One to One: Charles Roe, Director of Mortgages, UK Finance


What is the main focus of your role as UK Mortgage Manager?

I lead our mortgage team, which works with and on behalf of all lenders in the sector (banks, building societies and specialists), whatever their size, whether they are general public or more bespoke.

We strive to represent them and promote sustainable housing finance in the UK.

Encourage your team to help develop ideas and solutions. They usually know the details better than you

Our team collaborates with policy makers, government and other stakeholders to shape regulation. We help our members implement regulatory initiatives and share best practices across the industry.

What brought you to this position and what past professional experiences do you draw on to help you?

Housing is always a priority issue in this country, so it was a hugely exciting opportunity to join the UK Finance team two years ago.

I have had extensive experience in the mortgage industry over my career that I can draw on in this role.

There remain many opportunities for the industry to better use digital technologies to improve the customer experience

I was previously risk director for the Nottingham Building Society and also spent 10 years at the Financial Conduct Authority, including as head of the mortgages and mutuals department.

How does UK Finance work with other trade bodies and the FCA?

UK Finance was created in 2017 to bring together the work of a number of banking and finance industry associations, including the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

We work independently but in coordination with other professional bodies (such as the Building Societies Association) on key policy issues. An example of this was during the pandemic – we worked closely together to ensure our members were providing the right support to customers facing financial difficulties.

We also work closely with the FCA, helping to support them in all the work they do in the mortgage market.

I have gained extensive experience in the mortgage industry, which I can draw on in this role

One important thing we can provide is comprehensive lender data and statistics to highlight key trends and the potential impact of contemplated regulatory changes.

UK Finance represents lenders, but what role do you think brokers play in the success of the mortgage industry?

Brokers are an essential part of the market. They help the majority of mortgage customers get a product that suits them and their situation.

Given their extensive knowledge of the market, one important thing they do is provide advice on which lenders are most likely to accept a client’s mortgage application at any given time.

What has been your biggest professional challenge to date?

After almost a year at the Nottingham Building Society, I was appointed Executive Director. This gave me a significant amount of regulatory responsibility for everything the company did, the products it offered and the people it employed.

During the pandemic, we worked closely to ensure our members were providing the right support to customers facing financial hardship.

As a former regulator, it was a significant professional challenge to see things from the other side.

Is there anything you would change in the mortgage business?

The industry is highly competitive and supports millions of customers. Many processes when buying a new home or applying for a mortgage are still very manual and paper-based (with many requests for identity verification being made by multiple parties during the process).

Although some tentative steps are being taken in digital identity, there are still many opportunities for relevant industries to better use digital technologies to improve the customer experience.

If you could choose any other job, what would it be?

I am a sailing enthusiast, and my dream job would be to skipper a yacht around the world.

We help our members implement regulatory initiatives and share best practices across the industry

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

Be curious and ask questions. Don’t over complicate things and encourage your team to develop ideas and solutions. They usually know the details better than you.

Company pprofile

Year of creation: 2017

Effective : 231

Address: 5th Floor, 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ

Phone : 020 7706 3333

UK Finance is the collective voice of the banking and finance industry. Representing more than 300 companies, we act to improve competitiveness, support our customers and facilitate innovation.

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