Certified International Retail Banker (CIRB) Programmes

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.

Retail Banking Institute offers three progressive levels of professional education, from a foundation programme to the third level programme designed for management and leadership positions across the different types of retail banking services.

The first level is Affiliate International Retail Banker. The second level is Associate International Retail Banker, and the final level is Certified International Retail Banker. 

We welcome candidates with three or more years of experience to enter the programme at the Associate level. Candidates with eight years of experience including three years at management level can enter the programme at the Certified Level. 

Candidates will earn the qualification of Certified International Retail Banker by successfully completing all three levels. The Certified International Retail Banker course is produced by our faculty under the editorial direction of Dr Ronan Lynch.

Faculty Team

Michael Lafferty, FCA, is the founder of Lafferty Group. A chartered accountant, Michael began his journalism career with the Lex team at the Financial Times. 

Dr Ronan Lynch is chief writer and editor at Lafferty Group since 2015 and executive director of the Retail Banking Institute. He has an MA from the University of Michigan and a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway.  

Caroline Hastings is an Executive Director at Retail Banking Institute and Lafferty Group and was a Senior Vice President at Rabobank New York prior to joining Lafferty Group. Qualifications include a Master’s in Economics from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA in Finance from La Salle University and Wharton School of Business, Pennsylvania. Caroline is the supervisor for academic candidates at the top level of the Certified International Retail Banker programme.  

Dr Essam El Mallakh started his banking career in 1976 and has wide experience in retail banking management and retail credit management. He worked as VP Retail Banking head in ABC Egypt; Head of Retail Banking in AAIB Egypt; and Head of Retail Banking & Central Operation of Burgan Bank, Kuwait. He has worked in training activities with the American University of Cairo, Egyptian Banking Institute, IMC, and Ouda. 

Dr Paul Griffiths is Professor of Finance at EM Normandie Business School and Academic Director of the M2/MSc Graduate Programme in Banking, Finance and Fintech. He is author of Corporate Governance in the Knowledge Economy: Lessons from Case Studies in the Finance Sector (Palgrave, 2021). He teaches about governance, ethics, and compliance.

Carlos Wanderley is a principal at Smarter Way Mentors. An experienced retail banker, Carlos has worked as Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Latin America Region, HSBC, and General Manager of Customer Propositions at HSBC Bank UK. He holds a BSc Economics and an MBA, and is an expert on customer-centricity and a true believer in customer-driven success.  

Graham Flower has worked as Head of Customer Propositions and Head of Marketing at HSBC Bank UK, and Group Head of Customer Management at HSBC Group. He also worked in management consultancy with Suncorp. His expertise is in customer management and channel strategy. Graham is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Academic Board Member of the Institute of Financial Services, London. 

A principal at Smarter Way Mentors, Stuart Harle has many years of high-level experience in retail, SME, and commercial banking as Group Head of Intelligence at HSBC Group, along with management consultancy experience with Deutsche Bank, Santander, Union Bank UK, and Suncorp. An associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Stuart is an expert on customer management. 

Experienced in implementing customer insight-driven proposition and transforming distribution with First Direct and HSBC Group, Michael Sollitt has management consultancy experience with i-wish Innovation, Union Bank of Nigeria, LQID, and British American Tobacco. 

A fintech founder, Roberto Patriarca is experienced in business transformation across marketing and sales and strategic planning and execution at HSBC Group, UBS, and PwC. Roberto holds an MSc in Strategy in Business Administration.