One to One: Julie-Ann Haines, Director General of the Principality


You took on this role during the summer of 2020, a difficult year. How did it go?

I started two years ago almost to the day!

Time flies when you’re having fun. I relished the challenge and really enjoyed seeing the organization from a different perspective.

My main goal in 2020 was to continue to support our colleagues, members and brokers through the various confinements, uncertainty and ambiguity. And now the country is there again, but in terms of the cost of living.

We should challenge ourselves to give consumers peace of mind and ensure their mortgage is both affordable and flexible.

We don’t have all the answers, but people want to know that you care deeply about you and will do whatever it takes to help them. That’s what I try to do every day in my role.

What are the Principality’s priorities for this year and next?

We strive to do even more to support our colleagues, our members, our brokers and our communities.

Our strategy is based on three pillars: helping more people find a home; build more financial resilience and confidence by helping people have a secure future; and build a fairer society for all.

The values ​​and integrity of leadership and the way things are done is what makes the difference for me

Everything we do is about it – whether it’s pledging to keep our branches open until the end of 2025, pledging 3% of profits to social impact projects, or playing our part in tackling the climate emergency by aiming for net zero in our operations. by 2030.

From a Mortgage and Broker perspective, we are very grateful for customer support as we roll out new technology in our field in 2020/21.

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

About 12 years ago, a former managing director of the Principality told me that I had both the soft skills and the technical skills to one day be managing director. It was the first time I could dare to dream!

So many bad practices were wiped out by the credit crunch where change was really needed

In every role I’ve held in consumer goods, retail, financial services and marketing agencies, the customer has come first and that has been my passion. I love nothing more than meeting with a client or broker and figuring out what more we can do to better help them achieve their goals.

I learned to be resilient, to have confidence in myself, and you don’t have to shout the loudest to influence the achievement of good things.

I am a firm believer in using my ears and my mouth to the extent that I have them; ask questions and listen to seek understanding. I don’t succeed all the time and every day I challenge myself to be able to improve.

I love nothing more than meeting with a client or broker and figuring out what more we can do

What is your favorite part of your job?

Talking to colleagues, clients and brokers and feeling like we are making a difference in so many ways. It’s inspiring and motivating, and it certainly helps keep your feet on the ground.

What has been your biggest professional challenge to date?

Adjusting to working in financial services at a time when the industry was not always doing the right thing for its customers. I think so many bad practices were eliminated by the credit crunch, where a change was really needed.

We strive to do even more to support our colleagues, our members, our brokers and our communities

I left one of my previous roles jobless due to a toxic culture, and learned that no matter how good a strategy, leadership values ​​and integrity and how things are made are what makes the difference for me.

Is there anything you would change in the mortgage industry?

I look at the lack of long-term, fixed-rate mortgages and wonder why, with interest rates so low, we haven’t seen more people take them.

We should challenge ourselves to give consumers peace of mind and ensure their mortgage is both affordable and flexible.

I really liked seeing the organization from a different perspective

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

I would love to run a grocery store in the south of France or in Spain. Maybe one day….

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

Play to your strengths.

Company profile

Year of creation: 1860

Effective : Full-time staff – 860; part-time staff – 244

Address: Principality House, The Friary, Cardiff CF10 3FA

Such : General information: 0330 333 4000

A mutual building society, owned and managed for the benefit of its members, the Principality is the largest building society in Wales and the sixth largest in the UK, with assets of just under £10.5 billion sterling.

Committed to supporting communities in Wales, the Principality has 53 branches and 17 agencies in Wales and the Borders.

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