Simon Skinner, Customer Protection Manager at Ulster Bank, has been awarded a prestigious ‘Hero Award’ by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

The award was presented during a special ceremony in London on Wednesday June 20 and recognises Simon’s work educating consumers about potential scams and the huge effort he has made in protecting customers from fraudulent activity and financial crime.

Simon has been with Ulster Bank for 15 years, spending the last 3 as a Customer Protection Manager. Much of his work involves educating frontline staff to better understand how criminals manipulate customers and how to be more alert to unusual transaction requests while providing customers with the highest standards of protection.

Simon has undergone extensive training in this area including the Friends Against Scams training programme and Dementia Friends scheme where he learned about how to protect customers who are in vulnerable situations from financial crime.

He also played a key role in establishing the new Police Banking Protocol within the bank, working closely with Trading Standards and the PSNI, delivers bespoke training programmes to community groups and supports businesses through Ulster Banks’ Boost seminars.

The Staff Officer at the Department for the Economy, who nominated Simon for the award said, “Simon has played an active role in raising awareness in Northern Ireland and is determined to provide consumer protection, not just for Ulster Bank customers but his community at large.”

The CTSI Hero Award celebrates individuals or groups of people whose outstanding contribution towards consumer protection in local communities has made a significant impact. Chief Executive at CTSI, Leon Livermore added,

“Simon is an asset to his community and a force to be reckoned with. He clearly goes above the call of duty and has protected many from falling victim to rogue traders.”

Congratulating Simon on his win, Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank said “We’re enormously proud that Simon has been recognised by CTSI for all the fantastic work that he does in safeguarding consumers from fraud. Unfortunately, scams do appear to be on the increase so we’re taking steps to make sure staff and customers alike remain protected.

“It’s great to have someone like Simon leading this charge and I know many people have benefited from his insight across our network of branches and in the wider community. At Ulster Bank, all our staff place a huge focus on personal development and we’re continuously striving to introduce better ways of working to improve the service and experience we can offer our customers. Through our parent group, RBS, we hope to sign up 1 million people to the ‘Friends Against Scams’ group within the next year, which should help protect customers savings even further.”

Eight other winners from across the UK were honoured on the night, for the full list of winners visit Previous winners from Northern Ireland include BBC presenter, Linda McAuley and Banbridge couple, James and Helen Mallon.