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.


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 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 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.[citation needed]

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)[citation needed] 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.