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Retail bankers to get their own professional body


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23 March 2015, London: A new professional body for qualified retail bankers is being launched in London this week. The Institute of Retail Banking will be a membership body for all retail bankers who have achieved the designation of "Certified Retail Banker" or "CRB", having passed the examinations of the Retail Banking Academy. The new not-for-profit Institute will be governed by an independent board of trustees and will be the custodian of the CRB designation. Members will also be bound by a professional code of conduct and ethics and required to undertake continuous professional education. The Institute will have the power to suspend and expel members in circumstances where they have brought discredit to themselves, their bank or the Institute.

Launched by Lafferty Group in 2011 to develop retail banking as a profession with a similar status to accountancy and law, the Retail Banking Academy already has candidates in some 78 countries studying for the CRB qualification. Membership of the new professional body is expected to grow rapidly, as current candidates pass their examinations, which can be taken in designated centres worldwide.

The Financial Conduct Authority has given approval for the name Institute of Retail Banking.

Speaking today at a roundtable on professional standards in banking hosted by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, Evelyn Hunter-Jordan, CEO of the Retail Banking Academy said: "The Academy has achieved remarkable growth since the first exam candidates were registered in 2012. This is proof, if any was needed that there is vast global demand for a professional retail banking qualification. Today's banks realise that retail bankers should not be sales people pushing products, but true professionals who behave in the best interests of customers.

"Current banking qualifications across the globe are mainly based on the concept of the general bank that used to exist 50 to 100 years ago and are largely focused on corporate banking. Today, retail banking is the dominant banking sector and it has very little in common with wholesale banking. Far from being a step on the road to corporate banking, retail banking today offers a very exciting career in its own right for modern bankers — from relationship managers to CEOs", she added.

For further information, contact Jayne Paramor: T: +44(0)1264 730 774; M: +44(0)7780 537 389;; S: Jayne.paramor.2.

Background Note
The Retail Banking Academy is part of Lafferty Group, which also provides industry research and intelligence to banks worldwide. The business was founded by Michael Lafferty, a chartered accountant and former Financial Times journalist in 1981.

The founders of the Retail Banking Academy are Michael Lafferty, Evelyn Hunter-Jordan (then chief operating officer of Lafferty Group), Abdul Rahman (former Professor of Economics and Finance and Telfer Teaching Fellow at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottowa) and Dick Harryvan, former CEO of ING Direct, Amsterdam.

Michael Lafferty is now chairman of RBA, Evelyn Hunter-Jordan is CEO, Dr Abdul Rahman is Academic Director and Dick Harryvan is a senior faculty member.

The Academy's Governing Body is responsible for the standard of the CRB qualification.


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