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October 10, 2018
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Winners announced at FSF's first-ever Responsible Lending Awards

A young rising star and a lifetime achiever are among those who have been recognised for their dedication to responsible lending, at the Financial Services Federation's (FSF) first ever Crediting Excellence Awards.

In light of plans to retire in 2019, Richard de Lautour was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to the sector, which include 15 years as Chief Executive of Instant Finance, 20 years with Allied Finance, setting up BMW Financial Services and Nissan Finance NZ Limited, and serving on FSF's Executive Committee for 20 years.

FSF Chief Executive Lyn McMorran said the decision to recognise de Lautour with this one-off Award was not a difficult one.

"Richard de Lautour has had an amazing career over many decades and has been a guide and mentor to so many in the responsible lending sector.

"Not only has Richard been successful in leading the companies he has worked for, he has been a huge contributor to the FSF itself and championed the Responsible Lending Guidelines for FSF members well ahead of legislation that required similar standards for all lenders. So on the occasion of his imminent retirement, this could not go unrecognised."

Go Car Finance took out two of the five other awards, with Sylvia Menezes (General Manager - Lending), receiving the Senior Lender Award, and Credit Specialist Asheelta Sharma receiving the New Finance Professional Award.

"To receive this is such an honour," Asheelta said.

"This recognition is motivating and humbling, and a reminder that the work I do on behalf of Go Car Finance to ensure that we are responsible lenders matters, for our customers and for our company. For me, this is a professional and personal milestone that carries with it great responsibility.

"I'm extremely proud to be representing a company who live by their values and are responsible lenders."

The Awards were held in Auckland on Wednesday evening (October 10, 2018), at a Gala Dinner sponsored by Equifax. It was attended by several members of the responsible lending, leasing and insurance sector, as well the Award judges, Tim Barnett, CEO of FinCap (formerly the National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust); former Banking Ombudsman and Commerce Commission Director Deborah Battell; and the respected, recently-retired solicitor Rob McInnes.

Criteria for all five awards focussed on responsible lending, asking nominees to demonstrate how they go the extra mile in their dedication to responsible lending and working towards favourable outcomes for customers.

"There is nowhere else that excellence in responsible lending is being celebrated like this where lenders are acknowledged for putting their customers first and consistently doing the right thing." McMorran said.

"There is always publicity about the dodgy lenders, so the perception becomes that they are the only option to consumers, when that's clearly far from the case.

"It is important that New Zealand has an ethical and responsible finance company sector for both consumers and business, and we see the Awards as contributing to the setting of high standards of responsible lending which should be aspired to by the whole sector. A huge congratulations to all the deserving winners and finalists, we are already excited for 2019."

For all media enquiries, image, extra comment and interview requests, please contact Hannah McKee,

The Winners

Autosure New Finance Professional 2018
Asheelta Sharma, Credit Specialist, Go Car Finance

Provident Insurance Senior Lender 2018
Sylvia Menezes, General Manager - Lending, Go Car Finance

Centrix Outstanding Support Professional 2018
Tiffany Samasoni-Lafaiki, a Legal Recovery Officer, Avanti Finance Ltd

IFSO Outstanding Service Provider to the Financial Services Sector 2018

Equifax Outstanding Corporate Citizen 2018
Latitude Financial

Lifetime Achievement Award (please note this will not be an annual Award).
Richard de Lautour, Instant Finance

FSF Crediting Excellence sponsors:

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