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Behind the Scenes at the British Bank Awards

The British Bank Awards, run by Smart Money People, were launched in 2014, making this the 7th year. Already records have been broken with over 90,000 votes cast, more than twice as many as last year.

The awards are unusual in financial services as they don’t require a lengthy entry essay or judging panel – they’re based on the scores left by customers who vote. And the customer is always right.

To keep pace with an ever-changing financial landscape ahead of the awards next week, this year Smart Money People have added five new categories to the mix.

Here’s a run-down of the new categories in the British Bank Awards for 2021:

Best Building Society

Building societies play an important role in their local communities. Not only do they provide access to savings and mortgages, but they also work with local schools and other local groups to educate, fundraise and support the community they operate in. They’ve also played an important role in the previous British Bank Awards, so the committee felt it was important to recognise them in their own right.

Finalists: Darlington Building Society, Dudley Building Society, Ecology Building Society, Hinckley & Rugby Building Society, Newbury Building Society, Saffron Building Society, Melton Building Society, Vernon Building Society

Best Ethical Financial Provider 

We all have a responsibility to help look after the planet and everyone on it, and as a society this attitude to making better choices is gaining momentum. The committee wanted to recognise the efforts that some firms have taken to do this on a much larger scale than simply ‘green-washing’ their product names and marketing, and who are genuinely committed to making the planet a better place for us all in every part of their business.

Finalists: Triodos Bank, Ecology Building Society, Cumberland Building Society

Best Children’s Financial Provider

There has been a growth of innovation and new providers for children’s finance in recent years, giving parents and children more options than a traditional savings account. Entrants in this category offer products and tools that help to educate young people in the importance of good financial behaviours, which will hopefully help them prepare for managing their money as an adult.

Finalists: gohenry, RoosterMoney, Nimbl, Metro Bank

Online Financial Influencer of the Year

We have seen a significant growth in the number of people who are passionate about making the topic of finance and money more accessible through their social media platforms. The influencers have first-hand experience to share about learning better money behaviours and habits or can demystify areas such as investing so that anyone can feel it’s available to them as an option to do more with their money.

Finalists: We are going to keep readers in suspense here and save the finalists, and the winner, until the full announcement that will be made at the British Bank Awards ceremony on 8th July.

Personal Finance Journalist of the Year

We felt it was important to recognise and celebrate the work journalists do to champion consumer rights in financial matters on behalf of consumers. Journalists regularly take on companies to help achieve better outcomes for customers and break down money topics to make them more understandable and jargon-free for readers.

Finalists: Here’s another opportunity to keep readers in suspense and save the finalists, and the winner, ahead of the full announcement which will be made at the British Bank Awards ceremony on 8th July.

Jacqueline Dewey, Chief Executive of Smart Money People tells us more:

“The British Bank Awards celebrate the very best in the banking world, from well-known high street names through to smaller, ambitious fintech start-ups. The fact that the awards are voted for by customers is what makes the British Bank Awards so special.

“Throughout the year the team at Smart Money People watches what’s happening in the industry, to make sure we’re staying on top of the newest innovations and entrants into the market. This means the awards stay current and relevant with today’s consumers and the things that matter most to them.

“All of us at Smart Money People can hardly wait to get to the 8th July when we can announce which firms and individuals the customers have chosen as winners. It will be exciting.”


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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