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Top honours for car industry

The motor-vehicle industry has been honoured at the first awards ceremony of its kind held by the Financial Services Federation.
Posted on 11 October, 2018
Top honours for car industry

A lifetime achiever and rising star are among those recognised for their dedication to responsible lending at the first Crediting Excellence Awards run by the Financial Services Federation (FSF).

In light of plans to retire in 2019, Richard de Lautour was presented with a lifetime achievement award for his services to the sector. His career includes 15 years as chief executive of Instant Finance, 20 years with Allied Finance, setting up BMW Financial Services and Nissan Finance NZ Ltd, and serving on the FSF’s executive committee for 20 years.

Lyn McMorran, chief executive of the FSF, says the decision to recognise De Lautour, pictured above (Stuff), with this one-off honour wasn’t a difficult one.

“Richard has had an amazing career over many decades,” she says. “He has been a guide and mentor to many in the responsible lending sector.

“Not only has he been successful in leading companies he has worked for, he has been a huge contributor to the FSF, and championed responsible lending guidelines for our members well-ahead of legislation that required similar standards for all lenders. On the occasion of his imminent retirement, this couldn’t go unrecognised.”

Go Car Finance took out two of the five other awards. Sylvia Menezes, general manager – lending, received the senior lender award. Credit specialist Asheelta Sharma scooped the gong for new finance professional.

“To receive this is an honour,” says Sharma. “This recognition is motivating and humbling, and a reminder my work on behalf of Go Car Finance to ensure we’re responsible lenders matters – for our customers and company. “For me, this is a professional and personal milestone that carries with it great responsibility. I’m proud to be representing a company that lives by its values.”

The awards were held in Auckland on October 10 at a gala dinner sponsored by Equifax. It was attended by several members of the responsible lending, leasing and insurance sector. The award judges were Tim Barnett, chief executive officer of FinCap – formerly the National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust, former banking ombudsman and Commerce Commission director Deborah Battell, and recently retired solicitor Rob McInnes.

The criteria for all five awards focused on responsible lending, asking nominees to show how they go the extra mile in their dedication to responsible lending and working towards favourable outcomes for customers. 

“There’s nowhere else that excellence in responsible lending is celebrated like this where lenders are acknowledged for putting their customers first and consistently doing the right thing,” says McMorran. “There’s always publicity about dodgy lenders, so the perception becomes they’re the only option. That’s clearly far from the case.

“It’s important New Zealand has an ethical and responsible finance-company sector for consumers and businesses. We see these awards as contributing to the setting of high standards of responsible lending, which should be aspired to by the whole sector.”

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