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5 minutes with Hilary Carberry, Commercial Finance Regional Director

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What does a day in the life of a commercial finance regional director look like? We caught up with Hilary Carberry, Regional Director in our team here at Paragon to find out what a typical day entails and how she has seen the sector evolve over the years.

How long have you been with Paragon Bank and what does your role entail?

I have been with Paragon Bank for four and a half years and my role involves working with existing and new customers to provide asset finance funding for new and used plant and machinery. I also work with manufacturers and dealers directly, providing them with a service for their end users.

The main industries supported by our team are construction, waste and recycling, demolition and forestry. I also have some customers in the transport and logistics sector. My role is about developing new business along with supporting my existing customer base with their needs.

How did you end up in the industry/what is your background?

I went to university and I have a degree in accounts, therefore the natural step would have been to train as a chartered accountant. However, I decided against that and I went into industry for my first job, working with Williams Holdings Group of Companies, buying engineering parts from Europe for the Rawlplug Co Ltd. After a year, I had an opportunity to work with North West Securities in their Glasgow city centre branch and the rest is history! I have been working in the industry for 35 years, including being self-employed for a period.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I like meeting new people and working with customers to provide solutions that work best for them. Over the years I have been able to develop good and long-standing relationships with many people.

What are the challenges?

The challenges are slightly different at the moment due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic! However, we have been continuing to support both new and existing clients throughout.

There are also the usual challenges of any customer-facing role, such as building new business – particularly at a time when the market is impacted by COVID-19 – juggling numerous stakeholder relationships and working to a number of deadlines at a time.

Have you seen the involvement of women in the industry change throughout the time you have been in it?

I would love to say that the industry has changed beyond recognition but it it’s more evolution than revolution. It is an unusual job and we continue to tackle the barriers to women working within certain sectors that have been traditionally male, such as construction. There are more women in banking overall and, whilst there has been an increase at board level and within senior roles, more can be done.

My advice to women joining the industry would be that if you think you will enjoy it and have the skill set, then go for it! It is a very interesting job and is continually challenging. Every day is different and that is what I love about it.

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Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551