At the start of each of the modules in this programme, we will share with you the Learning Outcomes for the module. On completion of the Introduction to Modern Retail Banking module, candidates should be able to: 

On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:

  • Describe the origins of modern retail banking.
  • Understand how technological evolution allowed retail banks to grow their businesses.
  • Explain the resilience of the retail banking market through cyclical crashes.
  • Describe the evolution of digital banking and smartphone banking.
  • Describe Open Banking and explain how regulators encourage competition in financial services.

Retail banking involves the provision of banking and other financial services to the mass market of individuals as well as to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and wealthy or high-net-worth (HNW) individuals. Retail banking is the main source of bank profits today, and these profits are valued far more highly by investors than corporate or investment banking earnings.

Retail banks play a vital role in the economy, principally by gathering savings and channelling funds to borrowers. In many respects retail banking is a young industry. Despite the fact that human civilization has been around for many thousands of years, the vast majority of humanity lived in a subsistence economy until little more than a couple of centuries ago.

All this began to change in the late decades of the nineteenth century and by the middle of the twentieth century, the retail banking industry we know today was beginning to emerge in the world’s more affluent nations – most notably the United States, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand. The chart GDP per capita, 1820 to 2018, shows the growth in wealth.

The growth in wealth between 1820 and 2018.

This chart describes the growth of wealth over the last 200 years.