The entry period has now opened for the UK's only financial service awards that judge companies, inc...
The entry period has now opened for the UK's only financial service awards that judge companies, including intermediary firms, in the round.
The Gold Standard Awards, now in its fourth year, looks at companies against key criteria including; treating customers fairly, providing value for money, products and services, financial strength and security, high service standards and overall capability to conduct business effectively and for the long term.
These awards cover international life offices, fund groups, pension providers, healthcare and protection, intermediary firms, general insurance, banking and mortgages.
Entrants must fill in a detailed questionnaire, which needs to be returned to the judges by 24 July. These are then marked by the panel, consisting of senior industry experts such as Anne McMeehan of Cauldron Consulting, previously of the IMA and Framlington, Malcolm Kerr of Ernst & Young and Danby Bloch of Taxbriefs.
In addition Gold Standards will be seeking intermediary feedback on what constitutes a high quality provider and on which groups they believe achieve these standards. This feedback will have an important influence on the judging process.
There is no single winner in each category. The judges are looking to recognise all those firms in each category which achieve Gold Standard status.
The completed entries will be marked over the summer and the winners and highly commended entries revealed in London in November.
Mark Colegate, chairman of the judging panel, said: "The importance of assessing product providers across the wide range of elements considered by these awards cannot be overstated as both the Government and regulatory bodies move towards a greater sense of partnership between financial services groups and consumers.
"In this new regime, companies will no longer be able to hide behind walls of compliance, but will have to demonstrate commitment to the sector by helping to educate and engender trust by treating customer's fairly."
For more information on the awards (and to apply for an entry form) go to www.goldstandardawards.com.
timescale for awards
1 June: Awards questionnaire available
24 July: Closing date for entries to the awards
August-September: Panel judges awards, including customer feedback on entrants
October: Shortlists for awards drawn up
November: Winners announced
To ensure creditworthiness assessments compliant
Avoid broad-brush strokes
Partner Insight: Introducing the Architas education series for clients.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?