Westport based banking academy has programme accredited for the UK

The International Academy of Retail Banking (IARB ), whose research and content division is based in Westport, Co Mayo, has announced that its Certified International Retail Banker (CIRB ) qualification has been accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute of the UK, the oldest banking educational institute in the world. The IARB opened in Westport just over one year ago and currently employs 13 people in the town. A chief executive is currently being recruited. It intends to create around 40 jobs over the next three years, with the support of IDA Ireland.

It is a business of the Lafferty Group, a London-based banking education, research, and publishing company established some 30 years ago by Roscommon native Michael Lafferty.

The IARB has clients in more than 20 countries. During 2013 academic programmes were held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt – as well as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the UK. The CIRB qualification will be awarded to retail bankers who pass the three professional examinations of the International Academy of Retail Banking. The academy, which was founded in London in 2011, aims to develop retail banking as a profession similar to accountancy. Apart from passing professional examinations, its membership rules require CIRBs to follow a demanding code of ethics, and to undertake continuing professional education in order to maintain their membership status.

“We have developed the academy curriculum in response to the needs of retail banks around the world. It sets a challenging standard and we are very proud that it has now been accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute,” commented Michael Lafferty, co-chairman of the Academy.

Simon Thompson, chief executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, added: “CBI is pleased to accredit the Certified International Retail Banker qualification and looks forward to a long and successful partnership with the academy. We endorse IARB’s mission to make retail banking a recognised client oriented profession.”

To date some 3,000 retail bankers from more than 60 countries have embarked on the academy programmes. Already, more than 40 banks have supported the mission of making retail banking a recognised profession. These include Ecobank, ING Bank, Maybank, Nedbank, Royal Bank of Canada, and Standard Chartered Bank.

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