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The Mortgage Climate Action Group started life as a collaborative, non-commercial industry initiative led by Legal & General, Sesame Bankhall Group and SimplyBiz Mortgages. These founders were later joined by Home Loan Partnership, Mortgage Intelligence, PRIMIS, Openwork and Paradigm.

It was set up to act as a source of support for intermediaries, helping them to understand and address green issues when dealing with mortgage applications, and ensuring that advisers’ interests are represented among lenders, regulators, trade bodies and government institutions alike.

MCAG began working with AMI soon after its inception, and it quickly became apparent that the interests of AMI and MCAG were closely aligned. This led to the decision to make MCAG the official Steering Group for the development and delivery of AMI’s green initiative, with the aim of providing resources, training and representation for the mortgage intermediary sector as we navigate the net zero transition.

AMI and MCAG Manifesto and Priorities

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We need mortgage intermediaries to be familiar with – and comfortable talking to clients about – green home retrofit technologies, the financing options available, and the regulatory landscape that sits around it all. We also want to help broker firms understand the value of green mortgage advice and how to incorporate it into their wider service proposition, alongside ways in which firms can reduce their carbon footprints.

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We need lenders, brokers, technology providers, trade bodies and education providers to work together, communicate a consensus view and put individual reputational and commercial interests aside in the name of the common good. We will also seek to map the stakeholder landscape to foster better cross-sector collaboration, including organisations in and outside of the mortgage sector, subject matter experts, think tanks, quasi-government bodies and other stakeholder groups.

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We need to steer industry towards impact and authenticity in its approach to product and service proposition design, and away from greenwashing and the ‘weaponisation’ of green in a way that cuts across our collaborative ethos. We need to gain a deeper understanding of consumer motivations beyond cost savings, which may include self-sufficiency, social status and energy security. This will help us to create narratives that inspire positive behaviour change and cut across some of the more politically charged aspects of the climate debate.

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Steering Group members

Richard Merrett

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As a parent of 2 children, one of whom counts David Attenborough as his idol, the importance of climate change and sustainability has grown within our entire family. We’re not perfect, but we do make conscious effort to address every area we can to help play our part in making a difference, particularly in our personal consumption. We make a concerted effort to shop and eat sustainably and drive as little as we possibly can.

My involvement in MCAG is driven by the desire to bring some of this to our industry. I believe that as advisers, lenders and distributors we can genuinely make a difference through our collective influence. I think we have a great privilege to help people into home ownership and therefore a responsibility to help them make behavioural changes and decisions that can hopefully save them money in the long-term and have a huge positive environmental impact.

Richard is Director of Strategic Relationships for SimplyBiz Mortgage and holds responsibility for helping to shape and create the future direction of the mortgage club, working on propositional development with lenders and intermediary member firms. He is also a Board Member for the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) and Chairs the Steering Committee for the Mortgage Climate Action Group (MCAG); a cross-industry collaboration aimed at acting as a source of support for intermediaries, helping them to understand and address green issues when dealing with mortgage applications, and ensuring that advisers’ interests are represented among lenders, regulators, trade bodies and government institutions alike.

Director of Strategic Relationships, SimplyBiz Mortgages

Rachael Hunnisett

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Having started out her career as a mortgage advisor before working for a mortgage lender within business development, national accounts and new build, Rachael has over a decade of experience working in the mortgage sector. Rachael’s work at the Green Finance Institute see’s Rachael combining her passion for sustainability with her career. Rachael leads the Green Finance Institutes Green Mortgage Campaign as part of their Built Environment Programme with a core focus of creating a green mortgage market which is scalable and plays a significant role in improving the energy efficiency of UK housing stock.

Green Mortgage Campaign Lead, Green Finance Institute

David Booth

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The way we consume the world’s resources and how we interact with the world around us needs to change but it’s difficult to know where to start. Coming together with our peers from across the mortgage industry, to share ideas, collaborate and look for ways of engaging with our clients on how to limit the impact that our housing has on the planet is what the Mortgage Climate Action Group is all about.  There might not be any easy answers and lots of challenges to overcome but the Mortgage Climate Action Group gives us a unique opportunity to work in partnership with our peers to look for solutions.

David has over 30 years of experience working in the financial services industry with various roles at Banks, Building Societies, Life Assurance companies and Distributors. As Mortgage Proposition Manager for The Openwork Partnership David builds and maintains the relationships with Openwork’s lending partners and ensures advisers at The Openwork Partnership have access to the lenders and products to meet their clients’ needs.

Mortgage Proposition Manager at The Openwork Partnership

Trudy Woolfe

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Having spent the last 20 years in the mortgage sector I have a passion for wanting to help educate on climate change and how we all play a key part in decarbonising the housing stock. By using my skills and expertise on the topic it can help provoke thoughtful discussions, shaping the direction and what better place than the Mortgage Climate Change Action Group, a fantastic group of people from a variety of backgrounds all on the same journey with the same vision.

Trudy is a Chartered Surveyor with more than 20 years’ experience working with lenders and surveyors in the residential valuation, survey, and mortgage industry. During her career she has worked as a field surveyor, before becoming a technical manager at the Lloyds Banking Group and most recently Sustainability Director within Legal & General. Trudy is a RICS Fellow (FRICS) and a technical expert in the industry, specialising in new build, climate change and sustainability. Trudy has previously contributed to industry groups including the UKF, AIMCH, Future Homes Hub and regularly contributes to the RICS on technical matters and a named contributor on a number of recently published Professional Standards.

Chartered Surveyor & RICS fellow

Richard Howes

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Paradigm are delighted to be a part of and an active participant of the MCAG.

Personally, my motivation for being a member of MCAG,  is to harness the positivity of change and see what we can achieve in our market where I am cognizant to achieve real and lasting change we combine economic gain with environmental long-term value.

Whilst many of you will have children who will affect your thinking in this area, I am on the next rung of the ladder with Grandchildren and whilst we can’t affect the past we can affect the future, it is incredibly exciting working on initiatives with colleagues in the MCAG who genuinely want to create a positive impact through education and information.

Within MCAG we have the opportunity to turn the might of our collective business community into a very powerful force in the fight with climate change, it is something that everyone should be a part of, be it lenders, brokers, and clients. It’s a common goal.

Richard has worked in the intermediary market for over 30 years, holding sales management roles with Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident and National Key Account roles with James Hay, Cater Allen and Santander for Intermediaries.

As Director of Mortgages at Paradigm, Richard helps to develop the Lender proposition by managing the relationships with the entire Lender panel – including Specialist Lenders and Equity Release providers. Richard also hosts all of Paradigm’s Mortgage CPD events.

Director of Mortgages, Paradigm Mortgage Services

Karina Gerdes

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Appointed as Mortgage Advice Bureau’s Head of ESG in July 2023, Karina oversees all ESG-related activities for the business. She is responsible for ensuring the organisation has a wider ESG strategy in place, and that it is fully integrated with the wider company mission and vision.

Championing ESG initiatives and green mortgages, Karina helps to raise awareness of housing’s role in achieving the UK’s net zero targets among advisers and customers. She oversees the delivery of MABs ESG action plan, which aims to drive operational improvements across workers, customers, communities, the environment and governance. 

Karina’s ambition and determination are evident as she utilises her position to bring about significant change while ensuring MAB’s remains committed to sustainability and ESG. Her unwavering motivation to make a positive impact on MAB, its stakeholders, and the environment perfectly aligns with the organisation’s vision for a sustainable and inclusive future.

With a wealth of experience in delivering change management and innovation across a variety of sectors, Karina’s career has been marked by a series of notable achievements. Her previous role as project manager at MAB saw her responsible for overseeing defined business and IT initiatives, with a focus on digitalisation, system integrations with external parties as well as ESG.

Karina has acquired an extensive skill set over the course of her career, from nurturing stakeholder relations to project and risk management. Wider career highlights include playing a pivotal role in facilitating the sale of a £150 million business from private equity ownership to long-term investment. Additionally, she oversaw the rollout of multiple retail systems for Jaguar Land Rover, and has been passionate about continuously improving the businesses she has been working for since the beginning of her career.

Head of ESG, Mortgage Advice Bureau

Vikki Jefferies

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The consequences of climate change are clear and demonstrable. As a parent of two girls, I have a fear of the future for them and generations to come. Our industry is unique in terms of its size, scale and reach to not only influence change in our sector, through policy and process, but to change behaviour in large scale institutions, small businesses, and millions of end customers. That is something really excites me and why I have become actively involved in the Mortgage Climate Action Group, who collectively, are key to driving this change, and ultimately making a difference.

Vikki has responsibility for commercial relationships, proposition, pricing, and service distribution across the spectrum of LSL network brands. In addition to her core responsibilities Vikki leads on environmental strategy for the financial services division as well as colleague engagement. Vikki is a member of the LSL Financial Services Exec team, demonstrating her enhanced contribution to the wider financial services division, which is now front and centre of the LSL group strategy.

Proposition Director, Primis (LSL Group)

Working groups

We are now in the process of setting up working groups in key areas of interest. If you would like to find out more about how to get involved, please get in touch (please note, volunteer opportunities are currently limited to those working in or alongside the mortgage industry).