The winners of the Consumer Moneyfacts Awards were announced last night at a glittering ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square. Hosted by comedian Alex Horne, the awards showcased the best of the consumer finance industry, highlighting the providers who excel in customer service and offer products that can't be beaten.
Industry professionals from leading financial services and utility providers gathered at the event, all eager to hear who would be crowned as the best all-rounder in each category. The winners were chosen through a combination of consumer feedback from our annual survey and technical analysis by our dedicated research team, which is why these awards showcase the products that combine technical appeal with consumer approval.
There were delighted winners, disappointed losers and a few unexpected results along the way, but the awards remain one of the highlights of the consumer finance calendar for the simple reason that they're based on what the customer would want, meaning these are results that consumers can trust.
Sylvia Waycot, publishing director at Moneyfacts Group, commented: "We are delighted with the response, which saw over 70,000 individuals wanting to have their say, making this the largest and most influential annual survey of its kind."
There was the usual mixture of well-known names, but some lesser-known providers managed to beat their rivals and come out on top, too. Halifax took the crown for Home Insurance Provider of the Year but also showed its prowess in the banking sector, being crowned Current Account Provider of the Year, as well as coming highly commended in no less than five categories.
first direct also went home with two awards (Current Account Switching Provider and Online Banking Provider of the Year), as did HSBC and Nationwide, while peer-to-peer lender Zopa was given the Best Customer Service and Personal Loan Provider of the Year awards for the second year running – a fantastic achievement!
It was a great event for all concerned, and given that these awards are all about the consumer, Moneyfacts likes to give a little something back. Everyone who takes part in the survey is entered into a prize draw to win £1,000, and three lucky individuals are drawn from the hat to win that fantastic cash prize.
We've since contacted the winners and the cheques have been sent in the post, and we spoke to some of them to see how they felt about winning and to get an idea of what they're going to spend the money on.
Understandably, it came as a bit of a shock! James Anthony, of Cheshire, said: "It was an extremely pleasant surprise to hear I had won the money. I don't normally enter competitions but I do the lottery religiously and rarely win anything. I was a little unsure if it was genuine to begin with, and was waiting for the caller to ask me for my bank details!
"I am going to split the winnings 50:50 with my fiancée and we shall take her parents out to dinner. The remainder I shall spend on parts for my bike to get ready for racing this year, and the rest I shall tuck away for other nice things later down the line, for example, when we go on holiday."
Lancashire-based Ken Skilling was just as pleasantly surprised, and has one clear spending spree in mind: "[It was] somewhat of a shock, especially as I was driving in torrential rain and high winds, the last thing I was expecting was news of a windfall.
"Even more surprising was that I could not even remember what I had completed to put me in line for the cash! That being said it was an extremely nice surprise – the bad weather seemed to vanish. As to what I will spend the money on? That's easy. My summer holiday in Greece has £1,000 to be paid off, so job done as they say."
For Iris Raile, of Derbyshire, it couldn't have come at a better time: "It did come as bit of a shock as I rarely win anything, certainly nothing so substantial, but I have to say I am over the moon. It has come at a perfect time as my washing machine had broken, and now I'll be able to buy a new one! It really made my day, and whatever is left will pay for a passport for my daughter and the rest to pay off my credit card."
Well, here at Moneyfacts we hope they enjoy their winnings. Sounds like they've got some fantastic plans for the money – we're not jealous at all…! Congratulations to all our winners, providers and consumers alike.
Without further ado, the winners are:
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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