UK: A Night That Showed The Future Of British Banking Is In Safe Hands

Last Updated: 13 October 2014
Article by Craig Cosham

The Young Banker of the Year award celebrates the future of banking by giving the winner the recognition they deserve for being a future leader in the industry. On October 2, we heard from four young professionals with big ambitions for their customers, banks, and the entire sector. Craig Cosham, Head of Banking & Treasury for Scotland & Northern Ireland, looks back on a great evening. 

On 2 October, I had the privilege of listening to four young bankers present their hopes and ambitions for the future of their industry.

Each of them took to the lectern at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh to answer the question: What idea would you implement in your own organisation to improve outcomes for some or all of the following groups: customers, colleagues, counterparties, communities, and the organisation you work for?

First up we had Jamie Broadbent from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), who presented an innovative way for banks to help SMEs secure funding even if the bank itself couldn't provide the necessary finance. His RBS LION scheme, proposes to have banks play a central role in crowdfunding for small businesses from the people in their own local communities.

Next, Tom Casey, a private banking and advice manager from Lloyds Banking Group, presented his vision for iBoS – a group within the bank which aims to create prototype technologies and new digital services for customers. Taking his inspiration from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, he argued that banks need to adapt to a fast-changing market or face going the way of dinosaurs.

Third, Emma Coulter, also from Lloyds' private banking arm, explained her plans to improve relationships between advisers and their customers through modern technology. What was most impressive about Emma's idea is that she has already made it reality. The Cisco Webex project has been tried and tested within Lloyd's private banking practice and the feedback has been positive from customers and advisers alike. In fact, Emma told us it's been particularly popular among older clients – the eldest was 82.

Last but not least, Apoorva Varma Mehta – who remarkably has only been with RBS for 13 months – presented her plans for a mobile banking app called MyOrb. The app, which she has already built and tested, helps consumers log their purchases and plan their personal finances in a clear and easy-to-use manner. When you consider the ubiquity of mobile devices these days, it seems like a sure fire hit.

Perhaps what was most encouraging to see was the clear and shared desire among all of the participants to make banking better reflect the needs of the people who matter most: the customers. On top of that, each demonstrated a sound understanding of the challenges the industry faces along with novel and innovative ways of overcoming them.

In the end, it was a difficult decision to make, and one which required much deliberation among the judges. After some serious debate, however, it was a unanimous result and Jamie Broadbent emerged the winner. Jamie also took home the Fairbairn trophy, voted for by the dozens of banking experts who attended the awards, for the quality of his presentation and its delivery.

On top of the recognition he'll receive from his peers and the wider industry, Jamie will enjoy a two week holiday with his wife and child – they played a crucial role in inspiring his project.

A big congratulations to Jamie, and to all of our other finalists, for making this year's competition one to remember. Each project and presentation was of the highest quality and I'm sure we'll be hearing more about all of these ideas in the near future.

Whatever the future may hold, after last night I'm certain of two things: each finalist has a brilliant career in front of them and banking remains safe in their hands.

Well done and best of luck to them all.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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