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Paragon’s Richard Rowntree awarded the Freedom of the City of London

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Richard Rowntree, Managing Director of Mortgages at Paragon Bank, has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London for his outstanding work in promoting socio-economic diversity in the financial services sector.

Richard, who joined Paragon in January 2020, is a passionate campaigner for socio-economic issues and has made significant contributions to various organisations and initiatives focused on promoting diversity and inclusion.

He is a Board Member of Progress Together, a membership body that is dedicated to advancing progression, retention, and socio-economic diversity in financial services. He was also Paragon's representative in the City of London's Socio-Economic Taskforce, which aimed to improve diversity in senior roles within financial and professional services firms.

In addition, Richard is a regular speaker at public forums on socio-economic diversity issues and is the executive sponsor of the Paragon Banking Group's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion network.

Richard received his award at the Guildhall in London, where he was accompanied by his family. The Freedom of the City of London is a historic honour that dates back to 1237 and remains a unique part of London's history.

In the earliest times, an essential requirement for all who wished to carry on business and prosper in trade within the Square Mile.

Today most of the practical reasons for obtaining the Freedom of the City have disappeared; however, it remains an honour for many people who have lived or worked in the City. 

Richard said: “I am extremely proud of this honour, for both myself and my family, as this is an area that I am extremely passionate about.

“Achieving balanced socio-economic representation across all levels of the financial services industry is so important as it leads to diversity of thought and better outcomes. I strive to see better representation at senior levels of the industry in particular and am working hard with sector peers to help remove barriers.” 

He added: “I grew up on a council estate in Southend, so have experienced first-hand some of the challenges and prejudices somebody from my background can face when moving up the career ladder. I am extremely proud of my background and where I come from, and that certainly shouldn’t be a barrier to progression, but unfortunately for too many it is. That needs to change.” 

For further information contact:

Jordan Lott
Media Relations Manager
Tel: 0121 712 2319

Notes to editors:

Paragon lends to private individuals and limited companies and provides mortgages suitable for single, self-contained properties, as well as HMOs and multi-unit blocks. Paragon can accommodate higher aggregate lending limits and more complex letting arrangements including local authority leases and corporate leases along with standard ASTs.

Paragon Bank PLC a subsidiary of the Paragon Banking Group PLC which is a FTSE 250 company based in Solihull in the West Midlands. Established in 1985, Paragon Banking Group PLC has over £14 billion of assets under management, helping more than 340,000 customers to achieve their ambitions.