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Student Zone                                                                                                                    

Young Financial Journalist 2020/21                 

The competition is now open!

Show off your writing skills and financial know-how. Take part in our Young Financial Journalist competition, being run in partnership with the Financial Times.

In partnership with     FT

The competition 

The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) and the Financial Times (FT) are pleased to announce the launch of the Young Financial Journalist competition 2020/21! We are seeking well-argued articles from students aged 14-19 for this joint competition.

Winning entries will be published on the LIBF’s website: www.libf.ac.uk and may also be published on FT.com and/or in an edition of FT Money. The winner of each age group will also receive a £150 cash prize.

The competition runs from 26 November 2020 – 26 February 2021.

Entries will be judged by a panel of judges, including FT Consumer Editor, Claer Barrett. The winners will be announced in Spring 2021.

Competition questions by age group

14-15 year olds  

  • People often tell us they wish they’d been taught to be more ‘money savvy’ at school. What financial knowledge skills would you benefit from to prepare you for life after school, and why?
  • Cash is king? Not so much these days. What are the potential benefits of a cashless society, and what might be the downsides?
16-17 year olds

  • In uncertain times, lots of people worry about their finances. What do we mean by financial resilience? Why is it so important and how can young people improve their resilience for the future?
  • Good debt, bad debt? What are the benefits and downsides in terms of the impact debt can have on peoples’ lives? How can we help young people to manage debt responsibly?
18-19 year olds

  • With future job prospects for young people looking quite uncertain at the moment, what can a career in banking and finance offer? What are some of the routes you could take?
  • Want to be a millionaire by the time you’re 30? What role does investing/trading in stocks and shares play in helping people build wealth for their future? What are some of the things you need to consider when investing in stocks, shares and other asset classes?

About our judges 

Claer Barrett is an award-winning journalist who was the Editor of FT Money from 2015. She is now the Consumer Editor, covering consumer finance issues and beyond. She writes a weekly Serious Money column in FT Money, presents the weekly Money Clinic podcast and the weekly Business Clinic live Q&A videos aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs. She continues to be a consumer and finance commentator for LBC and other broadcast media. 

Bobby Seagull is a mathematician, teacher and writer. He appeared on the television program 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 is a regular commentator on financial education and money matters.

Catherine Winter is Managing Director of Financial Education 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 are delivering 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


How to enter 

To enter, write an article based on ONE of the questions in your age group. Submit your entry using the form provided on our website, by the closing date (26 February 2021).

  • Answer one of the questions in your age group and upload your entry using the form provided.
  • Make sure you have written a minimum of 700 words, but no more than 800 words (not including headings, references and any entrant information).
  • Please make sure you fill out all the boxes on the form, including your name, age, gender, school, UK region and contact details.

Top tips

The judges are looking for:

  • Submissions with a clear narrative, which answer the question being tackled.
  • An engaging and ‘journalistic’ style – short sentences which make clear points.
  • Original ideas, but with evidence of research /further reading. (Sources of information must be referenced).
  • Good spelling and grammar.

Competition rules

1. The competition is open to young people aged between 14-19, attending school in the UK.

2. Entries must be a minimum of 700 words and no more than 800 words, excluding headings and entrant information. You must answer one of the questions in your age group.

3. Entries must be made via our website www.libf.ac.uk by close of business (17:00) on Friday 26 February 2021, using the entry form provided.

4. Entries must specify the student’s name, age, gender, school, UK region and name of teacher.

5. Entries should be typewritten and submitted in a word document format (MSWord or similar word processing package).

Entries will be disqualified if they:

a. Don’t comply with the entry requirements, including minimum or maximum word count.
b. Contain excessive spelling, punctuation or grammatical mistakes, judged at our discretion.
c. Save their entry in a format that can’t be opened with standard packages such as MS Word.

6. Articles will be checked for plagiarism.

7. Late entries will not be accepted.

See the terms and conditions 

Young Financial Journalist of the Year Entry Form

Please complete your details in the boxes below and attach your entry. 

Deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 26 February 2021



Please upload your entry with this completed form
If you are under the age of 18 you must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to enter this competition. Please tick this box to confirm that you have permission from a parent or legal guardian

Any information you provide will only be used to process your entry and won’t be used for any other purpose. By entering this competition you agree to our use of your entry and processing of your personal data.  Further details on how we protect your personal data and your individual rights can be found by clicking here 

By entering this competition you agree to our, and FT's, use of your entry and processing of your personal data. We, and FT, may also publish the surname and region as part of the winning entry. If you do not want us to publish your surname, please contact press@libf.ac.uk