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Five mins with... Howard Lincoln

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In the latest in our ‘Five minutes with…’ interviews, we meet Howard Lincoln. Howard has over 30 years’ financial services experience and joined Paragon as Operational Credit Manager in September last year.

Howard, can you explain what your role as operational credit manager entails?

 My role sits within Paragon Development Finance’s (PDF) Credit and Operations team, working in Credit Control and Due Diligence. I feel that I have quite a varied role, which ranges from making Credit decisions on new proposals as a member of the PDF Credit Committee, to reviewing the due diligence that is required before any new loans can be drawn. Essentially, the role is to ensure that PDF is meeting all statutory and regulatory compliance arrangements and that risk controls are sufficient and being operated properly. 

You have been with Paragon since last September, how have you found your first few months with the company?

Whilst I have worked in the industry a long time, it is still always a challenge to join a new company as there are so many new things like systems and procedures to learn. Added to this, I joined in a period of disruption caused by the pandemic, so it was hugely valuable how supportive and welcoming the whole PDF team made me feel in those early weeks.

You worked for RBS for over three decades but more recently have enjoyed roles at smaller banks or financial services companies. How does working for a mid-tier specialist bank compare?

I have enjoyed my time at both RBS and the smaller companies since, but I would say that where I am now represents the best of both worlds. We still have the resources available within the wider Group that is vital for ensuring we operate to the highest standards of statutory and regulatory compliance, but we are also able to adapt quickly and remain very customer focussed.      

How has the financial services sector evolved during your career?

I feel very privileged to have worked in so many fast-paced and interesting environments, which has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. This sector has embraced so many changes over the years; to an extent that I couldn’t have contemplated the speed and complexity of what we can achieve for our customers today when I started out in my career. However, I do still feel that the fundamentals around lending and delivering customer service are still the same.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

Well, my dog Max will say spending time with him and, to be fair, he’s not far wrong! I just enjoy spending time in the Sussex countryside where I live, taking long walks with Max; being with my family and enjoying pursuits such as running, cycling and golf.

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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