Chris de Boer, CEO of Lending Stream LLC, the parent company of UK brands Lending Stream and Drafty, has been named ‘Leader of the Year’ in the Alternative Lending sector at the industry’s F5 awards.

Chris was selected in a competitive process to win the award which recognises the ways in which he has developed and launched market leading services; demonstrates superb leadership and has enabled the company to grow substantially over the past 12 months with a corresponding improvement in the perception of the industry as a great place to work.

Lending Stream issued its first loan in 2008 with a desire to serve the financial middle through innovative, responsible products developed using advanced financial technology. Today, the business employs over 300 people across three continents. Chris has created a genuine culture of recognition based on learning and empowerment.

Under Chris’ leadership the company has launched new, industry-leading products and services including Drafty, the very first fee-free credit line with a significantly lower APR than payday loans and unarranged overdrafts. The product is performing ahead of all expectations, has a 5* TrustPilot rating and 94% of customers recommend Drafty on reviews.co.uk. It was also rated ‘Innovation of the Year’ by thousands of consumers at the Consumer Credit Awards 2017.

The company’s Lending Stream brand has also grown in the last two years to become one of the top short-term consumer credit lenders in the UK. It introduced the first consumer credit six-month instalment product and more recently a new decision-making platform that allows for instant decisions.

Both Drafty and Lending Stream also won F5 awards for Best Brand and Best Alternative Consumer Lender respectively.

Chris is also changing the perception of the industry as a desired place to work. Over the past year, Lending Stream has strengthened its’ senior team with a string of strategic appointments, from across the mainstream financial-services sector, as it continues to increase its reach into the market.

Chris explains: “I’m honoured to win this award. Our aim is to meet the financial needs of customers on the periphery of mainstream services; treating all customers fairly by introducing new ways to gain credit at significantly lower rates wherever possible, while still having robust affordability checks.

“The short-term credit industry has changed in terms of the products offered to customers and importantly the way it treats customers; but it is also attracting new blood from well-known brands outside of the industry. I’m delighted to be a leading part of this and look forward to steering further growth in the industry over coming years.”

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