The Board of Directors

  • Iain Cornish - Chair and Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: Independent Non-Executive Director in January 2019 and Chair of the board in April 2020.

    Board committees: Chair of Nominations Committee and member of Remuneration Committee.

    Strengths and experience: Iain has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years. His previous roles include CEO of Yorkshire Building Society and Chair of the Building Societies Association. Iain has also held several non-executive posts, such as: Treasury Select Committee Special Advisor and Independent Director for the Prudential Regulatory Authority and chaired the Financial Services Authority Practitioner Panel. In addition to significant experience within the sector, Iain has relevant risk and audit committee experience.

    Other roles: Iain is a trustee and treasurer of Macmillan Cancer Support. Iain is also Chair of Governors at Leeds Beckett University.

    “As Chair, my role is to lead your board in overseeing the performance of the Society and the development and implementation of its strategy. Our purpose of putting home ownership within reach of more people, generation after generation, is true to our roots as a building society, and I firmly believe it is right for our members. Over the last year, the board’s focus has been on furthering this purpose in a climate which has been difficult for our borrowers and our savers. We are not expecting any significant recovery in the economy in 2024, so my priority will be to make sure that the Society continues to offer sustainable good value to savers, and enables as many borrowers as possible to buy the homes they want. At the same time, I will be concentrating on ensuring that the Society remains financially secure for the future, and that the substantial investments which we are making to improve services to members are managed well, and that they deliver the benefits intended."

  • Richard Fearon - Chief Executive Officer

    Appointed: Chief Executive Officer in February 2019 and Executive Director in 2016.

    Strengths and experience: Richard started his career at Oliver Wyman & Company and spent ten years at Lloyds Banking Group in senior mortgage and savings roles. Richard has an excellent understanding of product development to meet customer needs, as well as strong strategic and commercial skills. As CEO, Richard’s responsibilities include promoting the long-term success of the Society, and leading the development and implementation of the Society’s strategy and purpose in the interest of its members and other stakeholders.

    Other roles: Richard is a director of UK Finance Limited and a member of the UK Finance Audit & Oversight Committee and the Mortgages Product and Service Board.

    “One of my priorities as CEO is ensuring our members are at the heart of every decision we make, as well as promoting and ensuring the delivery of good customer outcomes through a customer focused strategy and culture. Our purpose has supported us through the current economic climate and we continue to effectively serve members and uphold our purpose as a mutual building society. My role involves leading the management team so that we can operate in the best interests of our members.”

  • Annette Barnes - Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: February 2019.

    Board committees: Chair of Remuneration and member of Board Risk and Nominations committees.

    Strengths and experience: Before joining the Society, Annette was CEO at Lloyds Bank Private Banking Ltd and Managing Director of Wealth & Mass Affluent for Lloyds Banking Group. Annette has over 35 years’ experience in financial services. With her background in operations, technology and customer engagement, plus recent board and regulatory experience, Annette brings a wealth of knowledge to the board.

    Annette is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and as such, part of Annette’s role is to make sure the Society has the right reward structures in place, to foster our mutual culture and to attract and retain the talent we need to deliver on our purpose. 

    Other roles: Annette is a non-executive director, Chair of Remuneration Committee and Senior Independent Director of GlobalData plc. Annette is also a non-executive director and Chair of Remuneration and Nominations committees of Stratos Markets Ltd.

    “My responsibility as a board member is to challenge and support management, so that collectively we can continue to meet the changing needs of members, colleagues and other stakeholders. In 2023, I was pleased to be appointed as the Society’s Consumer Duty Champion and designated non-executive for colleague engagement. In undertaking these roles, I regularly meet with colleagues to discuss their experiences and understand any changes they’d like to see within the business to further  support members and colleagues.” 

  • Farah Buckley - Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: April 2023.

    Board committees: Member of Audit and Board Risk committees.

    Strengths and experience: Farah joined the board in 2023. Initially qualifying as a chartered accountant at Deloitte, Farah has had a successful executive career with a focus on private equity and corporate finance, most recently with Hermes GPE and Schroder Adveq. Farah has extensive exposure of board roles with a portfolio of non-executive positions, bringing deep experience in audit, investment, strategy, risk and ESG. 

    Other roles*: Farah holds non-executive positions with Aurora Investment Trust plc, Caledonia Investments plc and Apollo Syndicate Management Limited. Farah is also a non-executive director and Chair of Long Term Assets Limited.

    “Having worked in financial services for over 20 years, my extensive knowledge and experience, complements the other directors in our oversight of the Society. As a chartered accountant, I’m also able to bring relevant skills and insight to the Society.”

    * As at 31 December 2023, the number of non-executive positions held were subject to a waiver issued by the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

  • Andrew Conroy - Chief Financial Officer

    Appointed: Chief Financial Officer in July 2019 and Executive Director in January 2020.

    Strengths and experience: Andrew has almost 20 years’ experience in financial services, including a number of senior roles in both building societies and banking institutions. Having worked within finance, treasury and corporate strategy, Andrew has developed strong technical skills in financial accounting and treasury risk management.

    Andrew is Chair of Assets and Liabilities Committee and Balance Sheet Optimisation Group. He has responsibility for the Society’s Finance, Treasury, Data and Third-Party Management functions, along with oversight of its recovery and resolution plan and activities.

    Other roles: Andrew is a trustee for Saltmine Trust.

    “UK economic uncertainty continued during 2023, with the rate of inflation in the first half of the year being particularly high. The Bank of England increased the base rate on five occasions during 2023 to rates similar to those in 2007. My focus during this time has been to make sure we support our members and colleagues by safeguarding the Society’s financial position. This continues to be my priority, as I lead our finance division into 2024.”

  • David Fisher - Non-Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: March 2012.

    Strengths and experience: With more than 30 years’ experience in financial services, David’s career began at Halifax Building Society. Since then, he’s developed a wealth of knowledge in retail financial services and has a strong understanding of risk management, pensions and human resources. Prior to joining the Society, David was CEO of Sainsbury’s Bank.

    Other roles: David is a non-executive director of Tandem Bank Ltd and Tandem Money Ltd.

    “In order to ensure the Society can deliver its purpose over time, it needs to maintain its strength and stability and effectively manage its risks. My role as a member of the board is to ensure we are financially resilient and have robust systems in place to manage risks throughout the business, which include our risk management framework and internal controls. My ongoing priority is to ensure risks are being managed appropriately, and to provide an appropriate level of challenge to management, so we can remain secure.”

  • Neil Fuller - Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: December 2020.

    Board committees: Chair of Board Risk Committee and member of Audit and Remuneration committees.

    Strengths and experience: Neil has over 39 years’ experience in retail banking and financial services. Before joining the Society, Neil was the Chief Risk Officer and Executive Board Director at the Bank of Ireland UK plc and Chief Risk Officer at GE Capital Bank Ltd. Neil also previously held a variety of roles including Risk Director and Chief Risk Officer in the UK retail division of Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest.

    Other roles: Neil is a non-executive director and Chair of Board Risk Committee of Cynergy Bank Limited.

    “I believe the experience I’ve gained as Chief Risk Officer at different organisations and my strong understanding of risk management and the principal risks facing the financial services sector, bring value and strengthen the board and support me in my role as Chair of Board Risk Committee. My key areas of focus are to make sure the Society remains resilient and manages risk appropriately, particularly in the current economic climate. The ethics of a mutual resonate strongly with me and I very much enjoy working with the Society.”

  • Andrew Greenwood - Deputy Chief Executive Officer

    Appointed: Deputy Chief Executive Officer in May 2021 and Executive Director in January 2015.

    Strengths and experience: Andrew started his career as a solicitor in private practice and has worked for the Society since 1998, in a variety of roles including Chief Risk Officer from 2011 to 2022. Having worked for the Society for more than 25 years, Andrew has extensive experience of risk management, strategy and a strong knowledge of the organisation, its people and culture. 

    Andrew’s main line management responsibilities are for the risk, and property and business services functions. Andrew is also Chair of our Inclusion and Diversity Steering Group, which supports the delivery of the Society’s inclusion and diversity strategy and progressing our strategic objectives in this area.

    Other roles: Andrew is a member of the UK Finance Sustainability Committee.

    “I am a member of a number of risk focused committees as well as Chair of the Models and Rating System Committee and Cost Optimisation Group. This includes helping other directors understand the model framework, which underpins assumptions and decision making. As Deputy CEO, I am also responsible for managing climate-related risks. A key aspect of this is reducing our carbon footprint on a pathway to net zero and working with key stakeholders to help them to do the same.”

  • Gareth Hoskin - Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: November 2015, Vice Chair and Senior Independent Director since January 2019.

    Board committees: Chair of Audit and member of Board Risk, Nominations and Remuneration committees.

    Strengths and experience: Gareth has acquired extensive experience during his 30 years working in financial services, both in the UK and abroad. This included  almost 20 years at Legal & General plc as a director and CEO of the international division, and before this was a chartered accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    His responsibilities as Chair of the Audit Committee include safeguarding the independence of the Internal Audit function and acting as our whistleblowing champion.

    Other roles: Gareth is a non-executive director and Chair of Audit Committee of Saga plc and a non-executive director and Chair of Acromas Insurance Company Ltd.

    “As Chair of the Audit Committee, it’s my responsibility to make sure our financial statements are fair, balanced and include all the information you, as a member or stakeholder, need to assess and understand our performance. My other responsibilities include monitoring the integrity of external financial reporting, as well as safeguarding and assessing the effectiveness, performance and independence of the Internal Audit function and overseeing the tender and appointment of our new external auditor. Additionally, I act as our whistleblowing champion and ensure our culture welcomes open and transparent discussions.”

  • Rob Howse - Chief Operating Officer

    Appointed: Chief Operating Officer in September 2019 and Executive Director in May 2021

    Strengths and experience: Before joining Leeds Building Society, Rob spent over ten years in senior executive technology, operations and change roles, mainly at RBS and Lloyds Banking Group, where he was focused on retail banking. His earlier career included time in telecoms and the Royal Navy, as well as McKinsey and Company where, Rob’s role as associate partner allowed him to specialise in advising multinational clients on the design and execution of transformation programmes.

    As Chief Operating Officer, Rob is Chair of the Executive Transformation  and  Operational Resilience committees.

    Other roles: Rob is Chair of the UK Finance Digital, Technology and Cyber Product and Service Board. Rob is also a governor, trustee and director of The Grammar School at Leeds.

    “My responsibilities include areas in technology, transformation and operational resilience, where I have extensive experience. This allows me to make sure that the Society continues to operate safely while still investing in our long-term future and improving the way that we work every day. I’ll also be focusing on the successful delivery of the critical, multi-year core system migration programme.”

  • Pam Rowland - Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: May 2023.

    Board committees: Member of Board Risk, Nominations and Remuneration committees.

    Strengths and experience: Pam is a chartered banker and has over 30 years’ financial services experience. Her most recent executive role was Chief Operating Officer at Paragon Banking Group Plc. Prior to working at Paragon, Pam was Managing Director Change Delivery at Barclays UK Retail Bank and Chief Operating Officer at ING Direct. Pam has extensive experience in operations, people leadership and customer led and digital transformation programmes.

    Other roles: Pam is a non-executive director of Saga Services Ltd.

    “My experience of financial services operations and transformation programmes, as well as in promoting a strong customer centric and people focussed culture, are very relevant to the progressive agenda at the Society. I was delighted to join the Society in 2023 and support it in its continuing success.”

  • Anita Tadayon - Independent Non-Executive Director

    Appointed: October 2021.

    Board committees: Member of Board Risk Committee.

    Strengths and experience: Anita joined the board in October 2021 with over 25 years’ experience and a strong track record in transformation. Anita has held a number of senior roles and has developed a great deal of expertise in combining technology and change, along with the development and design of customer journeys. Previously Anita has worked in transformation, digital and technology for Sky, British Gas and BT Business. During Anita’s time at British Gas, she was responsible for the conduct team within customer operations which has enhanced her FCA regulatory knowledge. Anita also has an MBA from London Business School.

    Other roles: Anita is a director of Tadayon Consulting Limited.

    “I have a strong track record in transformation, combining technology and change, and I am able to add value to the board discussions in this area. My knowledge and experience provide different insights and experience thereby bringing further strength and diversity to the board. I’m passionate about the values associated with mutuality and I’m delighted to be a member of the board.