THE Co-operative Insurance Society, Co-operative Bank and smile have all been recognised in a national newspaper's money awards poll.
Mirror Money Personal Finance Awards, voted for by readers of the popular personal finance section of the paper, selected CIS as Britain's Best Insurer.
In the categories for Best Life Insurer and Best Pensions, CIS was commended as was the Co-op Bank and smile in the Best Bank category.
The three brands are now all part of Co-operative Financial Services, which was formed in 2002 to help bring the bank and CIS closer together under common leadership.
CFS Chief Executive Mervyn Pedelty told the News: "This is a notable achievement for the whole of CFS and one of which we feel justly proud.
"Yet again, our high quality service and competitive products have been recognised by our customers who have gone out of their way to vote for us."
Meanwhile CFS has welcomed the end of industrial action planned for last week and this week over a pensions dispute involving 21 staff.
Former workers from the CIS IT department were opposing a transfer to the Specialist Computer Centres (SCC) ? as reported in last week's News ? after the trade union Amicus said the value of their pension would be reduced as a consequence of the move.
However plans to hold a 24-hour and ultimately a 48-hour stoppage have now been shelved following an offer by SCC to improve pension entitlements.
A spokesman for CFS said: "We will continue to discuss all matters with Amicus, but we can never promise to exactly replicate the pension rights of staff transferred to another company as individual schemes vary.
"It would be impossible for employees of an external company to remain active members of either the Co-operative Bank or CIS Pension Schemes, although they could leave their existing benefits in the appropriate scheme, therefore becoming deferred members."
Amicus Regional Officer Ian Waddell commented: "The offer is significant and we are confident that we can now resolve this dispute. I am pleased that SCC have managed to find a way of sorting this out."