Announcing the winner of the 10th annual WCIB essay competition. 

We were excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Annual Essay Competition this month with City Livery company The Worshipful Company of International Bankers (WCIB).

The competition aims to raise aspirations of non-advantaged Londoners, encouraging them to explore the employment areas on their doorstep in the City.

This year, state-educated sixth form students were invited to submit an essay on a hot topic from the world of finance. A total of 138 students from 14 schools and sixth form colleges penned essays considering the impact of cashless payments, and other developments in FinTech, on traditional financial services.

In the first stage, each school selected its own winner. The winners were then invited to the final awards ceremony, with the overall winner decided by The Worshipful Company of International Bankers.

The awards ceremony took place on 5th December at the London office of ING. The overall winner was announced as Olivia Lalsee from St Saviour and St Olave’s School, who was presented with her award and congratulated by the Master of The WCIB, Alderman Peter Estlin.

Abdus Ali from Greig City Academy, Alaa Lafta from King Solomon Academy, and Bradley Marshall from Woolwich Polytechnic School were highly commended.

Olivia Lalsee said, “I was really pleased when I found out I’d won the competition – I wasn’t expecting it at all. I’m studying Economics for A-level and I really enjoyed all the research I had to do for the essay. I now have a much better understanding of how money moves and how technology is changing the banking world. In particular, the whole area of cashless payments really interests me.”

WCIB winner

WCIB Master Alderman Peter Estlin said, “The winning entry was well researched, focusing on how the lives of everyday people are on balance being made easier, though noting the risks of fraud and abuse. The winner also went on to look at the international development of mobile payments and the impact these are having on communities in Africa.”
Previous competition winners have gone on to pursue successful careers. For example, Isimemen Avbulimen won the competition in 2010.

She said, “Winning the competition has played a big part in where I am now. It definitely boosted my confidence in networking and I was able to talk about my experience in university interviews. Researching for the essay also sparked my interest in education provision, so much so that I now work at the Department for Education!

Find out how more of our young people are enhancing their professional skills with the Lloyd's Into Work conference.