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60 seconds with Graeme Yorston, chief executive at Principality Building Society

Graeme Yorston 60 seconds

You’ve just been appointed chief executive of Principality – where were you before that?

Prior to being appointed chief executive, I was chief operating officer at Principality.

What are the big challenges the mutual sector is facing at the moment?

How do we get our message across to customers, and potential customers, about the significant differences between a mutual and a bank.

What are the big opportunities for Principality in the current market?

Principality has an incredibly powerful brand and a great product offering backed by outstanding service. 

We therefore have a significant opportunity to grow our business both in our heartland of Wales and outside.

Principality also owns second charge lender Nemo – what’s that market like at the moment?

The second charge market is still an incredibly attractive market to us although competition is slowly beginning to return in what is a much lower demand than before the crunch.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you are faced with a major crisis and have the time, sleep on it, reflect on it, and the world will look a very different place in the next day.

Do you have any secret talents?

In the past, I have been a qualified water-ski instructor and I am a former Scottish kart racing champion.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Not sure if it is a super power, but I would probably re-set the clocks to 10 years ago and try and avoid this awful mess that the world now finds itself in from a global economic perspective.

The Principality has signed up to the Funding for Lending Scheme – what difference has it made?

FLS has provided us with a great alternative funding line and one we welcome. We are specifically targeting some of the segments in Wales who might not otherwise have been able to access funding for home purchase.

If you could invite three people to a party who would they be and why?

I am a golf nut and I would invite Rory Mcilroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.

Apart from being some of the best golfers in the world they look like guys who have a great time doing what they do.

As a child what did you want to do as job when you grew up?

A formula 1 driver – but I soon realised that I was never going to be good enough despite having been Scottish Kart Champion and that I had to find an alternative if I was going to eat!


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