Fri, 20 May 2022

On Thursday 19th May, colleagues at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK came together to celebrate the successes and achievements of talented individuals across the business at our annual ‘Be the Difference’ awards.

Focused on ‘celebrating our everyday heroes’, this year’s awards ceremony took place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground – marking the first time the awards have taken place in person since 2019.

We sat down with Susan Farmer, our newly appointed HR Director, to find out more about the awards and how we’re living up to our Top Employer 2022 status by making our colleagues feel valued.


Meet Susan Farmer – our new HR Director

With more than 30 years’ experience working in human resources, Susan joined BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK in April as our new HR Director.

She says: “The culture of BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK and the strong people focus was a big part of what attracted me to this role. And, from the moment I stepped through the door on my first day, I was given such a warm welcome.

“From an employee attraction perspective, the world of work is only getting more and more competitive. And without the people who make our business what it is, we wouldn’t be able to achieve all the great things we do. So, it’s really important to us that we do everything we can to retain the brilliant people who contribute to our success.

“One thing that makes BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK stand out as an employer is our commitment to inclusivity and progression, and there is so much opportunity for learning and development – no matter what your role is.

“While we were delighted to be named as a Top Employer for 2022, we certainly haven’t been resting on our laurels, and we’ve just launched our internal Pulse survey to measure employee satisfaction. Often what keeps people in a job isn’t the role itself, but the people they work with – and the secret to attracting and retaining great talent is creating a brilliant workplace culture. So, this feedback from our colleagues is very important to us.

“I’m also a really big believer that if you have highly engaged colleagues who’ve bought into the business, you’ll automatically get more engaged partners and customers – so it’s a win-win from a business perspective.”

Why our Be the Difference awards are so important

Talking about how the Be the Difference awards contribute to this, and why they are so important to us as a company, Susan says: “Speaking to colleagues across the business, it was immediately clear to me that the Be the Difference awards are a highly anticipated event in the company’s social calendar.

“The awards ceremony is a chance to shine a spotlight on individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond for our partners, customers and colleagues, and is a brilliant way of saying thank you to the people who help make BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK such a great place to work.

“There are so many benefits to recognising employees’ achievements and contributions to the business, and this is just one of the many ways we’re ensuring our colleagues feel valued.”

Introducing our 2022 winners

Categories at this year’s Be the Difference awards included Best Newcomer, Team of the Year and the CEO Colleague of the Year, and we welcomed nominations from colleagues across both our Solihull and Belfast offices.

Team members from a wide range of areas including customer service, marketing, finance, risk, IT and HR joined forces to recognise the amazing contributions of their colleagues.

Some of the standout winners from this year’s awards included our Inspirational Female of the Year, Sarah Garratty, who was recognised for being a role model for other women both in our company and the wider industry. In her role as Head of Finance, Sarah stands out for her customer-focused mind-set and is always ready to give support, no matter how busy she is. Sarah was celebrated for striving for excellence in all that she does and has been instrumental in adapting finance processes and providing value to her stakeholders.

Meanwhile our Inspirational Male of the Year award went to Andrew Goodfellow, Contact Strategy Manager in our Collections and Recoveries team, who was praised for his ability to get the best out of his team and colleagues around him. Month after month, Andrew continues to improve his department, and he was also rightly recognised this year with his Outstanding Leader in Collections win at this year’s Credit Strategy Leadership awards.

This year also saw the introduction of a very special Lifetime Achievement award which went to Andrew Barker, our director of point-of-sale finance who is retiring this year after 22 years in the business. Andrew was applauded for his contribution to the phenomenal growth of our business through his commitment and dedication to driving our retail finance business and attracting and retaining key partners.

Susan says: “While the awards themselves are so varied, one of the key traits that all of this year’s Be the Difference winners have in common is the way they live and breathe our company values – We’re Positive, We’re Brave, We Own It.”

See the full list of 2022 winners below:

Customer Advocacy Award (Contact Centre)

  • Kerri McMaster

Customer Advocacy Award (Support Function)

  • James Blewitt

Team of Year (Contact Centre)

  • Third Party Relationship Management

Team of Year (Support Function)

  • Finance Operations

Business Process Improvement

  • ITC team

Best Newcomer

  • Jay Kane

Special Effort

  • Business Services

Business Enterprise

  • Digital Marketing Transformation

Positive Impact

  • Catherine Hull

Leader of the Year

  • Chloe Bromwich

Inspirational Female of the Year

  • Sarah Garratty

Inspirational Male of the Year

  • Andy Goodfellow

CEO Colleague of the Year (Contact Centre)

  • David Rae

CEO Colleague of the Year (Support Function)

  • Anthony Ames

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Andrew Barker