they’re based next to a chippy, they must be rubbish.
Instead, go to a big national corporate broker, and help buy some fat cat CEO running a mortgage sausage factory the latest Range Rover instead.
Paul seems committed to supporting the big corporates and their bottom line rather than the everyday business doing its best to stay afloat. Man of the people? Servant of the conglomerates more like. This truly is (financial) journalism at its worst.