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About the Retail Banking Institute

We provide independent professional banking education and qualifications for individuals in the fields of retail banking and payments.

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The Retail Banking Institute delivers independent professional education for companies and individuals across the areas of retail banking and payments.

Our principal qualification is the Certified International Retail Banker. We also offer the Certificate in Digital Payments.

The Retail Banking Institute is a UK professional body authorised in 2019 to provide education and research in the field of retail banking by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (previously the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and before that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform).

In 2023, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy became the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Business and Trade.

The word 'Institute' is a protected word in the UK and regulatory approval to be an Institute depends on the organisation being engaged in research, training and education at the highest level for several decades.

In the UK, professional bodies award independent third-party certifications of knowledge in specific industries.

Retail Banking Institute issues its own certifications in retail banking and payments.


Retail Banking Institute works closely with multiple partners in the development of retail banking standards and assisting Retail Banking Institute in the delivery of training programmes worldwide. Our partners include:

  • Banking Associations
  • Banking Institutes
  • Central banks
  • Universities
  • Retail banking consultants


Our faculty draws on decades of experience in banking and education around the world and the latest research on banking and payments from Lafferty Group. Most of our classes are delivered digitally and are self-paced to suit candidates who are already working in full-time positions. We also offer in-person training at executive level. As big technology players, fintechs, telcos, and a range of non-bank players push into digital banking and finance, there's never been a more exciting time to join the world of retail banking.

Retail Banking Institute is part of Lafferty Group.

Our History

The Retail Banking Institute has its roots in the early 1980s, when Lafferty Group launched a newsletter to inform and educate banks about global developments in what was then an emerging field. At that time, retail bankers were hardly identifiable within banks' management structures, while the credit card and the ATM were barely 20 years old. Corporate bankers became bank CEOs.

Little was published about retail banking but Lafferty Group filled this knowledge gap with its newsletters, management reports, research services, conferences, and workshops. In the 1990s Lafferty Group launched its Councils where senior bankers came together to share best practices in confidential sessions hosted around the world.

By then retail banking was emerging as the main source of profits for many banks, and more and more heads of retail were becoming bank CEOs. Investors had come to value retail profits far more highly than those from any other field of banking.

With the arrival of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08, illegal and improper practices of all kinds were soon exposed, and the bad behaviour sometimes extended to retail banking. Inevitably, the absence of structured education and qualifications for retail bankers came to the fore, especially when the findings of government enquiries into the causes of the crisis were published, several years after being established.

After much research and consultation with clients Lafferty Group decided that it should seek official recognition for its work in retail banking education and training. This led it to apply in 2019 for Institute status to the registrar of companies in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom. Success depended on the regulators being satisfied that the company had been engaged in retail banking research, training and education at the highest level for several decades and was in effect already functioning as an Institute.

The regulators agreed. Permission to operate in the name of the Retail Banking Institute was granted in September 2020.

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