THE Co-operative Bank has been recognised as the ‘Business Lender of the Year' at the prestigious Credit Today Awards at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.
The awards recognise achievements of organisations across the credit industry and the lender of the year accolade is presented to the company that has excelled in lending to small and medium sized businesses.
And, at a separate ceremony, the Co-operative Group's Central Services General Manager, Julia Rogers, was voted ‘First Woman of Business Services' in a competition organised by the Confederation of British Industry.
Ian Hodges, Director of Retail Network at the Bank, said: "We are delighted to win this award, for which we were nominated by the Federation of Small Business."
The Bank provides a wide range of innovative products, such as Co-operatives Directplus, a current account exclusively for Co-operatives UK members.
Meanwhile judges at the gala event at the London Hilton, where Ms Rogers was presented with her award described the 40–year-old – who has been with the Group for seven years – as " a trailblazer wherever she's been" and added: "Julia simply does not accept barriers."
The citation drew attention to Ms Rogers work with ex-offenders which recently culminated in a unique exhibition of prisoners' art, poetry and prose being staged at the Group's New Century House headquarters in Manchester.
CBI Director General Sir Digby Jones, who hosted the gala event attended by 500 guests described the First Women awards recipients as "truly inspiring role models".