25. Sarah Touzani, COO of Creditspring

Company: Creditspring

Website: https://www.creditspring.co.uk/


About Sarah & Creditspring

Sarah has been COO of Creditspring, a subscription loan provider, since 2019 and she was previously Head of Operations. Before this, she spent eight years in consulting and banking operational roles at HSBC, Actuaris and BNP Paribas focusing on compliance, operations and risk management.

Founded in 2016, Creditspring allows members to pay a small, fixed fee on a regular basis in return for no-interest loans and short-term credit. These payments allow consumers to remain in total control of their finances and broaden their credit options – 81% of customers saying they’ve improved their creditworthiness within 12 months.

12-15m people in the UK struggle to access affordable credit and support is much-needed, especially in the current living cost crisis. With inflation at its highest level in 30 years plus the changes to the energy cap, national insurance rise and decline of the real value of wages – it’s no wonder so many need support. Their member base recently hit 100,000, as borrowers seek more affordable credit that avoids risking a debt spiral.

Sarah believes a willingness to take risks unlocks new opportunities, pushes you out of your comfort zone and allows an individual to develop new skills. It can be daunting to adopt this attitude, especially without a strong support network, both personally and professionally. Taking the leap from the large corporate environment to a small start-up of just five people was a bold move but she believes it has unlocked opportunities that would not have been possible previously.

Joining Creditspring as its first ever operational hire was a huge responsibility as well as opportunity. Sarah relished the chance to build the team in her own image with colleagues who possess the same goals and values that she holds. This has been integral to their success over the last few years as they’ve grown rapidly from five to 40 – in fact, they’re on the lookout for outstanding candidates now!

Women remain more risk averse when it comes to career choices but there have always been trailblazing women in business. Showing others that success in male-dominated sectors is possible can hopefully inspire others on their own career paths.

She has always worked closely with senior decision makers and C-suite directors at financial services firms, such as banks and insurers. As a young woman of colour providing operational advice to predominately older, white males she had to trust her expertise so that she could battle their resistance to change. She developed strategies to ensure she was taken seriously very early in her career: she worked hard, built her confidence and, most importantly, always believed in herself.

Gender diversity within financial services may have improved over previous decades but clearly there is still a long way to go. For Creditspring, diversity is vital to how they operate as internal diversity allows them to better understand their customers and their needs. Plus, gender balanced senior leadership ensures balanced skillsets and leads to a happier, more productive workforce, which drives enhanced customer service and ultimately corporate profitability.


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