Vehicle finance provider lands awards double
Go Car Finance bagged two honours at the 2019 Crediting Excellence Awards run by the Financial Services Federation (FSF).
The finance company matched its haul from 2018 at this year’s ceremony held on October 16 at the Grand Millennium, Auckland, during a gala dinner after the federation’s annual conference.
Yazid Sheik, above right, won the Autosure New Finance Professional Award for his examples of sensitivity and initiative in dealing with customers with vulnerabilities, while Simon Gormley, above left, took out the Centrix Outstanding Support Person Award.
Gormley joined Go Car Finance in 2016 after graduating with a bachelor of design – a degree not traditionally associated with the finance industry but heavily based on the way people interact with and use products and services, said his company, adding he always wears the “customer hat” to challenge the way the business looks at things.
The judges noted Gormley took an innovative approach to the finance industry. “His ideas are fresh, and he’s the sort of person the industry and New Zealand needs to think outside of the box like no one else in this category.”
Fresh thinking when it comes to consumer finance and an ability to “walk the talk” with responsible lending were common themes among the other award winners.
Kirsty Walker, credit lending and recoveries manager at Home Direct, won the Provident Leadership Award. She impressed the judges with the number of initiatives she has led in the company that have demonstrably reduced bad debt.
The first corporate award of the evening – sponsored by FSCL and for innovation – went to Experian for its fraud-reducing product “fraud share”. And the Equifax Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award went to Avanti Finance for how it demonstrably lives by its values of “putting people first, being relentlessly helpful, and doing what’s right”.
The second Crediting Excellence Awards, which focus on responsible lending, invited entrants from member organisations of the FSF to demonstrate how they go the extra mile in ensuring good outcomes for their customers and community.
The 2019 judges – Soraiya Daud from FinCap, the national body for financial mentors, former Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell, and the FSF’s former legal counsel Rob McInnes – were impressed with the jump in quality and quantity of entries, which almost doubled from last year.
“One thing that shone through in the entries was that they were a reflection of New Zealand, its diversity and its values,” the judges said. “The best applicants in all categories showed commitment to innovation and improvement through lateral thinking, and an understanding that the right thing for the customer is also the right thing for the company – especially with regard to responsible lending.
“We felt the awards process demonstrates a positive change within the industry to a more empathetic way of interacting with customers, and finding ways to do things differently to improve their future situation rather than just declining an application for credit. All candidates demonstrably displayed a commitment to responsible lending.”
Lyn McMorran, executive director of the FSF, adds: “Nowhere else is excellence in responsible lending being acknowledged like this and yet it’s so important. There’s a saturation in publicity about dodgy lenders, which leads to the perception that they are the only option to consumers when that’s clearly far from the case.
“It is important that New Zealand has an ethical and responsible finance sector. We see these awards as contributing to the setting of high standards of responsible lending, which should be aspired to by the whole sector. A huge congratulations to all the deserving winners and finalists. We’re already excited for 2020.”
Lowdown on winners and finalists
Provident Insurance Leadership Award: winner – Kirsty Walker of Home Direct. Other finalists: KK Lai and Petr Belotckii of Go Car Finance, Angela Shutkowski of Avanti Finance.
Autosure New Finance Professional Award: winner – Yazid Sheik of Go Car Finance. Other finalists: Alicia Jauhari of Go Car Finance, Janet Sebastian of Home Direct.
Centrix Outstanding Support Professional Award: winner – Simon Gormley of Go Car Finance. Other finalists: Sarah Heffer of Go Car Finance, Chrismari Scheun of Avanti Finance, Scott Liang of Flexigroup.
Equifax Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award: winner – Avanti Finance. Other finalist: Latitude Financial Services.
Financial Services Complaints Ltd Innovation Award: winner – Experian. Other finalists: Illion Open Data Solutions, Centrix.
Each winner received $500 towards professional development or towards a charity of their choice.
To see pictures from the night, click here