The Retail Banking Academy (RBA) is a UK-based educational body, founded with the objective of playing a leading role in the development and professionalisation of consumer-oriented retail banking around the world. It is the only educational and professional academy exclusively dedicated to retail banking anywhere in the world. The RBA is the only international, educational and professional body that’s exclusively dedicated to retail banking.
The Certified Retail Banker (CRB) programme makes it possible for retail bankers to embark on a structured certification programme that covers every aspect of the industry end to end. . The Retail Banking Academy has its headquarters in London, UK.
The organisation was founded in London, UK in 2011 as the International Academy of Retail Banking with the objective of educating retail bankers worldwide to a high professional standard.
It believes that a separated, independent retail banking sector should be led by professionally qualified retail bankers, bound by an ethical code  similar to those already in place for accountants and lawyers. This ethical code  is intended to oblige retail bankers to act in the customer’s best interests. Bankers who persistently fail to comply would be barred from membership of the profession. To that end, the RBA believes that the foundation stone for a retail banking profession must be the complete separation of retail banking from both investment banking and large-scale corporate banking.
In 2012 the UK Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards accepted evidence from a number of participants operating in the banking sector. The Retail Banking Academy was one of the participants, and its submission was included in selected submissions in its final published report, Changing Banking for Good, which outlines the radical reform required to improve standards across the banking industry.
In October 2014, the organisation changed its name from the International Academy of Retail Banking to the Retail Banking Academy.
The RBA offers a large variety of programmes such as:
Certified Retail Banker (CRB)
The Certified Retail Banker programme was designed by senior retail bankers and academics from around the world. Since 2011 the qualification strategy has evolved to grow with sector demands, for example, it was made available in the French language in 2012. To become a Certified Retail Banker, and to be able to use the designation CRB, you need to join RBA Membership and successfully pass examinations at three separate levels.
- Retail Banking I (RB I)
Retail Banking I was designed to introduce candidates to the theoretical and practical core competencies that are required for success within a retail banking organisation. It is ideal for retail bankers looking to broaden their scope and banking knowledge.
- Banking II (RB II)
Retail Banking II focuses on the issues that are encountered when leading people and retail banking departments. The course is ideal for retail bankers looking to fast track their career and understand the key divisions/functions of a retail bank.
- Retail Banking III (RB III)
Retail Banking III focuses on developing and enhancing the capabilities required to run retail banking strategic business units. The course is ideal for retail bankers looking to understand how different functions are brought together in one retail bank, and challenges associated to leadership.
The Accelerated Programmes have been created for experienced retail bankers with over 10 or 15 years experience, , which means that eligible candidates will be exempt from Retail Banking I exams (Accelerated 10) or exempt from Retail Banking I & II (Accelerated 15) due to their extensive number of years working full-time in the sector. and renowned industry speakers are invited to lead thought-leadership discussion groups.
Certified Cards and Payments Professional
The Certified Cards and Payments Programme was launched in 2013 as a result of the introduction of an increasing number of new card payment methods to the market. CCPP certification is gained in the same way as the CRB certification above, with three levels of study and exams to pass. At that point in time, the programme was delivered as an in-bank classroom programme only.
On the back of the success of the in-bank sessions, there are now first and second levels of the programme available for individual candidates to enrol on our site:
- Cards and Payments I
Cards and Payments I is a specialised programme that provides a broad overview and coverage of the entire lifecycle of all types of payments cards, including credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, corporate cards and mobile payments. The course is ideal for cards and payments professionals looking to broaden their scope and knowledge in the cards industry. As a functional specialist you will gain an excellent understanding of other areas along with a strategic grasp of the industry which embraces international trends and best practices.
- Cards and Payments II
Cards and Payments II is a specialised programme focussed on the key areas of the Cards and Payments industry. The course is ideal for cards and payments professionals looking to broaden their scope and knowledge in the cards industry.
Executive Management Programme
For senior retail bankers with over 15 years of experience, the RBA also offers the Executive Management Programme that is hosted twice per year in London or Johannesburg. It’s a three or five-day immersive programme for senior delegates, where a group our distinguished faculty deliver lectures, facilitate practical workshops
Types of learning
The Retail Banking Academy offers access to the CRB qualification via eLearning with a series of interactive modules and analytics solutions that continuously adapts to the candidates’ performance, facilitates critical reasoning and provides continuous coaching and feedback to help you become proficient at the core curriculum and enhance your retail banking training.
Classroom (for in-bank programmes)
Programmes can also be tailored specifically to meet the needs of individual bank requirements, strategy and objectives with the in-bank programmes. Not only programmes can be bespoke, but can also be delivered by faculty staff in a classroom setting or via the e-learning platform, or in fact a combination of both types of learning.
The Retail Banking Academy is governed by a board of directors, an academic standards board, an awarding organisation and its governing body. The board of directors is chaired by Michael Lafferty (chairman of Lafferty Group and a former Financial Times journalist). The academic director is Professor Abdul Rahman, a former full professor of economics and finance and Telfer teaching Fellow at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.
- ^“International Academy of Retail Banking”. iarb.org. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- ^“We believe retail banking should be ethics-based”. FT.com. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- ^“Teaching banks to value trust and honesty – Financial Services News | Business News | The Irish Times – Fri, Jan 31, 2014”. The Irish Times. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- ^“Banking Commission publishes report on changing banking for good – News from Parliament – UK Parliament”. Parliament.uk. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- ^“House of Commons – Banking Standards: Written evidence from the International Academy of Retail Banking”. Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
Ofer Abarbanel is a 25 year securities lending broker and expert who has advised many Israeli regulators, among them the Israel Tax Authority, with respect to stock loans, repurchase agreements and credit derivatives. Founder of TBIL.co STATX Fund.