UK Finance, the trade organisation representing the banking and finance industry operating in the UK, has announced the appointment of Bank of Ireland’s Richard Rowntree as the new chair of its Mortgages Product and Service. He will replace outgoing Chair Miguel Sard, Managing Director of Mortgages at Santander, in January 2019.  

The UK Finance Mortgages Product and Service Board is one of UK Finance’s ten specialist sector Boards which brings together senior industry figures to discuss key issues facing the sector. Richard, who was previously of one of the Board’s two deputy chairs, is UK Mortgages Director, Bank of Ireland UK, where he is responsible for the Mortgage Business in the UK. He previously held the position of Head of Specialist Banking for Williams and Glyn (RBS) as well as senior mortgage roles with Santander, Lloyds and Halifax. As a result of Richard stepping up to Chair, Steve Hughes, Chief Executive, Principality Building Society, will now sit alongside Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Mortgages, RBS as deputy chair.

Led by CEO Stephen Jones, UK Finance represents more than 250 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. Representing firms covering credit, banking, markets and payment-related services, UK Finance seeks to champion a thriving banking and finance industry, acting always in the best interests of consumers, businesses and wider society. It offers research, policy expertise and advocacy as well as operational and project activity to enhance members’ own services where collective activity across the industry is appropriate.

Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgage Policy, UK Finance, said: “It’s set to be another busy year for the Mortgages Product and Service Board particularly with the FCA’s final report in to the mortgage market due in the first quarter. Driving an agenda that continues to deliver good outcomes for consumers and raises standards in the sector are key objectives for the Product and Services Board and Richard’s extensive experience of the industry will prove invaluable in helping us deliver these. I am also very grateful to Miguel Sard, who Richard succeeds, for his valuable contribution.”

Richard Rowntree, UK Mortgages Director at Bank of Ireland, said “Overall the mortgage market is in a good place and working well for many customers with innovation driving choice in currently under-served market segments. The UK Finance Mortgages Product and Service Board plays an important role in helping deliver positive results for customers across the UK and I look forward to taking on the role of chair.”

Steve Hughes, CEO at Principality Building Society, said “As CEO of a mutual organisation I feel I can bring a different perspective to the Product and Service Board, providing insight and strong support to Richard, Jackie and the Board on the mortgage agenda across the UK.”