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The London Institute of Banking and Finance

Lifelong partners for financial education focussed on equipping people with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their financial and career aspirations
The London Institute of Banking and Finance
Leadership team

Kareem Refaay (Managing Director, MENA, UAE)

Headquarters
London, United Kingdom
Region served
The U.K, MENA, APAC,
Year stablished
1879
Address
8th Floor, Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street, London, United Kingdom EC3R 8LJ, GB
Social Media
Summary

The London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) is a registered charity and professional body incorporated by the Royal Charter. It is the only professional body with taught degree awarding powers and provides financial qualifications at GCSE and A Levels. It also provides degrees in banking and finance, postgraduate qualifications, and professional qualifications for those working in the finance sector or aspiring to do so. 

Founded in 1879 as the Institute of Bankers, it has evolved to remain at the forefront of financial education. Its focus is on lifelong learning; equipping individuals with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to achieve what they want throughout their careers and life. 

Being at the heart of the sector for more than 140 years, it provides insights and thought leadership, creates connections, and builds partnerships between people and businesses. Its aim is to make banking and finance more accessible and understood and enhance social inclusion through better financial capability. 

The London Institute of Banking & Finance is the oldest training and professional body for banking and financial services in England and Wales and works internationally with partners to establish ethical and professional standards across the sector around the world.


History

Established in 1879 as the Institute of Bankers, by bank workers who saw a need for professional standards and education in the industry, it had 2,000 members by the end of its first year. The first exams took place in 1880 and were opened to women in 1917, a year before women were given the vote in the UK.

The institute gained a royal charter in 1987, becoming the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and in 1993, it merged with the Chartered Building Societies Institute.

In 1996, the Institute offered its first degree, the BSc (Hons) in Financial Services, offered as a dual award with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. It was the first professional award to be linked to a university degree.

The name of the institute changed in 1997 to the ‘Institute of Financial Services’. In the same year, the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) was introduced: this was the first qualification for UK mortgage professionals.

In 2001, the Institute launched the first personal finance qualifications for young people in the UK, equivalent to an AS-level. In the same year, the Institute became the first educational body in the sector to provide electronic assessment for its regulatory qualifications.

After becoming the IFS School of Finance in 2006, the Institute was granted taught degree awarding powers (TDAP) by the Privy Council in 2010. It was now able to award both undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees in its own right without validation from a third-party university. The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) granted the title ‘University College’ in 2013, and in 2016 the Institute became The London Institute of Banking & Finance.


Goals and Purpose

According to the website, the institute aims “to make banking and finance more accessible and understood and enhance social inclusion through better financial capability.”

A registered educational charity, incorporated by royal charter, The London Institute of Banking & Finance is the only banking institute in the world with degree-awarding powers and its own university college. As well as working with the leading UK major banks to deliver learning and development training, and apprenticeship degrees, it offers specialist bachelor's degrees in Banking & Finance and Finance, Investment & Risk Management, and an MSc in Banking & Finance.

A pioneer and champion of financial education, it offers Financial Capability qualifications specifically designed for 14 to 19-year-olds in the UK. The purpose of these qualifications is twofold:

  • to enable young people to understand and manage their own finances for life
  • to inspire young people to consider a career in banking and finance.

In 2019 The London Institute of Banking & Finance set up two research centres – the Centre for Digital Finance and Banking and the Centre for Sustainable finance.

The scope of the centre's work is global and addresses the interests and concerns of market participants including commercial and development banks, investors, governments, corporations, or regulators.

The Henry Grunfeld Foundation was established in 1994 to further the careers of those working in the City of London. The London Institute of Banking & Finance was invited to assume control of the Grunfeld Foundation in the mid-1990s with the Board of Governors acting as trustees.

The Foundation has funded scholarships for the full-time undergraduate programme, as well as learning resource provision, including the Henry Grunfeld Library at the campus in Lovat Lane. The Foundation also funds research fellowships and supports a longstanding commitment to INSEAD.


Impact

The institute was the first provider of the CeMAP qualification and has trained over 100,000 qualified mortgage advisers. It also offers continuing professional development (CPD) and executive qualifications and programmes which can lead to chartered status.

The London Institute of Banking & Finance has been offering membership since 1879 and has an active alumni network.

Managing Director, Kareem Refaay told Dinis Guarda in an episode of his YouTube podcast series:

“Our alumni network is strengthened with more than 1.5 million in more than 110 countries, from very senior C-level suite positions to junior fresh grads.”

The London Institute of Banking & Finance works in partnership with institutes and banks around the world. It is an active member of the International Chamber of Commerce, with senior members of staff contributing to several ICC taskforces.

Since 2017, the Institute has been working in partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Markets Academy. ADGMA and the Institute set up a Learning Centre to support the education of young Emirati professionals seeking to develop careers in banking and financial services that lead to senior management. The Learning Centre also publishes research, contributes to debates and forums, and provides peer-to-peer engagement opportunities.

It also has an office in Singapore where it works in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce Academy and the Institute of Banking and Finance.

Financial World is the institute's journal, published six times a year in association with the Centre for The Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI). It brings together research and commentary on the structure and development of the domestic and international financial services sector and the wider economy and is distributed to students, members, and subscribers.


References
The London Institute of Banking and Finance
Leadership team

Kareem Refaay (Managing Director, MENA, UAE)

Headquarters
London, United Kingdom
Region served
The U.K, MENA, APAC,
Year stablished
1879
Address
8th Floor, Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street, London, United Kingdom EC3R 8LJ, GB
Social Media