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Economic Justice

Fairbanking Foundation creates Challenge for banks

The Fairbanking Foundation – the not-for-profit charity dedicated to encouraging banking institutions to improve the financial well-being of their customers – has launched “The Fairbanking Mark Challenge” – an industry-wide drive to challenge banking providers to make the improvements necessary to their products to achieve an additional 15 Fairbanking Mark certifications by October 2015.

 

Fairbanking Ratings and the Fairbanking Mark product certification programme are now well-established in banking industry circles.  The Ratings score banking products against how well they help the customer to manage their money better and achieve an enhanced sense of financial well-being.  The Fairbanking Mark indicates a product that has been more thoroughly tested, including proving through independent research amongst customers that it has made sufficient positive difference to them.

 

The Fairbanking Mark programme is the only formally accredited certification initiative for financial products in the UK and Europe, having gained approval from the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) last year.

 

‘The Fairbanking Mark Challenge – 15 by 2015’ will culminate in an October 2015 ceremony to be held at the Guildhall in London.  This event will celebrate the number of customers that have been helped to manage their money better through use of these certified products, and the efforts of participating providers to improve their products to achieve certification.

 

The scope of the Fairbanking Mark product has been widened to include personal loans as the fifth product type alongside regular savings products, current accounts (with and without overdraft) and credit cards.

 

CEO of The Fairbanking Foundation, Antony Elliott OBE said:The aim of this campaign is to achieve a critical mass of certified products and to help towards building greater customer awareness of Fairbanking Marks and what they mean to people taking out these products.

 

The Foundation is keen to involve all sizes and types of provider, from major banks to smaller building societies, credit unions and peer-to-peer lenders.  All are invited to participate.”

 

A number of major brands have applied for the Mark in recognition of its genuine value to customers and the opportunity it creates to provide hard evidence of the sector’s efforts to improve how it serves its customers.  This has enabled the Fairbanking Foundation to expand the programme to turn it into a Challenge that will see a far larger number of products improved to gain accreditation.    The Barrow Cadbury Trust has also helped by making a grant to encourage the certification of products in the interests of lower income families struggling to manage their finances.

 

Any banking product provider that wishes to find out more about the campaign, how their current product offerings stack up against the Fairbanking Mark assessment criteria and how they should apply to participate in the Challenge should visit www.Fairbanking.org.uk.

 

The Fairbanking Foundation is a not-for-profit, research-based charity established in 2008 to encourage and assist providers of banking products to improve the financial well-being of their customers by enabling these customers to manage their money better.  The Foundation does this through a combination of thorough consumer research to better understand what drives financial well-being, assessment of existing core banking products against this understanding, and the operation of the Fairbanking Mark certification scheme, now accredited by UKAS.