How cash expert Martin Lewis has risen to become a consumer hero

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Martin Lewis has become one of Britain’s most high-profile and trusted consumer champions, having set up the website for just £100.

He has thrown his weight behind campaigns such as financial education in schools, reclaiming bank charges and helped people who were mis-sold PPI reclaim their cash with free step-by-step guidance, highlighting that households do not need to use claims management companies which take a chunk of any payout.

Born in Manchester, Lewis grew up in Cheshire and is married to TV presenter Lara Lewington.

A former student union president of the London School of Economics where he studied government and law, Lewis honed his broadcasting skills with a postgraduate journalism diploma at Cardiff University.

This led to a BBC staff job, where he spent time as a business editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, before he became the “money saving expert” on a digital channel called Simply Money Television.

He set up his website in 2003 – and has previously said he found himself “shocked” at the strength of the response it received from consumers.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and his wife, Lara Lewington, after receiving his OBE at Buckingham Palace (Nick Ansell/PA)

In 2012, the sale of the website was agreed, with Lewis donating some money to charity from the deal.

Lewis was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to consumer rights and charity.

He has also founded and funded a new charity, the Money And Mental Health Policy Institute, to research, lobby and innovate policies aiming to break the toxic link between mental health problems and debt.

As well as regularly writing for newspapers, Lewis is a familiar face on TV screens, with shows such as ITV’s This Morning and Good Morning Britain as well as hosting The Martin Lewis Money Show.

Earlier this year, he spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live about losing his mother, who died when he was 11.

Writing later in his blog on the MoneySavingExpert website, Lewis, who is patron of charity Grief Encounter, which helps people through bereavement, said of the reaction to the interview: “I’m encouraged and honoured that what I did had an effect on so many people, and caused litres of shared tears.”

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