We all know 2020 has been a testing year for most of us. I’m thankful that as a business we’ve been able to continue in our mission of financial advice for all and have been able to grow as a team – we’ve almost doubled our numbers over the past year which is fantastic.
Last week we won the Schroders award for Best Digital Platform, this is a real testament to the hard work the team has put in over the course of the year. I am immensely proud of the business we are creating and I’m humbled that our unconventional approach of turning away people for whom investing is not in their best interest is being recognised and commended in the industry. When Duncan and I created OpenMoney, it was to create a brand who cares for their customers and we have absolutely managed to keep this at the forefront as we grow.
A big part of our year was launching our employee benefits platform WorkLife, which allows smaller companies to offer perks to their employees that would usually be reserved for larger companies with bigger budgets. We know that 2020 has been tough on many businesses so we were able to offer this at no cost for the duration of this year and at a competitive rate from January. WorkLife were also successful at the Schroders awards, being Highly Commended for the Innovation in Workplace category – it’s a huge achievement for such a new company and I am excited to see the business flourish.
In 2020 we continued to work with our chosen charity Wood Street Mission, a great charity looking out for Children and families in the Manchester area who are living in poverty. We’ve raised just over four thousand pounds and donated eighty toys to their Christmas campaign. We’ve also sponsored the newly formed phoenix club, Bury AFC, a local football club with an interesting back story due to financial mismanagement. We are so excited to be a part of their future. We have also partnered up with another local charity, OurPass, we're working in partnership with them to arm young people with a basic financial knowledge and understanding, as they prepare to leave school and move on to their next chapter.
Of course, we’ve also spent a lot of time improving our app, our app is something we are focussing on a lot throughout 2021 so there will be some exciting updates coming your way soon! We’ve also made some changes to our customer service this year, now offering a dedicated adviser to our customers and increasing our support and advice hours to now include weekends!
A personal highlight of this year was being awarded the Consumer Champion Award at the Money Age Awards. The driving motivation for starting OpenMoney was to bridge the advice gap and ditch the jargon so that the financial industry wasn’t so intimidating. Part of my focus this year has been speaking up for consumers and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. I’m meeting with MPs in the new year to discuss the growing prevalence and lack of regulation around Buy Now, Pay Later schemes. You may have seen one of our billboards about this recently, we have big plans for more awareness in 2021 so keep your eyes peeled!
I would like to wish all of our customers a happy and healthy festive period and here’s to a brighter 2021!