Meet the panel: SEA’s Banking Best Practice Award


Paul Lewis, Freelance Financial Journalist

Paul Lewis has been a freelance financial journalist since 1986. He has presented Money Box on Radio 4 since 2000 and appears on many radio and television programmes. He writes for Saga Magazine, Radio Times, Financial Times, and Money Marketing. He has won many awards since 1986. Most recently he was e has won many awardsHeadline Money Financial Broadcaster of the Year 2017 and voted Consumer Champion 2017 by the Chartered Insurance Institute. He has an honorary doctorate from University of Essex for his journalism over many years defending the interests of consumers. He is an authority on the Victorian writer Wilkie Collins and edits his letters.

Jessamy Gould, Director, Treebeard Trust

Jessamy Gould joins the panel from Treebeard Trust, one of Surviving Economic Abuse’s early supporters. Before joining Treebeard as director in 2016, Jessamy worked across the voluntary sector for ten years, with most of that time spent in developing strategic corporate partnerships for a national education charity. Two years ago, Treebeard Trust took the strategic decision to move away from funding individual interventions and programmes of work, and now seeks out partners that are looking to transform an issue more broadly. From our earliest conversations with SEA, we recognised that not only was economic abuse an incredibly prevalent yet under-tackled issue, but also that there was the potential for significant change in this space if the private, voluntary and public sectors worked together. Treebeard is hugely encouraged to see the willingness from across the financial industry to address economic abuse as we believe its role is crucial. We look forward to seeing good practice highlighted and, through this award, recognised and celebrated.

Dr Olumide Adisa, Researcher/Principal Investigator, University of Suffolk

Prior to joining the University of Suffolk in March 2017, Olumide worked as the Research Lead examining live at home schemes in the UK and the role of third sector partnership working at the Methodist Homes in helping older people live independently in their homes and has held various senior management positions in the voluntary sector in the UK and overseas over the last 10 years. She completed her PhD in economic sociology at the University of Nottingham in 2016. Her doctoral thesis primarily applied statistics and econometric modelling to investigate and understand the determinants and the health consequences of economic vulnerability amongst ageing households in West Africa – using the NGHPS dataset collected by the World Bank and NBS in 2004 and 2010. She is extending the use of these household datasets to explore other health equity and vulnerability issues. Olumide is a member of the Suffolk Institute for Social and Economic Research. She currently works on a range of projects as a principal investigator.

Sue Lewis, Surviving Economic Abuse Trustee

Since leaving the Treasury in 2011, Sue has held a number of Board and advisory roles. She currently chairs the Financial Services Consumer Panel; and is a Trustee of the People’s Pension; and of StepChange debt charity. Sue also sits as a consumer representative on several financial services industry bodies. She also advises overseas clients on financial education, financial inclusion and consumer protection regulation.

Sue spent most of her career as a senior civil servant, advising government ministers on policy issues including financial services, early years, children and young people, and gender equality.

Marisa Bate, Writer, Journalist and advocate for women’s rights

Marisa Bate is writer, journalist and author who tells the stories of women across different platforms.

She was the first member of staff at the award-winning British website, The Pool, before going freelance in 2017. She has since contributed to national newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The i Paper, PORTER, Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Vogue.co.uk.  Working alongside SEA, she also secured a spot on BBC Women’s Hour investigating how banks respond to domestic violence victims.  As a passionate advocate for women’s rights, she was a judge on the inaugural Words by Women Awards and the inaugural End Violence Against Women Media Awards


Karen Perrier, Client Service Manager, Money Advice Plus

Karen Perrier is Client Service Manager for Money Advice Plus, she has been a debt adviser for 11 years. She started at Money Advice Plus 4 years ago and become a Debt Relief Order Intermediary. Karen has lots of experience of dealing with vulnerable client groups. She was one of the founding members of SPIN (Single Parent Information Group) a volunteer peer support group across Brighton and Hove. Karen has delivered lots of training courses to both professionals and groups on debts and benefits and most recently has spent time delivering training on both Universal Credit and also need for a joined up approach between Money Advice Services and Domestic Violence Organisation focusing on economic safety.