Five Questions With: Patrick Deady

Patrick Deady is senior vice president, director of residential and consumer lending for BankFive in Fall River. He also serves as president of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association, which co-hosted the annual three-day New England Mortgage Bankers Conference in Newport from Sept. 11-13.

Prior to BankFive, Deady was vice president residential mortgage for Home Loan Investment Bank in Warwick. Before that, he was president of Oak Tree Funding LLC. He started his career at Fleet Mortgage in 1994. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1993.

PBN: What were some big topics discussed at the conference in Newport?

DEADY: For more than 30 years, the New England Mortgage Bankers Conference has brought experienced and younger mortgage professionals together to learn about technological innovations in the industry, trends occurring within the profession and how to address issues concerning consumers.

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The fact that this regional conference is held in Rhode Island every year reflects the mutual respect the New England mortgage associations have for each other.

A few highlights from this year’s conference include discussions about technology to improve the consumer experience; the immense opportunity for young professionals to network; and housing and interest rate updates provided by Robert Broeksmit, president and CEO of the National Mortgage Bankers Association; Barry Habib, CEO of MBS Highway and the former television host of CNBC’s “Squawk Box”; and Rob Chrisman, a prominent figure in the mortgage industry who issues the “Chrisman Report.”

PBN: What are some things atop your association’s agenda this year?

DEADY: Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association’s primary focus is to ensure that the mortgage industry is strong in Rhode Island. We are regularly supporting initiatives that help provide steady employment for mortgage professionals while looking out for the interests of consumers.

Another priority that has emerged across the mortgage industry is the need to provide continuing education and attracting a younger, more diverse workforce. RIMBA members understand how rewarding a career in the mortgage industry can be and we are actively working to share that enthusiasm with professionals who may have never considered a career in the mortgage industry.

Recent news stories and economic reports would suggest that there are few well-paying jobs in Rhode Island, and by extent, the United States, if you don’t have an advanced degree. While that may be the case in many sectors, the mortgage industry can provide a comfortable salary for anyone who is analytical, detail-oriented and driven to succeed. Our workforce is aging, and it is important that we recruit and train the next generation of mortgage professionals.

For current professionals in the mortgage industry, we also launched the Certified Mortgage Professional designation that could help individuals who demonstrate a heightened level of proficiency and commitment to the mortgage industry. While the new designation can be challenging to acquire, we are encouraging all qualified candidates to seek this milestone in their professional career.

PBN: What are your responsibilities at BankFive?

DEADY: I am the senior vice president and director of residential and consumer lending. In this role, I am responsible for all consumer lending programs at BankFive. Whether consumers need a personal loan to consolidate their debts or are looking for an affordable mortgage, I work with BankFive staff to offer families competitive rates.

PBN: How can banks and their customers brace for a recession, and do you think one is brewing?

DEADY: Over the last year, the United States’ economy has remained relatively stable. The employment rate is at a historic low; consumers are still spending; and the economy has continued to expand.

These areas of growth indicate we are in a good financial position, and many professionals in our industry are optimistic about the future of the housing market and the broader, domestic economy.

With these considerations in mind, there is certainly pessimism about the economy and some individuals feel we are overdue for an economic downturn. No one can say with absolute certainty when a recession might happen. However, banks and consumers who are concerned with the economic outlook can weather a decline in economic activity more comfortably if they make prudent financial decisions.

The way banks and customers could strengthen their financial footing are similar. Ideally, people or institutions can put away capital in a “rainy day fund’ and they could also aim to reduce or eliminate their debt. Another important precaution someone could take includes reducing their interest rate on long-term loans, such as applying for a mortgage to refinance. Interest rates have remained low year-to-year and refinancing can help current homeowners save thousands over the life of the loan.

PBN: Do you think the region’s housing markets are any less vulnerable to a crash than they were a decade ago?

DEADY: The circumstances that led to the last recession are completely different than the market conditions today. Lending standards have since tightened and financial institutions have adopted responsible practices and procedures to make sure consumers can pay their mortgage.

Prior to 2008, there were some mortgage products being offered that proved to be risky, and they were a contributing factor in the recession. Those products are no longer available.

Much of the demand today is being driven by the shortage of homes. With mortgage lending having returned to more-traditional models, the housing market has secured a firmer footing that would be less vulnerable to economic changes.

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Blake@PBN.com.

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