With nearly 150 years of experience in educating bankers and with a network in excess of 30,000 professional bankers around the globe, our Institute is proud to be regarded a leading voice of responsible and sustainable professionalism in banking.
We have four key thematic strands, which are used to develop the Institute’s thought leadership and these four themes all fall under the umbrella of our key theme, which is Responsible Banker.
Responsible banking and sustainable finance has broad and far-reaching implications to global society and to the banking and finance sector. Banks and individual bankers are major drivers in supporting and facilitating change to a greener, fairer and more sustainable future, by their support of customers, communities and society through responsible lending and inclusive, customer-centric services. In supporting and facilitating increased change towards socially purposeful finance, banks and bankers must also balance the impact and timing of their activities and decisions in the short, medium and long-term and also consider how change can provide a socially just transition for all stakeholders.
The institute recognises the challenging and fundamentally far-reaching nature of a responsible, sustainable approach to banking and seeks to follow and align with the UN Principles for Responsible Banking. We treat the Principles as a cornerstone when developing a range of content for our educational programmes.
The Principles provide a framework for positive change in banking and finance. But change is led, ultimately, by confident, well informed and professional individuals leading their organisations. The change we seek in mainstreaming responsible, sustainable finance in general, and the Principles for Responsible Banking in particular, needs to be led by increasing numbers of committed banking finance professionals.
- Professionals with an understanding of the critical role of financial services in supporting the transition to a low-carbon world are needed – as set out in the Paris Agreement.
- Professionals who understand how socially purposeful, customer-focused banking creates value for society, as well as for shareholders.
- Professionals with the knowledge and skills to be able to develop and deploy strategies, products, services and tools in their institutions that will embed the Principles for Responsible Banking.
- Developing the knowledge and skills of such individuals to support responsible, sustainable banking is what we do at the Chartered Banker Institute.
More than ever we seek to play a leading role in developing bankers’ knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviours in relation to green and sustainable banking. We believe this will be, and should be, a priority for policymakers, regulators and banks themselves in the next decade. As a growing concern to consumers, it is a priority for the Institute too and fits with our purpose, heritage and values.
The digital era we are now in is both a hugely exciting and challenging one. Advances in technology are rapidly changing the banking environment and customers’ expectations. At the Institute, we keep abreast of all the latest developments in banking and digital and data-driven innovation, and incorporate it into our qualifications and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) content. Despite everything we hear and read - about artificial intelligence, bitcoin, blockchain, fintech, digital banking, electronic trading and robo-advising; the heart of banking remains the essential human capital that our sector depends on even more than financial or technological capital.
When we think about the “Future Bankers” we not only reflect on the changing nature of the profession in the digital era, but also reflect on the skills, expertise and professional judgement that will be required by bankers of the future. We believe that highly qualified, knowledgeable, skilled, dedicated, customer-focused banking professionals will shape the future of banking, as much as the new technologies that are transforming the financial services industry, will. This will, inevitably, have an impact on the future knowledge and skills required by Chartered Bankers. Some parts of banking may become partly or fully de-skilled or be fully automated. But other aspects will require highly qualified banking professionals, skilled in credit, risk, banking operations, regulation, technology, sustainable finance and, of course, able to apply professional and ethical judgement shaped by their expertise, experience, and commitment to the professional values set out in the Chartered Banker Code of Professional Conduct. In fact, in an era when bankers are ever more disintermediated from customers, and when both customers and money are data points rather than individuals or tangible coins and notes, it can be argued that a professional ethos has an even more important role to play.
Responsibility lies in the heart of ethics. To be responsible, we must be aware of the situation we find ourselves in, understand it fully, and enough control to allow us to shape outcomes. Ethics and responsibility are compatible with banking; indeed, they define how the service should be delivered. Ethical bankers are core to banking and how it operates. The Institute is one of only a few bodies to bring together ethics and digital banking – we can inform and frame the debate.