The Gold Standard Awards have been supporting higher standards in financial services in the UK for the past 14 years. During this period, economic, political and regulatory changes to the financial services landscape have witnessed a drive towards greater accountability and a call for firms to go beyond standard practice to fulfil customer needs.
Higher standards are a major factor in building trust in financial services, which the Gold Standard Awards fully support. Financial services firms that have strong, transparent structures and procedures in place are in the best position to demonstrate they are achieving higher standards to help develop a better, more sustainable financial services sector in the UK.
The awards evaluate a company's ability to conduct business by assessing 'Five Pillars' - capability, service, financial strength, fair value and trust - which take into account structures and processes in place, fees as well as issues such as governance and social responsibility.
The awards always endeavour to reflect the current financial landscape and this year is no exception. The 2016 Gold Standard Awards will split the fund management category into retail and institutional. The independent financial advice category will also be split to reflect changes in the sector.
The awards recognise that assessing a wide range of factors is the only way to gain a true picture of whether structures in place have the customer at heart and are sustainable enough to meet the requirements of an ever-evolving financial services sector.
One of the advantages of such a comprehensive assessment is that it can act as a self audit of processes and procedures already in place, giving firms a clearer indication of how practices and processes impact clients.
The awards do not operate a system of winner and highly commended. All those who pass the appropriate measurements and judging can achieve a Gold Standard.
Entry is confidential. Those who do not make the standard are not publicly revealed.