Martin Wheatley, who leads London’s top markets watchdog, says he wishes he could bike to and from his home in Greenwich, a borough along the Thames. He can’t because he’s lugging too much paperwork around.
The last time U.K. mortgage approvals were this high, lender Northern Rock Plc hadn’t yet collapsed, Gordon Brown was prime minister, and U.S. investment banks Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. were still in business.
Northern Rock Asset Management Plc’s Chief Financial Officer David Jones left the company in the face of a regulatory probe into disclosures about mortgages sold before the bank was nationalized by the U.K. government.
On a cold, clear January morning, Sir Richard Branson finds himself standing in the middle of a pedestrian-friendly street in Newcastle -- a hardscrabble city in northeast England -- becoming something he never thought he would be: a banker.