Dinis Guarda interviewed the Managing Director of The London Institute of Banking and Finance, Kareem Refaay, in the latest episode of his YouTube podcast series to discuss the latest trends in fintech and financial education, and the future of the financial industry. With over 220 episodes already published and still going, the podcast series is powered by platforms including openbusinesscouncil, citiesabc, and fashionabc.

Dinis Guarda, the host of the podcast series, welcomed Kareem, highlighting the key achievements from his extensive background in training and educating finance practitioners at The London Institute of Banking and Finance. From his experience, Kareem told Dinis:

"In terms of banking and finance, the recent 10 years have been the most critical years of the industry and where everyone is actually trying to find its future face".

He narrated that although he started his career in banking and finance, his role as a trainer at the Standard Chartered Bank got him more interested in the growth of human capital in the industry. "I was able to fit between both functions- business and HR, and that helped me a lot to be able to support the transformation and education happening internally amongst the organisation", he said.

Realising that this role allowed him to spread knowledge and experience among a variety of practitioners across the industry, Kareem transitioned his role from banking to teaching and coaching. "So, it wasn't a part of the plan but it turned out to be a better one than I was expecting out of my career", he told Dinis.

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 Kareem Refaay, Managing Director of The London Institute of Banking and Finance

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LIBF: Facilitators of holistic financial education for all

Dinis asked Kareem about the outstanding strategy at the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF). Kareem told him that it is a 'practitioner-led education', i.e. it works in collaboration with experienced bankers and financial organisations, while involving its network of alumni, though leaders, world-renowned institutes in the UK, MENA, and APAC, and its international and strategic alliances with various local institutes and banks.

Kareem also highlighted the three key centres of excellence at LIBF: one related to risk and governance, the second pertaining to sustainable finance, and the third about fintech and digital transformation.

"In this journey, we've been called by three different brand names: we started as an Institute of Bankers, Institute of Financial Studies, and recently, we've been rebranded to London Institute of Banking and Finance", he said.

Roadmap to a sustainable digital transformation of banking and finance

Dinis was interested to understand LIBF's vision of the fintech future that digital transformation would bring. Kareem said:

"The objective of this institute is not to be just an international provider of education. We are also interested in understanding the nature of future jobs and roles in the industry after this transformation."

Highlighting the benefits of digital transformation in the banking and finance industry, Kareem told Dinis that while it is an effective measure of cost saving, choosing AI and advanced technologies would progress the industry towards better risk-oriented decisions. He also presented an abstract picture of the correlation between digital transformation and sustainability finance, which minimises the environmental footprint.

"The industry has no one technical definition for one technical dilemma, and we wouldn’t have one definition for sustainability or fintech, but we will have a common knowledge and different practices, where we will take new risks to those new agendas", he told Dinis.

Stating the mission of LIBF, Kareem concluded:

"At the end of the day, it's not about us or about our heritage, it's about the community altogether interacting and being dynamic towards common goals". 

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Dinis Guarda citiesabc openbusinesscouncil Series is also available as podcast on:

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