Bank gives young professional luxury flat rent-free for a year
Amanda Lamb, the television property guru, crowned the winner of Studio B’s launch competition today, awarding him a life-changing prize including a luxury flat in the country’s most expensive neighbourhood rent-free for a year.
Hopefuls from around the country queued from before dawn outside Studio B, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ new flagship store, for the chance to live in the stunning penthouse apartment in Kensington, Central London.
The Selling houses with Amanda Lamb presenter judged members of the public on gardening, cookery and DIY challenges in the store as Rick Edwards, the tv presenter and writer, entertained the crowds outside the UK’s first public innovation lab.
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Ryan Crabbe, a 32-year-old digital consultant from London, won the competition and will move into the one-bedroom apartment five minutes’ walk from the store next month. Studio B will also match-fund any money he saves during the year to put towards a deposit on his own home, helping him meet one of the greatest financial challenges.
Ryan said: “I can’t believe I’ve actually won this amazing prize! It can be tough paying rent and trying to save for a place of your own. With Studio B’s help, the dream is very much alive for me.”
Amanda Lamb said: “I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in a bank! This awesome and inspiring space staged such a compelling and important competition. I’m thrilled to play my part in giving Ryan a helping hand and wish him well on his quest to find a place to call his own.”
Rick Edwards said: “There were people queuing from 5am! It was not only a lot of fun out there with them, but also fantastic in drawing attention to the huge challenge so many people face today with regards to housing and home ownership.”
Helen Page, Group Innovation & Marketing Director, said: “Studio B is finally putting the fun back into finance.
“We’ve thought long and hard about ways of helping the next generation rise to the challenges they face. Getting on the property ladder is one of the greatest financial hurdles and we’re delighted to help Ryan on his way.
“Our work at Studio B will find solutions to other factors affecting people’s finances and help reinvent the way people engage with their money. This unique space will let them design the next generation of banking and make their lives better.”
Studio B staged the competition to draw attention to the great challenge younger generations now face in getting on the property ladder.
A YouGov survey for Studio B found that almost a quarter (23%) of London renters aged 18-40 never expect to be able to afford a deposit on a home. Almost one in three (30%) do not save any money in an average month, while the majority (59%) cite high rent as the main barrier to saving more.
Studio B is designed to empower people to take back control of their finances by finding solutions to their most pressing financial challenges.
Members of the public will join financial experts, leading brands, tech giants and charities in Studio B to tackle a new challenge each month in areas including family finances and voice recognition technology. The prototype products they produce will be tested in-store on customers.
The eye-catching store on Kensington High Street uses smart technology, such as face recognition technology, gaming and animation, to immerse customers in a unique retail experience.
People pass through a B-shaped polished steel portal with a live video pattern which reacts to them as they enter from the street. Facial recognition technology tracks emotional responses as people move around the store, measuring customers’ happiness and showing that they can have fun interacting with their money. A Magic Mirror wall uses animation to showcase some of the inventions being worked on in the lab.