The UK financial services industry is evolving faster than ever before. There are two lenses through which this process can be viewed.
From one, it could be argued that the sector is in its best shape since the economic crisis began. Through the other, the increasing demands of regulatory change, the rise of the 'challenger banks' and customers' ever-changing expectations present significant challenges. Ultimately, and through either view, we're seeing the industry transform before our very eyes.
Within this shifting landscape, innovation and talent development will be crucial to success. If the industry's key players are to maintain their competitive advantage, they must ensure they are continuing to nurture the talent within their own organisations.
As the final of the 2015 Deloitte UK Young Banker of the Year competition draws closer, we are eagerly waiting to hear the innovative ideas that these four young professionals have for the future of British banking.
The annual competition, run by the Chartered Banker Institute and sponsored by Deloitte, aims to showcase tomorrow's leaders in UK banking by providing them with the opportunity to set out their vision for the industry.
This year's finalists will present to one of our strongest-ever judging panels and an invited audience of around 150 senior figures from across the banking industry at London's Mansion House, set in the heart of the UKs financial district. The judging panel will comprise the Lord Mayor of the City of London; Dame Colette Bowe, Chair of the Banking Standards Board; Kevin Page, President of the Chartered Banker Institute and Neil Tomlinson, Head of Banking at Deloitte.
It's been an incredibly strong year for the competition, with a host of high quality entries. After a demanding few months, four contestants remain for this year's final:
Josh Greenway is a Senior Lending Manager for the Royal Bank of Scotland, where he is responsible for driving asset growth across seven teams of Relationship Managers in south east London. He joined RBS in 2007 after gaining a degree in Geography from King's College, London.
Lee Johnston is an Assistant Relationship Manager with the Royal Bank of Scotland's Commercial Banking team. He was promoted into Commercial Banking after demonstrating exceptional work in the Compliance team. Lee gained a degree in Law from the University of Stirling.
Luke Ladbrooke is a Mortgage Adviser with the Royal Bank of Scotland, having joined the bank as an accelerated learner in the Corporate Banking Division. He has completed his CeMAP qualification and is currently working towards a Professional Diploma in Banking Practice and Management.
Tom Martin is Head of Contact Centre with Lloyds Banking Group, where he is responsible for running one of the Group's largest contact centres. He joined Lloyds' Group Management Trainee scheme in 2004 after gaining a 1st class Master of Engineering degree from the University of Birmingham.
One consistent theme that emerged from last year's competition 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. And as customer demands and disruptive technology continue to put pressure on the industry, it's likely to remain a strong theme during this year's presentations too.
After months of anticipation, we look forward to hearing our contestants' ideas and visions for the future of the industry.
Best of luck to them all ahead of our final on 10 September.
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