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Certified Retail Banker

Certified Retail Banker in partnership with RBA International

Layer Certified Retail Banker
Imagine a world where

Imagine a world where...

Retail bankers are trusted professionals.
They are professionally educated, have passed challenging examinations and keep up to date through continuing professional education programmes.

Retail bankers are dedicated to doing what is best for clients.
Bank staff are well-educated and rewarded for the quality of service they provide over time.

Retail bankers abide by a strict code of ethics.
They place the interests of the customer before their own interests

RBA International believes that retail banking should be a recognised profession like accountancy and law.

It is not a distant dream for a sector that has yet to develop – retail banking is already the main source of bank profits in most countries, as The Economist explained in its May 2012 Retail Renaissance survey.

Retail banking is the future – and RBA International is dedicated to making it an admired and respected profession of international repute.

What is RBA International?

RBA International has been founded with the objective of playing a leading role in the development and professionalisation of consumer-oriented retail banking across the world.

"Consumer banking considers the customer relationship as its only real asset. All other traditional assets or balance sheet items are nothing but manifestations of this relationship." Dr Stefan Kaminsky

A Certified Retail Banker will be able to:

  • understand customer psychology and build enduring and profitable relationships with customers.
  • motivate and engage staff – which is critical to exceeding customer expectations.
  • deliver excellent service that will delight the customer.
  • analyse product profitability in order to focus on optimal value creation.
  • assess and manage the bank’s risks.
  • have an understanding of key value drivers, KPIs and financial reports.

Unique benefits of our programme:

  • Allows for practical implementation to achieve real improvement at an operational level and achievement of profitable growth.
  • Provides participants with a sound knowledge base and the tools to improve results significantly.
  • Allows measurement of return on investment.
  • Provides candidates with a common body of knowledge leading to improved communication and faster learning.
  • Provides the tools to improve overall employee engagement

RBA works with leading banks across the globe,with candidates in over 100 countries.

Standard Chartered
Stanbic Bank
Societe Generale

Who is it for?

Retail Banking Leaders

To share international best practice with peers from around the world in a structured Executive Management Programme, uniquely designed to address current business challenges from a leadership perspective.

Self-sponsoring individuals

To enhance their personal brand, improve their career prospects both domestically and internationally, demonstrate their commitment to achieving retail banking excellence to current/prospective employers and be part of an international network of fellow alumni.

New entrants/graduates

To promote faster learning and a common frame of reference for how a retail bank works - while providing young talent with a professional qualification.

Middle management

To align the bank’s management to a common standard and levels of competencies, while achieving a holistic understanding of the end-to-end customer experience, bridging silos in the bank.

Experienced retail bankers

Exam exemptions offered to retail bankers with 10 or 15 years’ experience to accelerate their progress towards final certification.

We expect our candidates to subscribe to the following core values, which are also our teaching values:

  • We treat customers and colleagues with respect, fairness and transparency.
  • We are innovative, creative and always open-minded.
  • We provide high quality customer care and excellent execution of our programmes.
  • We are driven and have passion for our mission to professionalise retail banking.

Retail Banking I

Retail Banking I is designed to introduce the theoretical and practical core competencies that are required for success in a retail banking organisation.

101 – Business Ethics and Compliance

This module considers the moral principles underlying business ethics where motives matter most when the bank adopts a customer-centric strategy. The module also deals with the separation of ownership and the resulting information asymmetry which provides an opportunity for managers to pursue self-interest objectives. Finally, sources of compliance risk that include data security, money laundering and terrorist financing are identified.

102 – Retail Banking Overview

This module considers the role of the retail bank in the economy, sources of funding, calculation of common retail banking metrics and analysis of both the liability and asset sides of the balance sheet.

103 – Products

In this module we review the reasons why customers demand services and products, linking the product/service to the usage. New forms of payment emanating from the development of the smartphone are also identified. We also consider product development in the digital age, noting areas of innovation and payments innovation vying for a share of the customer wallet.

104 – Channels

This module examines the major shifts and trends in retail banking channels while considering the multi-channel customer. The role of the digital ecosystem and the role of the branch network is explored as banks look to support the growth of digital sales. The implications for data management are also considered.

105 – Marketing

This module considers the changing nature of marketing in financial services as the Fintech movement gains pace. We determine the key methods used to understand customers and evaluate digital marketing opportunities that utilise the latest tools and techniques in this area.

106 – Effective Sales Management

This module examines the importance of maintaining a disciplined sales process while implementing the Sales Performance Scorecard which results in improved processes, better educated and competent staff, increased sales to customers based on their needs, and greater customer satisfaction. We evaluate the significant impact of digital, such as ‘Selling the UX’ and the ‘Network Effect’.

107 – Customer Service Quality

This module determines the fundamentals of customer service quality, its relationship to customer loyalty and the resolution of customer service failures via a Gaps model.

108 – Operations

This module views the activities carried out in the front, middle and back office, holistically. Sources of operational risk and techniques to ensure the effective management of retail banking processes are identified. Finally, we introduce the three-stage model of project management, noting that modern retail banking is highly technologically dependent.

109 – Credit and Lending

This module identifies the main sources of risk in retail banks, key issues in credit loss management and an evaluation of the main approaches to managing credit risk.

110 – Relationship Management

Relationship Management is based on the creation of an optimal long-term bank–customer relationship that serves the long-term needs of the customer and, as a result, the long-term profitability of the bank. This module considers current trends in intelligent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and the defining trends of innovation within CRM.

Retail Banking II

Retail Banking II focuses on the issues that are encountered when leading people and departments. Retail Banking II focuses on the issues that are encountered when leading people and departments.

201 – Digital Marketing

This module examines the leading trends related to digital marketing and takes a close look at global strategies banks are adopting in order to take advantage of the digital revolution. We examine the changing nature of the digital consumer, how to develop a digital strategy, the role of data and the opportunities that data creates for banks, and how to develop a social media strategy.

202 – Product Portfolio Management

This module considers fundamental issues in effective product portfolio management so as to identify products that are redundant or are potential value destroyers. A number of matrixes to support product development and the decision-making process are also introduced. Finally, the Millennial segment is considered, which is key to bank transformation and change management investment.

203 – SME Lending

This module utilises the 5Cs model as the basis for establishing the creditworthiness of SME borrowers. We present an SME lending risk scorecard, examine the mechanics of loan pricing, consider the credit risk evaluation procedure for unsecured loans, calculate expected losses, and consider risk implications in the bank’s loan portfolio. An introduction to Crowdfunding – the emerging online channel in SME lending – is provided.

204 – People Management

This module emphasises that People Management is based on the resource-based view of the organisation. We show that effective people management and employee engagement increases employee productivity, which in turn increases economic profit and shareholder value creation.

205 – Customer Care

This module emphasises that customer care is an organisational commitment and a strategic objective. We consider actions that create a culture of customer care and provide methods for practical implementation. This module considers how to promote customer satisfaction amongst Millennials via technology-based self-service delivery options where drivers of customer satisfaction differ from Baby Boomers. We conclude by building models that utilise the ‘digital lock-in effect’ to promote loyalty by examining digital customer care journeys and designing tactics around these.

206 – Performance Management

This module considers performance management and measurement in retail banks with an emphasis on managing for value. KPIs for people performance measurement, transfer pricing and divisional performance are studied. Bank branch management metrics to monitor performance are examined and a branch dashboard for a retail bank that serves to monitor performance is presented. Key considerations for managing performance in digital banking are also presented.

207 – Wealth Management

This module covers lending, investment and insurance products that are required in the wealth accumulation phase of the private banking client. Traditional tools to assess the private banking client’s degree of risk aversion are implemented. This module also teaches the foundations of modern product portfolio theory that includes diversification methods, strategic asset allocation and measures of portfolio performance.

208 – Balance Sheet Management

This module deals with moral hazards that arise from the financial intermediation process. We discuss the capital allocation process required under Basel III, consider the risk weights for credit, operational and market risk, and introduce fundamental properties of interest rate risk through a duration gap analysis.

209 – Risk Management

This module covers the fundamental principles of risk and capital management – the measurement and management of operational risk, market risk, liquidity risk and funding liquidity risk – and concludes with the elements of risk-based pricing.

210 – Financial Management

This module examines financial analysis around key banking metrics, including a more detailed financial statement analysis with the CAMELS approach as a guideline.

Retail Banking III

Retail Banking III focuses on the issues that are encountered when you are leading people and departments. The aim is to develop and enhance the capabilities required to run retail banking strategic business units (SBUs) for best results.

301 – Leadership in Retail Banking

This module proposes that principled leadership is most appropriate for leadership in retail banking where an effective leader in retail banking creates a moral compass for all employees and inspires them to serve customers’ needs. We also consider leadership in retail banking, with special emphasis on change management, communicating and understanding resistance to change, and leading through the Fintech revolution.

302 – Business Strategies for Retail Banking

This module sets out to address the challenges of the changing landscape in retail banking where a well-defined business strategy is paramount by covering the following areas: developing a business strategy, creating a business strategy in retail banking, digital banking strategy and challenges, and executing strategy efficiently.

303 – Brand Management

This module considers the main issues of brand management, with special consideration given to models of consumer-based brand equity through their direct effect on brand meaning for the consumer. The importance of employer branding is also considered. The module concludes with issues related to co-branding and the importance of brand congruence for success. This module concludes with how to create a credible digital innovation and transformation narrative in retail banking for Millennials while building differentiated branding for a traditional retail bank versus Big Tech providing financial services and challenger banks.

304 – Governance

This module presents the underlying theories of corporate governance in retail banking and the role of important corporate governance instruments in monitoring the actions of senior management. This module also presents a link between the operational structure of a retail bank and the risks that may emanate from it, concluding witha discussion of the potential link between silos and the ethical behaviour of bank employees.

305 – Operational Excellence

This module considers operational excellence in retail banking as an enabler of management’s strategic objective of value creation through customer-centricity. The design and deployment of a multi-channel strategy is also considered, along with impediments to successful implementation. Lessons are presented that serve to mitigate potential impediments. We consider the potential for blockchain to revolutionise back office processes in retail banking along with implications for promoting cost efficiencies. Finally, we consider international best practice in the application of cloud banking while also considering the risks associated with cybersecurity and the associated regulatory challenges.

306 – Risk and Capital Management

This module presents advanced methods for managing interest rate risk and liquidity risk. Capital allocation methods for internal ratings-based banks are examined with emphasis on credit risk for retail exposures. The module also deals with the central issues in risk governance.

Accelerated CRB

More experienced Retail Bankers have the opportunity to fast-track their certification.

10 Years experience.

To qualify you must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in a retail banking role, and three of those years must have been in a managerial role or expert position. At the time of applying for exemption from Retail Banking I, you will need to provide a curriculum vitae signed by your HR department.

The accelerated pathway to CRB status:

  • Module 101: Business Ethics and Compliance
  • Retail Banking II exam
  • Retail Banking III exam

15 Years experience.

To qualify you must have a minimum of 15 years’ experience in a retail banking role, 10 years of which must have been in a managerial role or expert position. At the time of applying for exemption from Retail Banking I and Retail Banking II, you will need to provide a curriculum vitae signed by your HR department.

The accelerated pathway to CRB status:

  • Module 101: Business Ethics and Compliance
  • Retail Banking III exam

Your certified retail banker journey

Becoming a Certified Retail Banker will send a powerful message to your customers, colleagues and the regulators that you are committed to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in your work. It will also provide you with an unmatched international network of fellow professionals and an unparalleled research resource that you can access at any time.

Certified retail banker journey


We recommend candidates have a bachelor’s, or equivalent degree, or have the equivalent professional work experience accrued prior to enrolment. Upon successful registration to the programme, professional retail bankers are bound by the Academy’s code of ethics and professional conduct. The right to describe yourself as a Certified Retail Banker and the use of the CRB designation is attained with an annual subscription to RBA Membership.

Study online at your own pace

RBA International candidates can start studying towards becoming a Certified Retail Banker straight away by registering for e-learning. E-learning is on demand and candidates have 12 months to pass the exam from the enrolment date. Learning outcomes are assessed through a final examination at each of the three levels of the curriculum. RBA International delivers computer-based examinations at secure, high-quality examination centres worldwide.

Study materials

  • Course materials and module presentations
  • Scorable self-assessment content
  • Exam preparation sessions
  • Sample exam questions
  • Mock exams

Adaptive learning

Our online curriculum is an immersive experience using mechanics and motivational techniques, so candidates actually enjoy the learning journey. Plus, we deliver game-changing analytics on what aspects of the curriculum candidates do or do not understand

Benefits of studying online

  • Ensures that you can build your study timetable around your existing busy work schedule.
  • Each module allows you to check your understanding of the content by completing the ‘knowledge check’.
  • Support is available from RBA International staff via email at any stage throughout the programme.

2020 examination periods for all exams

  • 24th February 2020 – 06 March 2020
  • 08th June 2020 – 19 June 2020
  • 26th August 2020 – 06 September 2020
  • 18th November 2020 – 02 December 2020

Awarding Organisation

Norman Gealy chairs the RBA Awarding Organisation. He worked at US based The Psychological Corporation and City and Guilds in the UK, before setting up an independent consultancy. He worked directly for the UK Government to help develop the framework by which all English qualifications were regulated from. He continues to help develop new qualifications and policies.

Nigel Harper is a professionally qualified banking director with direct responsibility and experience of lending, risk management, compliance and corporate governance. In 2009, he joined HM Revenue & Customs as their Specialist Retail Banking Adviser. Nigel is a former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB). He has tutored the CIB BSc (Hons) subjects and lectured for the HMRC as part of a Tax Academy.

Kevin Garforth has worked in retail banking and financial services for over 35 years. Since 2011 Kevin has run his own financial services and banking consultancy business, KGG Consulting Limited. Clients of the business have included several of the new start challenger banks in the UK, specialist accountancy firms and an accredited body of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Heward Simpson is a qualified Chartered Accountant and spent several years working in the telecommunications and food sector industries. Heward conducted several World Bank projects as an expert in syllabus and assessment design. He now works as an independent educational consultant.

David J Cavell is a senior banker and member of the General Management team during the highly successful 1990s transformation of the UK Cooperative Bank. He has researched and written many collections of international case studies on related innovation. He is a member of the General Assembly of the University of Manchester and an adviser to the UK Forum of Private Business (SMEs).

RBA Membership

RBA Membership will send a powerful message to your customers, colleagues and the regulators that you are committed to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in your work.

It will also provide you with an unmatched international network of fellow professionals and an unparalleled research resource that you can access at any time.

RBA membership benefits include:

International Network of Fellow Professionals

International Network of Fellow Professionals

RBA Membership Designation Pin

RBA Membership Designation Pin

Continuing Professional Development Opportunities

Continuing Professional Development Opportunities

Careers Development Advice

Careers Development Advice

Unparalled Research Resource

Unparalled Research Resource (CPD Portal)

RBA Membership Directory

RBA Membership Directory

RBA Membership offers 3 levels of Membership to successful RBA International candidates:

  • Affiliate
  • Associate
  • Certified.

Certified members of good standing who have completed RBA International Continuing Professional Development Programme and for a minimum of five years will be invited to become Fellows

For more information on the blended learning fees (which includes a classroom learning component), please email us

Retail bankers enrolled on RBA International programmes have come from the following organisations:

  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
  • Access Bank
  • Agricultural Development Bank
  • Ahli Bank of Kuwait
  • Al Ahli Bank
  • Al Rajhi Bank
  • Al Hilal Bank
  • AmBank
  • AmericanExpress
  • ANZ Bank
  • Arab African International Bank
  • Arab Investment Bank
  • BancABC
  • Bank Audi
  • Bank Boubyan
  • Bank Mandiri
  • Bank of Alexandria
  • Bank of the Bahamas
  • Banner Bank
  • Barclays Africa
  • Barclays Bank
  • BIDV
  • CBA Group
  • Chase Bank
  • China Everbright Bank
  • China Foreign Exchange Trading Centre
  • CIMB Bank
  • Commercial Bank of Africa
  • Commercial Bank International
  • Co-operative Bank of Kenya
  • Credit Europe Bank
  • Deloitte Advisory
  • DFCU Group
  • Diamond Bank
  • Ecobank Transnational
  • Enterprise Bank
  • Erste Bank
  • Fidelity Bank
  • First Bank of Nigeria
  • First City Monument Bank
  • Guaranty Trust Bank
  • HSBC
  • ING
  • Invest Bank
  • Keystone Bank
  • Lloyds
  • National Australia Bank
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi
  • National Bank of Canada
  • National Bank of Egypt
  • National Bank of Kuwait
  • NIC Bank
  • OCBC Bank
  • Post Office UK
  • Raiffeisen Bank
  • RAK Bank
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Saman Bank
  • Santander UK
  • Saudi Investment Bank
  • Skye Bank
  • SNS Bank
  • Société Générale
  • Standard Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Sterling Bank
  • The United Bank
  • Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia
  • Unibank
  • United Bank for Africa
  • United Overseas Bank
  • Union National Bank
  • Vietcombank
  • Visa Inc
  • Woolworths Financial Services
  • Xac Bank