Why did Paragon re-enter the market?
It was always our intention to re-enter the market because we believe in the fundamentals of buy-to-let and are confident that there is robust demand for products from landlord investors. The question was whether we could obtain funding on sustainable and acceptable terms and we are pleased to say that we were able to achieve this.
What’s your forecast for the buy-to-let market next year?
Steady growth. I think lending volumes for 2010 will be at roughly the same level as last year. This year has been about consolidation and restoring confidence to the market, which we have seen with an expansion in the number of lenders and products. I’m expecting gross lending to rise steadily over the next 12 months, but it will be some time before we see lending that is consistent with normal market conditions.
If you were head of the Financial Services Authority for a day what would you do?
I would revisit the Mortgage Market Review and consider the implications for the housing market and the large sections of the population whowill be prevented from obtaining a mortgage. This issue is creating too much uncertainty.
What is the proudest moment of your career?
Creating a car and retail financial services business. The business generated £300m per year and was one of the most highly regarded operators in its sector.
Who is best person you’ve worked with and why?
My managing director John Heron due to the regard he is held with in the industry, his knowledge of the mortgage industry, his commercial awareness and his willingness to share information.
If you weren’t in financial services what would you be doing?
I’d like to play golf professionally.
Name one thing people don’t know about you:
Either I have a twin brother who is also in financial services or that I once drove a golf ball into the car park from the first tee at Turnberry with Colin Montgomery watching on. Not once, but twice.
What book are you reading at the moment?
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.