7 March 2022

March is always a month that I look forward to as it heralds the start of spring, the days get longer, the weather better and my daughter celebrates her birthday!

This year I am also particularly looking forward to joining housing professionals from all over the country in Liverpool for the NHF Finance Conference and Exhibition. This year seems even more eagerly anticipated than usual, given the time we have all spent working in our living rooms, bedrooms or at our kitchen tables over the last two years.

I’ve been to Finance Conference for a few years now, but this will be my first since I left HSBC to join The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC). As such, my participation through the two days will be through a different lens.

Having focused on the largest housing associations at HSBC, I have, in my short time at THFC, already gained a better appreciation of the broad range of social housing providers, and the unique and invaluable contribution they make to their tenants and communities. It confirms to me what I thought previously: that the unique nature and purpose of the sector means that there is a place for associations of all shapes and sizes.

The conference is a great opportunity for people across the sector to get together, share ideas and best practice, and get to know each other. There’s certainly plenty of content to talk about, and it’s really useful that sessions are divided into seven streams of key topics. Of these, I’m particularly interested in the sustainability and green finance stream and the data, intelligence and tech stream.

We have all had to adapt in the last two years and adopt new working practices that embrace technology. This has highlighted how reliant we are on tech and the cyber risks that it can bring. I’m interested to see how the sector is assessing and taking measures on these risks but also trying to harness the extra data and knowledge that this tech can provide.

Properly discussing sustainability and green finance is another thing I’m really looking forward to. I know there is some cynicism with things labelled Environmental, Social and Governance, but providing more energy efficient affordable homes to more people is one of the most important things the country can do – and we all play a key role in it.

So I’m anticipating an interesting and stimulating time at the conference, and I will hopefully see you there!

Arun Poobalasingam

Head of Relationship Management and Business Development, The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC)

What I’m looking forward to at Finance Conference 2022