The Co-operative Bank has been named the Best Financial Services Provider in this year's Which? Awards.
The consumer watchdog found that the Co-operative Bank was the best performer in the general field of financial services, including mortgage
, credit cards
, car insurance
, and home insurance
The awards were based on research into the various sectors, carried out by Which?, which found that the Co-operative Bank surpassed its competitors in the arena of financial services.
The Co-op has commented that in the context of the recession, this award "recognises the trust associated with The Co-operative brand, its unique ethical policy and the prudent way in which it has managed its finances throughout the credit crunch."
The Co-operative also pointed to the way it conducts business as a primary reason for its sustained success in weathering the economic storm, operating on a fully funded business and only lending out what it has already received in customer deposits.
Because it has not stretched itself beyond its means, it has managed to avoid the majority of the problems faced by other financial services providers, many of which are now struggling under the weight of bad debts, and finding it difficult to secure new lending as the wholesale markets remain largely frozen.
The Co-op says that this approach and business model has strengthened the brand, attracting large numbers of new customers who are disillusioned with the big banks and the way they have been affected by the credit crisis.
"We are delighted that we have been recognised as Best Financial Services Provider by Which? the leading voice for the consumer," said David Anderson, chief executive for The Co-operative Bank. "This award acknowledges our responsible approach to managing customers' money and the emphasis we place on delivering excellent customer service backed by high quality and ethically enriched products."
He continued: "With our commitment to ethical banking, customer service and responsible lending, we offer a real alternative for customers who may have become disillusioned with their existing bank."
Commenting on the Co-operative's award, Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which? commented: "The Co-operative Bank stands out from the competition in providing good products, maintaining an ethical stance and consistently delivering high levels of customer service."Apply today for Co-operative mortgages, car insurance, and home insurance
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