Entrepreneurial Banker wins Young Banker of the Year Award with proposal to help people become debt free

  • 11 September 2019
  • Press release | Young Banker of the Year

Bringing true entrepreneurship to banking, Sarah Walker from Santander has been named the 2019 UK Young Banker of the Year during the final of the competition held at London’s Mansion House on 10 September.

Launched in 1987 by the Chartered Banker Institute, the awards recognise and reward those individuals who reflect the qualities of customer-focused, ethical professionalism promoted by the Institute and expected by society.

This year, young bankers were asked to develop ideas with a focus on green and sustainable finance, and/or responsible banking more broadly.

After scooping this year’s title, Sarah was presented with the UK Young Banker of the Year 2019 trophy by Alderman, Sir Alan Yarrow.

Sarah Walker commented: "It is a real honour and a privilege to have won the Young Banker competition 2019. I have always wanted to create something that would make people’s lives easier and help people to realise that with the right support and guidance they can become debt free. Most importantly I want people to feel like they are not alone and they have people that want to help them. The whole competition process has been fantastic and to present in front of such experienced judges has been an amazing opportunity.”

An Audience prize for the candidate who, in the opinion of the spectators, best personified the high, professional standards expected of bankers through their presentation on the night was also awarded by Bill McCall, President of the Chartered Banker Institute. The winner of this prize was also Sarah Walker from Santander.

Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute commented:

“The Young Banker of the Year competition aims to showcase the banking leaders of tomorrow and to use their innovative and fresh approach to inspire new generations of finance professionals.

All four Finalists presented inspiring ideas that show the future of banking is in safe hands.  I would like to congratulate all of them, and in particular Sarah Walker on becoming our 2019 Young Banker of the Year.

Sarah’s winning idea ‘My Money Advisor’ is an app that helps to improve people’s lives by helping them reduce their debt quicker and minimize interest paid. It also demonstrates in a very practical way the social purpose of banking, helping to reconnect banks and society.”

Bill McCall, President of the Chartered Banker Institute, commenting on the winner of the Audience Prize said: 

“I would like to congratulate Sarah, who the audience voted for as the finalist, who best personified the high professional standards expected of bankers through his/her presentation on the night. I would also like to pay tribute to all four finalists tonight, for their inspirational ideas, which clearly reflect their vision for the future of banking based on sustainable/green finance and responsible banking more broadly.

There has been much to be proud of and it leaves me with enormous confidence in the future of our sector and profession.”    




Notes to Editors:


  • The challenge set for entrants is designed to test their capacity to generate new ideas, drive purposeful innovation and deliver positive outcomes for customers and communities. This year, young bankers have been asked to develop ideas with a focus on green and sustainable finance, and/or responsible banking more broadly. Contestants were asked to develop a project proposal based on an idea to be implemented in their organisation to improve outcomes for some or all of customers, colleagues, counterparties, communities and the organisation they work for itself.  We asked entrants to place customers and their needs at the heart of their idea and reflect their vision for the future of banking based on sustainable and/or green finance principles.


  • The four contestants chosen to participate in the final had their ideas tested and judged by a panel of industry experts comprising Daniel Brooksbank, Editor, Responsible Investor; Daniel Godfrey, Head of Talent Acquisition and Development, Bank of England; Alderman Alison Gowman; Bill McCall, President, Chartered Banker Institute and Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, OBE, CEO Green Finance Institute


  • The search for the 2019 UK Young Banker of the Year commenced at the beginning of this year when the Chartered Banker Institute invited nominations from its 33,000 members and from a wide range of senior industry figures from across the UK banking industry. The response revealed a wide range of excellent candidates representing a diverse range of the UK’s banks. The competition is, in many cases, career changing for participants. Their ideas are often taken up by their institution and implemented, with important benefits for the banking sector and society more generally. Our Young Banker competition celebrates the values that a successful, sustainable banking profession must be built on; values that are shared and inculcated by the Chartered Banker Institute.


  • Nominations for The Chartered Banker Institute’s UK Young Banker of the Year 2020 will be opening soon. Please see here for more information.


For further information contact:

Matthew Ball, Head of Public Affairs, Policy & Communications

Chartered Banker Institute
Tel: +44 (0) 7720684226

E-mail: matthew.ball@charteredbanker.com

Matthew Ball

Matthew Ball

Head of Public Affairs, Policy & Communications


Matthew is responsible for leading the implementation of the Institute’s strategic and operational plans for public affairs, communications and thought-leadership.

Matthew has over 20 years’ experience working as a senior Parliamentary/Political Affairs Professional with a wealth of skills across all areas of public affairs, joining the Institute in 2015 to help raise its profile with key stakeholders. Matthew has worked for MPs, co-founded a public affairs agency and run think-tanks providing him with considerable knowledge of the operations of regulators and government. He is also an expert in the UK Parliamentary Process.

Matthew was Administrative Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Building Societies and Financial Mutuals between 2003 and 2013 and immediately prior to working for the Institute, was Chief Executive of the financial services think-tank, New City Agenda.

Contact details
Email: matthew.ball@charteredbanker.com  Tel: 07720 684226