We use cookies on all our websites to gather anonymous data to improve your experience of our websites and serve relevant ads that may be of interest to you. Please refer to the cookies policy to find out more.

By continuing, scrolling the page or clicking a link, you agree to the use of cookies.

Student Zone

Young Financial Journalist 2022                 

We have our winners!

Organised in partnership with the Financial Times, our Young Financial Journalist competition gives young people the opportunity to show off their writing skills and financial know-how. 


About the Young Financial Journalist competition

The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) and the Financial Times (FT) Young Financial Journalist competition looks for well argued articles from students aged 14 to 19. 

Winning entries are published on the Insights section of our website and may appear on the Financial Times website or FT Money. The winner of each age group also receives a £150 cash prize. 

This year, our panel of judges included: 

  • the Financial Times Consumer Editor and Editor of FT Money, Claer Barrett 

  • mathematician, teacher, broadcaster and writer, Bobby Seagull, and, 

  • Managing Director of Financial Capability and Community Outreach at LIBF, Catherine Winter. 

Commenting on this year’s competition, Catherine Winter said: 

“The articles in this year’s Young Financial Journalist’s competition were a joy to read! The standard was extremely high, so judging was no easy task but it’s been a wonderful experience. 

“It’s always enlightening to learn from young people what they think about money – especially in the context of technology and social media. I’d like to thank everybody who entered their work.” 

About our judges 

Claer Barrett is an award-winning journalist and the Consumer Editor of the Financial Times (FT). She writes the weekly Serious Money column and presents the FT's Money Clinic podcast and Business Clinic video series. 

Bobby Seagull is a mathematician, teacher and writer. He appeared on the television programme University Challenge in 2017, and in 2018 on Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain. His first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers, was published in 2019. He's a regular commentator on financial education and money matters. 

Catherine Winter is the Managing Director of Financial Education and Community Outreach at The London Institute of Banking & Finance. Following a career in communications, she was a teacher of economics for six years and is now responsible for our work with schools who deliver our financial education qualifications at GCSE and A-level. 

Schools teaching 16-19 year olds can get free access to FT.com. Get your free subscription to the Financial Times 
Find out more about our Financial Education courses

Meet this year’s winners!

14–15 age group

Winner: Zaki Mustafa Zaki Mustafa

"Having started my economics GCSE this year, I wanted to educate myself a little bit about how technology is changing the way we view money. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to learn new things and take part in the competition at the same time," says Zaki. Commenting on his success, he adds, "I’m really surprised! I didn’t think my article would be good enough!"

Claer Barrett says, "Zaki was the clear winner in this category. I loved his point about gambling with plastic chips and how this involves a similar sense of detachment to using contactless payments."

Bobby Seagull says, "Very mature and clear writing for someone so young!"

Highly commended: Oliver KarlssonOliver Karlsson

"I was already quite interested in finance and I’ve considered banking as a career. The competition was an opportunity to take that interest and put it to use in writing," says Oliver. "I’m very glad to be a finalist in this competition and it’s quite exciting to have made it this far! I feel proud of my achievement and I’m definitely excited and happy."

Catherine Winter says, "Oliver sets out the history of money, barter and exchange. He backs up his arguments with evidence and summarises the issues concisely. He ends his article with an original, very thought provoking twist, highlighting the downsides as well as the benefits."

16-17 age group 

Winner: Leo Smith Leo Smith 

"I was really happy when I found out I was a finalist," says Leo. "I entered because at school we only get to write essays and this was a chance to write an article."

Claer Barrett says, "Just brilliant! A really original piece with fascinating insights into how criminals use 'cyber laundering' to spirit away the proceeds of digital crime, and thus won't bemoan the death of cash. A highly original writer!"

Bobby Seagull says, "Informative in a highly creative manner that will draw in any reader!"

Highly commended: Elizabeth MurphyElizabeth Murphy

"Doing the research for the article was easy but writing and getting the right structure and tying it all together was quite hard," says Elizabeth. Asked how she felt when she heard she was a finalist, she says, "I was very shocked! But it was honestly amazing."

Bobby Seagull says, "An entertaining and topical example of Kim Kardashian to illustrate the power of financial influencers when it comes to crypto!"

18-19 age group

Winner: Linus BarnettLinus Barnett

"A lot of consumers don’t understand the risks of buy-now-pay-later schemes. I was under no illusion that my article would change the world, but I did want to express my opinion on the issues," says Linus, adding, "I don’t believe I’m a brilliant writer or anything, so I’m very grateful to be a finalist."

Claer Barrett says, "Linus produced a well-informed article on the dangers of BNPL, weaving an impressive amount of statistics into the story. Most importantly, he highlighted the lack of understanding consumers have about how these products work before they decide to take on debt."

Bobby Seagull says, "This demonstrated a judicious use of stats to actually support an argument, rather than just scattergun."

Highly commended: Jimmy White Jimmy White

"In A-level business, there’s a structure to how you write something. For this article I had to try and think like a journalist, which was completely different," says Jimmy. Commenting on his success in the competition, he adds, "I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m really happy to be a finalist!"

Bobby Seagull says, "Useful explainer of crypto for those new to this so-called 'asset' class."