From 1st July the Council of Mortgage Lenders is integrated into a new trade association, UK Finance. For the time being, all UKF mortgage information will continue to be published on this website, and UKF member-only mortgage information will only be available here.

UK Finance represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation takes on most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association. Please go to for wider content and updates from UK Finance.

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The Mortgage Market in Northern Ireland seminar


11 May 2017

Time: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Venue: Hilton Belfast
Price: £90 (VAT exempt) members
£90 (VAT exempt) associates
£145 (VAT exempt) non-members
The Mortgage Market in Northern Ireland seminar

About this event

The next 12 months will see a continuation of change and development in the mortgage market in Northern Ireland. This seminar explored the latest issues and examples of best practice with the foremost experts in the industry. The event concluded with an informal networking lunch, allowing attendees to discuss the topics of the day together.

See the full programme for this event.

Comments made by delegates who attended the event:

  • "Very interesting and informative. Great insight and excellent delivery from everyone involved."
  • "Excellent and very informative conference. Very useful to have a northern Ireland focused event and the particular nuances of the market."
  • "This event provides a very useful overview of housing market and lending issues in Northern Ireland, bringing together experts to discuss a range of to-to-date perspective. I find it very useful and informative."
  • "A great event, great speakers and relevant content."
  • "First time attending a CML event and would recommend to anyone interested in a holistic review of the Northern Ireland housing/lending market."

**This event was open to press**

Confirmed Sessions

0900 - 0930


Registration and refreshments

0930 - 0940


Welcome and introduction
Derek Wilson, Chair, CML Northern Ireland

0940 - 1000


CML market overview
Paul Smee, Director General, Council of Mortgage Lenders

1000 - 1030


The post-referendum / Pre-Brexit economic landscape
Alan Bridle, UK Economist and Market Analyst, Bank of Ireland

1030 - 1100  

Post-MCD landscape - what comes next?
Russell Kelsall, Partner, TLT LLP

1100 – 1120  

Rent to own scheme
Mark Graham, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Ownership

1120 – 1150  


1150 - 1210  

Vulnerable customers 
Clare Rothwell, Helpline Co-ordinator, Housing Rights  

1210 - 1230  

Legal update
Gillian Crotty, Partner, Wilson Nesbitt

  • Northern Ireland legal issues
  • Overview of recent lender cases in Northern Ireland
1230 – 1300  

Housebuilding and supply panel
Mark Graham, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Ownership
John McCord, Acting Head, Housing Affordability and Housing, Department for Communities
Gavin McGuire, Director, Federation of Master Builders Northern Ireland 

  • Materials and labour issues
  • Impacts of negative equity
  • Housing market in Northern Ireland
1300 – 1310  

Chair's closing remarks

1310 - 1400



Chair: Derek Wilson

Head of Mortgage Strategy and Distribution, First Trust Bank

Derek Wilson has over 36 years’ experience in financial services, principally dealing with mortgages and sits on the board for Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Derek is currently in his third term as Chair of CML Northern Ireland. 




Alan Bridle

UK Economist & Market Analyst, Bank of Ireland UK

Alan Bridle is the UK Economist & Market Analyst at Bank of Ireland UK, taking up his current position on incorporation of the subsidiary in 2010. After graduating from Queens University in 1986, winning the Adam smith prize, joined the Investment Bank of Ireland in Belfast and has held a number of positions in Bank of Ireland’s treasury, Corporate & Business and Strategic Marketing divisions. He is responsible for providing strategic insight into bank of Ireland’s key product markets in the UK and all the bank’s Economic and Market research, briefings and presentations in Northern Ireland.

Alan has appeared regularly on business issues in the local media. He was co-author of the Northern Ireland quarterly house price survey and had monthly columns in both the Irish news and ulster business for more than a decade.

Alan is a member of CBI NI’s economic affairs committee and represented CBI on the Northern Ireland statistics advisory committee.

In 2007, Alan was appointed to the independent panel of experts on housing affordability by the DSD minister and currently sits on steering for the Northern Ireland science park’s knowledge economy index.

Gillian Crotty

Partner, Wilson Nesbitt

Gillian Crotty has been a Partner at Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors for five years and heads up their lender recovery department which encompasses all aspects of lender recovery to include repossessions, unsecured recoveries, shortfall recoveries and professional negligence claims. Gillian specialises in professional negligence and complex defended possession actions in the Commercial and Chancery Courts.


Mark Graham

Chief Executive, Co-Ownership

Mark Graham joined Co-Ownership in 2015 as Executive Director, Property and Development, before taking up the role of Chief Executive in 2016. He had previously held a number of senior management positions in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, latterly managing the Northern Ireland social housing development programme and having also led major change initiatives. He has also a strong interest in housing policy and organisational governance.





Russell Kelsall

Partner, TLT LLP

Russell Kelsall is a leading expert on consumer credit and regulated mortgages.  He regularly advises lenders on authorisation, documentation, policies and procedures, and complicated recoveries.  He acted for the successful lender in Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc v Thakker & Thakker [2014] (the leading decision on the effect of alleged breaches of MCOB).




John McCord

Acting Head of housing Affordability, Department for Social Development

John McCord has been in Housing Group within the new Department for Communities for nearly 8 years and since 2014 has been the Acting Head of Housing Affordability.  His specific areas of responsibility include: developing policy and strategy on affordable housing, examining the barriers to housing supply in NI and advancing shared housing under the NI Executive’s Together: Building a United Community Strategy.









Gavin McGuire

Director, Federation of Master Builders Northern Ireland

Gavin McGuire serves as Northern Ireland Director of Federation of Master Builders Northern Ireland (FMB), the largest Construction Federation in the UK. Representing 1000’s of SME builders, FMB has a strong passion to see improved standards within the Industry. Addressing the Skills shortage, more access to Finance for SME to build new homes and a strong supply chain are all key prioritise of McGuire’s role. Having some 25 years experience working in the Industry he has a strong passion to champion the high quality work produced by Northern Irish companies. 






Clare Rothwell

Helpline Co-ordinator, Housing Rights

Clare Rothwell joined Housing Rights in 2015, having previously worked for a number of years as a self-employed Barrister. With expertise in housing law, homelessness and mortgage debt Clare provided advice and representation for both borrowers and lenders before joining Housing Rights. Currently employed as Advice Line Co-ordinator, Clare is responsible for advice service for clients facing homelessness as a result of a range of issues including mortgage debt. Passionate about working with vulnerable clients, Clare continues to be involved with pro bono representation for vulnerable clients through the Law Centre Northern Ireland in addition to her work at Housing Rights.


Paul Smee

Director General, Council of Mortgage Lenders

Paul Smee has been the Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders since August 2011. Previously, he was Chief Executive of UK Payments, a post which he held for six years.

 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 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. 



Hilton Belfast

4 Lanyon Place
Northern Ireland

Nearest overground station:

Central station 

Event resources

Presentations from the day are available below for attendees. Click on the links to download the presentations in pdf format. 

Please be advised that any comments, queries or requests with regard to Bank of Ireland's presentation on the 11 May 2017 should be emailed directly to

Contact us

Laura Marshall

Telephone: 08453736771