In recent years, identifying oneself as a banker has been something of a social faux pas. But are things about to change?
As the summer break comes to an end, financial advisers Deloitte are kicking off the new school term with their Young Banker of the Year Awards on 10 September. The catch? Out of the four nominees from RBS and Lloyds Banking Group, not one is actually a “banker” as we understand it here in the Square Mile.
Fresh-faced nominees from the banks’ regional call-centres, lending and relationship management divisions have all been shortlisted for the prestigious award, proposing a strategy for improved business operations to a Dragon’s Den-style panel of judges including London’s very own Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow.
The winner will be announced at Mansion House next month. Despite our candidates working in the sectors that “complement” (as told by a spokesperson from Lloyds Banking Group) the money-making side of things, the young hopefuls have some strong credentials and bright ideas.
Championing Lloyds’ team is Glasgow contact centre boss Tom Martin, who’s seen his fair share of banking celebs on his way to the top. Long before he moved to Scotland from his strategy role in the Lloyds’ London offices, Martin did a stint as TSB bank chief Paul Pester’s executive assistant.
“It was a fantastic experience working with him. Working in banking is everything I’ve dreamt of.” Martin hopes his business plan to change the face of online customer service will put him in first place. But Martin, this year’s most senior candidate, has competition.
Also in the final are three Royal Bank of Scotland workers; senior lending manager Josh Greenway, telephone mortgage adviser Luke Ladbrooke and assistant relationship manager Lee Johnston.
The boys from RBS have backgrounds ranging from banking grad schemes to a sales assistant role at eco-friendly soap-sellers, Lush.
With so many of our hopefuls in the customer care and relationship sector, could this herald a nicer, softer future for the image of banking? Maybe. But someone’s still got to make all the money.