Louisa Sedgwick, Director of Sales at Vida Homeloans has been appointed Deputy Chair, with Alison Pallett of the Bank of Ireland elected as a Director alongside Paul Darwin from Skipton Building Society who has served on the IMLA board since 2016. The election also saw John Heron of Paragon Group step down from the board to take up a position on the UK Finance Mortgages and Product Service Board after many years of continued service to IMLA since the late 1980s, including multiple terms as IMLA Chairman and director roles since the mid-1990s.

Alongside these board announcements, January 2018 will also see Kate Davies begin her role as Executive Director, succeeding Peter Williams after more than a decade in the role. She takes the reins at a time of significant growth for IMLA, which has reached 39 full lender members this year – the highest number on record – ahead of its 30th year in 2018. It means that IMLA’s membership has tripled since falling to 13 during the post-2007/8 recession.

Changes to the financial services trade body environment this year mean that IMLA has emerged as the only dedicated, independent forum for mortgage lenders including banks, building societies and specialist lenders to combine their expertise to help promote and develop the market.

Phil Rickards, incoming IMLA Chair, said  “I am looking forward to building on the fantastic contribution made by Kevin over the last two years, and collaborating with the rest of the board in this time of transition. Though we’re sad to see Peter step down from his long-standing role as Executive Director, we’re confident Kate’s appointment will stand IMLA in good stead as we continue to grow.

“This is an exciting time for the industry, and IMLA has a vital role to play in supporting effective working relationships between lenders and brokers, while informing regulators and policymakers to ensure the market remains balanced and well-served for mainstream and specialist customers.”

Kate Davies, IMLA Executive Director, said: “Phil will head up a strong team of experienced and newly-appointed IMLA directors, who are committed to the needs of our members within the ever-changing mortgage market. I’m sure he will continue to build on the successful contribution he has already made over the last few years as Deputy Chair.

“As I too settle into my new role, I’m looking forward to working closely with IMLA directors throughout 2018 to play an active part in tackling key issues that will shape the market’s future. I’d like to thank Peter for all his wide-ranging contributions to IMLA over the years and his help in preparing me to take on the role. Both he and John Heron will be formidable acts to follow and I speak for every IMLA member in wishing them both well in the future.”