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Paul joined the Council of Mortgage Lenders as Director General in August 2011. He was previously Chief Executive of UK Payments, a post which he held for six years. He set up, and was the first Chief Executive of the UK Payments Council, which sets strategy for collaborative payments in the UK. He was very involved with the introduction of the Faster Payments Service in 2008, the first new payment system in the UK for 25 years; and in the production of the UK?s National Payments Plan.

Before payments, Paul was the first Director General of the Association of IFAs, the representative body for the community of independent advisors which was formed in 1999. He also was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

During his earlier career, Paul has worked for the London Stock Exchange, the Association of British Insurers and the Independent Television Commission. He started his working life at the Department of Trade and Industry.

The macro-pru toolbox - for stability, not housing policy

Posted by Paul Smee on 26 June 2014

So, the historic moment has been reached. Macro-prudential tools are now being used to influence the mortgage market, and hence financial stability, the wider economy and - or so it feels - life, the Universe and Everything. What will it all mean in practice? Can it ever again be Glad Confident Morning in the mortgage market? We think so...

Government stirring the pension pot

Posted by Paul Smee on 2 May 2014

“I am 100% behind the Government’s reform of annuities; it’s the second 100% of their proposals I am not so sure of”. Certainly the Budget announcement is one of those rare occasions which justify the clichéd headline “Budget Bombshell”. No-one really saw it coming and its impact is going to rippl...

Switching - too little or too much?

Posted by Paul Smee on 3 October 2013

As its former chief executive, nostalgia alone would have drawn my gaze to the recently published report from the Payments Council on account switching. But now, as director general of the CML, I'm struck even more by the (relative) ease with which people go about switching their mortgage, compared with the (relative) inertia that exists when it...

Interest-only: time for a cunning plan

Posted by Paul Smee on 10 May 2013

At times in my career, I have had that Captain Blackadder "waiting for the big push" feeling. Interest only has fallen into that category. Publication of the FCA thematic report was clearly a Big Deal. The number of interest only mortgages is scary. Most were sold when the world looked a very different place from today. There was a worrying sens...

Eat, drink and be mindful of housing supply

Posted by Paul Smee on 26 April 2013

It’s a rite of Spring – the CML Annual Lunch, this year involving 625 guests on 26 April. Conversations will happen, business cards will be exchanged, relationships will be strengthened; and Nigel Terrington will give a thought-provoking and challenging State of the Mortgage Nation speech. It is perhaps a time to evaluate whe...

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