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19 January 2010

Stephen Walker - Financial Adviser

Stephen Walker - Financial Adviser

After a brief spell as a motorcycle despatch rider Stephen Walker has worked in Banking for 28 years and for the last 18 years has been a financial adviser.

He enjoys all sports but particularly football, tennis and golf, all of which he still plays as often as possible.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

Astronaut, detective, footballer. In fact, I still do but I know a reality check is needed. I never wanted to work in banking

How did you get involved in finance?

Purely by chance. A card in a job centre with no indication the job was in a bank.

Does money make the work go round?

Yes and No. 'Yes' in the sense it is the life blood of business .Banks exist to lend to entrepreneurs / business to get them started or help expand. Businesses in turn produce the goods and services we need or want and of course employ people.
'No' in that it is people whom are important, they have the ideas, they work to produce the goods and use the services. It's when the focus is purely on profit that things go wrong. 

How has the credit crunch affected you?

Mainly in the destruction of the reputation of the Banking industry. I work now for what is essentially a government owned organisation. It did look for a while as if I might not have a job at all and as all of my savings were lost in the "crash" it was very stressful for a time. It has taught me however not to rely on my own strength in a crisis.

What does 'banking for the common good' look like?

Small and medium size businesses are the life blood of the UK and so it's about investing and assisting these companies so that it will secure jobs and livelihoods for the masses long term.
We call it 'Vanilla Banking' which basically means getting back to basics in banking.

How do we get there?

Learning from past errors. Do not be seduced by the lure of larger potential profits surrounding international corporate investment in the pursuit of shareholder profit at all costs. 

What scripture or narrative influences you in your work?

The gospels always inspire me and in particular the journey of the disciples. Despite being in Jesus' presence daily they still messed up. They, like me, needed grace. It makes me appreciate the chasm between a believer and disciple.   

What would you do with a million quid?

I'll pay the mortgage off and once my wife has convinced me that it is not a good idea to own a small football club I would invest it in the people and organisations around me who are working to make a positive difference.
I recognised materialism in me when I became a Christian. I now fully recognise that stuff and money do not lead to happiness.

What is your most treasured possession?

My health. The older I get still being able to enjoy and play sport, the more blessed I feel. 

The one thing I couldn't live without...

My iphone. It has my Bible on it and everything else too. I'm sure some people think I'm on Facebook during the church sermon. I'm not folks  - no signal in the church!

What do you invest in the next generation?

Time and effort. The next generation are much better than the often unfair press they receive.

Tell us a joke...

What's the difference between Investment Bankers and London Pigeons?
The Pigeons are still capable of making deposits on new BMW's.