Alistair winning the award
Alistair Gilfillan from Lloyds Banking Group has been named the 2018 UK Young Banker of the Year, after pitching an innovative idea that could help UK households to save money.
Launched in 1987 by the Chartered Banker Institute, the Young Banker of the Year awards recognise individuals who reflect the qualities of customer-focused professionalism and showcase future leaders in UK banking.
Alistair Gilfillan was awarded the title of Young Banker of the Year for his idea, Split the Difference. He explained: “It’s a smart savings scheme that automatically increases your savings contribution when you get a pay rise. When you get more money coming in it will Split the Difference – half for you now and half for you later. The idea is to make it easier for low income households to build up some savings as a financial safety net.
“I was shocked by some Aviva research which said that one in four UK households have less than £100 in savings. That blew my mind. With Split the Difference if you’re working full time and earning the minimum wage you could build up £1000 of savings within three years to give you that safety net.
“£1,000 is key because Step Change research found that if every household in the UK had £1,000 in savings then 500,000 households would be saved from falling into problem debt..”
Entrants had to come up with an idea for something they could implement within their organisation which would improve outcomes for customers.
After a rigorous judging process which included interviews, online presentations and presenting to a live audience, Alistair’s idea was crowned the winner.
Although reasonably new to the world of banking, Alistair says that the award is helping to open doors for the rest of his career. He took an unusual route into banking, having spent seven years doing youth work in Leeds and Lincoln before embarking on a finance graduate scheme at Lloyds. He now hopes the award will keep opening doors and allow him to continue exploring his Split the Difference idea.
“Taking part in the competition has really expanded my network” said Alistair. “Senior directors throughout the bank have been really supportive and it’s built up my knowledge of areas I wouldn’t normally touch being based in finance, like how we develop new products.”
Alistair has recently taken up a new position at Lloyds and is working as a finance manager, although he is still laying the groundwork for his career, he hopes to continue expanding his knowledge and network.
After scooping this year’s title, Alistair was presented with the UK Young Banker of the Year 2018 trophy and a voucher for an overseas holiday for two by Sheriff Neil Redcliffe during the final of the competition held at London’s Mansion House on 19 September.
Simon Thompson, chief executive of the Chartered Banker Institute commented: “Our Young Banker of the Year competition once again provided a gripping final. 10 years on from the financial crisis, we need to ensure that the improvement in enhancing and sustaining professionalism is maintained, as it is one of the most effective ways we can deliver a sustainable and successful financial sector.
All four of this this year’s finalists displayed the qualities of customer-focused ethical professionalism that should be at the heart of a revitalised banking profession and I’d like to congratulate Alistair on becoming our 2018 Young Banker of the Year.”
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