It won’t surprise readers of this blog to hear that the Consumer Credit industry has been on quite a journey over the last few years.

The impact of a tougher regulatory regime has changed the game, and to a degree, helped to deliver better customer outcomes. But in the era of Trump and “fake news” and a forceful stream of big marketing budgets, consumers are hungry for a simple way of finding the best firms to do business with.

That’s why we’ve launched a consumer awards programme that isn’t “expert panel” led. We’ve done the unthinkable and let consumers decide who wins awards like “Treating Customers Fairly Champion” and “Customer Service Champion.”

Now in their second year, the Consumer Credit Awards aim to find the very best consumer credit providers and to put customers at the heart of the industry. It’s a mission and awards programme that the industry should be proud to get behind: an awards programme that can really help the industry to deliver better customer outcomes and to celebrate top performing firms.

For 2017, we’ve added some new categories to reflect the changing nature of the industry. Our awards categories now include:

7 top-level awards

  • Consumer Credit Champion
  • Customer Service Champion
  • Treating Customers Fairly Champion
  • Best Value for Money
  • Innovation of the Year
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Finance App

10 product-specific awards

  • Best Credit Card Provider
  • Best Personal Loan Provider
  • Best Guarantor Loan Provider
  • Best Short Term Loan Provider
  • Best Pawnbroker
  • Best Consumer Credit Broker
  • Best Car Finance Broker
  • Best Logbook Loan Provider
  • Best Debt Management Provider
  • Best Credit Report Provider

The firm I founded in 2014, Smart Money People, runs these awards alongside the British Bank Awards. When we announced the results of the British Bank Awards just last month, we achieved coverage across The Mirror, The Daily Mail and the Sunday Express and brands like NatWest and Zopa have been busy highlighting their wins in a bid to attract more customers. And unlike other awards programmes, there’s no cost for winners to display their winner badges in a bid to attract more customers.

Consumer voting in the Consumer Credit Awards runs from 3rd April to 2nd July 2017.

If your firm would like to take part you can find out more on the Consumer Credit Awards website or by contacting the team to receive a full media pack.

You can also attend the awards event, by reserving one or more tickets. By quoting ‘Credit Connect’ you’ll receive a great discount on our advertised ticket price.

Mike Fotis is Chief Executive Officer at Smart Money People organiser of the Consumer Credit Awards