Bernard's Story

The Chartered Banker Young Banker of the Year 2016 final was the most exciting yet, with Bernard Adjei, a Project Manager at Lloyds Banking Group securing the prestigious title.

Bernard Adjei

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been named Young Banker of the Year. It is a huge sense of achievement and it was an honour to be given the opportunity to present my idea to some of the industry’s most influential figures.” Bernard Adjei

The Competition 

To become the 2016 Young Banker of the Year, entrants were asked to develop and present an idea that, if implemented, could significantly improve outcomes for customers, colleagues and communities – precisely the positive, socially purposeful banking required. At the final, the contestants presented their proposals on the following topic to a panel of judges:

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?

Bernard's Idea

Bernard’s idea was to develop a remittance calculator to benefit ethnic minority groups who transfer money internationally. Ethnic businesses contributed over £4bn to the UK economy in 2015 and there’s scope for greater integration into the mainstream banking system.

The Problem Bernard Identified 

The current international money transfer market is dominated by Money Transfer Operator. Last year over £560m was lost by consumers to charges in the international transfer market. Ethnic minorities also face a language barrier, with three in five having a first language other than English. This leads many people into using solutions other than high-street banks when it comes to transferring money overseas.

The Solution 

Bernard recognised that many of the options currently offered by Lloyds Banking Group require people to go into branches, which can be inconvenient for those who do not speak the language. 

Being able to access accurate international transfer rates at a glance on the LBG website or app opens up new opportunities for ethnic minority groups. Based on this need, and his work with Group Ethnic Minority, Bernard’s idea was to develop an interactive tool to save people time and make organising their finances easier. Some of the proposed technology is already used elsewhere within LBG, so the implementation of the concept could be expedited.

Bernard Adjei Presenting

Bernard’s passion for diversity and inclusion has driven his idea to reach out to ethnic minorities to make their lives easier. Of the experience, Bernard said “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I hope my idea will help to empower ethnic minorities in the future.”

After the Competition

After winning the 2016 competition, Bernard donated £1,000 of his prize winnings to the Apeguso Senior High School (SHS) in Volta Region Ghana, to help towards the purchase of textbooks and computers.

Apeguso is a little village in Volta Region Ghana with a population of a 1000 people. The occupation of about 90% of the village population is farming or hunting. Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources (i.e. textbooks and computers) over 98% of the students from the Apeguso Secondary School either end up giving up on education or working on the farm with their parents.

Bernard said “I was lucky enough to be provided the opportunity to pursue an education in the UK, but unfortunately these students would not get a chance at an education if resources are not provided. Who knows the next 'Young Banker of the Year' could be from Apeguso.”

Do you have what it takes to be one of tomorrow's leaders in the UK banking industry? Apply today to take part in Chartered Banker Young Banker of the Year 2017.