The Retail Banking Institute provide independent professional education and certification for individuals and organisations in the exciting field of retail banking, the main source of profits for most of the world’s banks. Our programmes are delivered online or in-house by Retail Banking Institute faculty who are experienced industry professionals that understand the day-to-day opportunities and challenges in retail banking.   

Since the establishment of Lafferty Group 40 years ago, retail banking has been our main focus . It is a fascinating sector with vast potential for future growth. Retail banking helps the world’s consumers, small businesses, and the better off with their financial needs, from payments and savings to loans and investments. Investors love the sector, and stock market valuations of retail bank earnings are far higher than those of other banking sectors. We are proud to support the industry with education, knowledge, and intelligence.

Michael Lafferty, Chairman

Retail Banker Programme Details

Imagine the excitement of creating a modern, fully digital retail bank – a bank managed by real professionals that has more potential than all the fintechs in the world. A bank that knows how to cope with climate change from day one. A bank with an unwavering ethical foundation. This is the bank that the Certified International Retail Banker qualification is designed for.

The Institute’s primary qualification is Certified International Retail Banker (CIRB), which is designed to be the retail banker’s passport to a successful career.

RBI’s Certified International Retail Banker programme trains retail bankers to build and develop a resilient and exciting retail banking business that puts the customer at the heart of the business. Today, the world’s best retail banks are known for their excellent levels of customer service.

Once a bank begins to build a customer-centred culture, it can then begin the technical and operational transformation necessary to compete sustainably with all of the new digital players in the financial services market.

Our programmes begin by training retail bankers in a understanding the customer-centred model, and showing how product-centred and channel-centred retail banking is not sustainable.

Our programmes train the retail bankers of the future to understand and take advantage of the opportunities offered by interoperability how to best work with other players such as mobile wallets, fintechs and even big tech players.

In the rush to take on and compete with new digital players, many organisations focus on digitalisation and forget the source of their business: customers. Cost-cutting through branch closures, or forcing customers onto channels they do not wish to use, away from genuine human help and empathy, helps banks lose customers.

Many banks are blindly pursuing digitalisation and bank transformation programmes that will leave them in a worse position than before, as they cut costs in order to compete with digital-only banks.

Retail Banking Institute programmes are designed to help banks compete from their strengths and correct their weaknesses. When banks understand the strength of their retail banking offering, they can compete better. 

Our Retail Banking Institute programmes help retail bankers to identify and support entrepreneurs, who can become a retail bank’s best customer.

The Certified International Retail Banker programme comprises three levels of training but is all designed on the same principles: putting the customer at the centre.

Rather than learn about products and services, our programmes begin with comprehensive training on the principles and practices of customer-centricity.

Candidates are trained in the foundations of ethics and compliance in retail banking, and then engage in learning principles of customer-centricity, and the correct business model for a customer-centric bank. Then retail banking candidates learn how to execute customer-centric banking through customer management, sales management, and marketing.

In this way, retail bankers learn to correctly identify what banks can do that other businesses cannot.

These programmes were designed to help retail bankers tackle the most difficult challenges of our times. We train retail bankers to understand and implement sustainability practices in their retail banking businesses.     

News and Updates

Digital Payments Certificate

Digital payments is the third wave of electronic payments. The first electronic payments happened in the 1800s with wire transfers, allowing payments to go from bank to bank. The second wave started in the 1950s when the card schemes introduced their own electronic payments networks. Since 2000, we have mobile and internet networks to add to bank payment and card payment networks: the new wave of digital payments.

The Digital Payments certificate programme will give you a deep understanding of the payments industry from cards and payments right into the present day of cloud computing, machine learning, contactless payments, cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies.

Module 1 - Retail Banking Institute

Lafferty Group, of which the Retail Banking Institute is a central component, has been the world leader in retail banking knowledge, intelligence, and research since its foundation. We have published several hundred research studies, hosted hundreds of conferences on retail banking all over the world over the past 40 years.

The UK government granted Lafferty Group the right to describe itself as an Institute in 2019 on the basis that:

“Institutes are organisations that typically undertake research at the highest level or are professional bodies of the highest standing.” 

The Institute has continuous access to the latest Lafferty research for all its programmes. This is vital in an industry that is going through such rapid change.


Our candidates are supported in many different ways, including via webinars, career advice, and access to interviews with leading bank and payments professionals from around the world.


We are here to answer all your queries relating to the course and your career in retail banking.