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Frequently Asked Questions


In 2015 ifs University College carried out a comprehensive strategic review. One of the key recommendations of the review was to introduce a new name that better reflects the activities and nature of the organisation, is aligned to its new vision and strategy and that speaks to the breadth and uniqueness of our provision in both academic and professional financial education. Find out more about the rationale for the name change.

As a university college with taught degree-awarding powers, changing our name required consent from the Department of Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) and ultimate approval from the Privy Council. Before making the application to change our name we were required to consult with potentially interested parties.

The name of the organisation officially changed on 15 September 2016.

As part of our strategy review we gathered insight and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders via focus groups, interviews and surveys. This feedback has been integral to the development of our new strategy and vision and to our decision to change our name. As part of the process of applying to change our name we also consulted widely.

No, our status as a university college is unchanged. Our taught degree awarding powers remain in place and not having the words “university college” in our name does not have any effect on the fact that we have university college “status”, having met all of the criteria required by the UK Government for that title.

When we gained university college title it was decided to offer certain specialist professional qualifications and membership under the ‘Institute of Financial Services’ as it was felt that this was a more relevant name for these programmes and services. One of the key criteria when considering our new title was to find a name that was appropriate for the entirety of our provision. All of our qualifications and professional services are now offered under the London Institute of Banking & Finance name.

Not at all – we remain committed to supporting financial services organisations and professionals wherever they are in the UK and the world. Adding London to our name is not a signifier that we are narrowing our focus but is instead intended to reflect our deep rooted connection to the financial services sector and our location in the heart of the UK’s financial centre.

The new name has no bearing on the organisation’s legal status. It remains a not-for-profit educational charity incorporated by Royal Charter.

As part of our strategic review we spoke to financial services employers, students and alumni. One of the key findings of this research was the need for a name that provides instant recognition to stakeholders as to the nature of our organisation, our dedication to financial services subjects and our role in developing the next generation of financial services professionals and leaders.

Our programmes are already recognised by financial services employers across the world but we believe that the new name will help to raise our profile further. It will assist employers who use our programmes for staff development to more easily demonstrate the investment they make in professional education and make the development that our professional students have undertaken instantly recognisable. This in turn will also assist our students who are at the beginning of their careers or who aspire to roles in the sector in that the qualifications they hold will be even more widely recognised and regarded than they are already. 

All of our programmes are constantly reviewed for relevance and currency but the change of name will not in itself give cause for any programmes to be changed.

The London Institute of Banking & Financewill of course continue the organisation’s long track record of innovation in financial services education by seeking to develop new programmes that meet the needs of those working in or aspiring to work in financial services and related sectors.

A major aspect of our strategy is to launch a new suite of professional qualifications, informed by the requirements of both employers and existing and aspirant financial services employees. The new offer provides highly relevant and focused learning, delivered in a flexible and dynamic fashion. It will help organisations develop their staff to support their business objectives and professionals develop the knowledge and skills they need to get ahead in a highly competitive sector. 

We wrote to all of our students, members and alumni in June 2016 to inform them about our impending change of name.  We have also publicised our new name, vision and strategy more widely and specifically within the banking and finance sector. We aim to ensure that any organisation and individual who has an interest in financial education is aware of the new name, understands our background and recognises the value of our programmes and the calibre of our students.

As of 15 September 2016 all SPS and CPAs are issued by The London Institute of Banking & Finance. For a limited time, SPS and CPA certificates will carry a reference to link the new and old names.

All SPS and CPAs awarded by the Institute of Financial Services will still remain valid up until their expiry date. 

Students FAQs

No. The programme you are studying will not be changed in any way as a result of the new name.

This will depend on when you complete your qualification. Further details about the implications of the name change for our current students can be found on the following pages: 

Full-time undergraduate degree students

Part-time undergraduate and post-graduate degree students

Specialist and regulated advice qualification students

Centres delivering ifs Financial Capability qualifications FAQs

Our provision of personal finance qualifications 14-19 year olds and our work with schools and colleges remains a key an integral part of our strategy and vision and this is unaffected by our decision to change our name to The London Institute of Banking & Finance.

We have no plans to change the existing 14-19 year old qualifications as a result of the new name. All current students who complete their course of study in this academic year will be awarded their qualification by ifs University College. Students who undertake these qualifications from September 2016 onwards will do so under the new name.

We believe the new name makes our purpose and remit extremely clear and will enhance the understanding of education providers at all levels, employers and students as to the practical and applied nature of our programmes. We also believe that the new name will further enhance the recognition of our organisation amongst financial services employers which in turn will be of benefit to students holding our qualifications when they enter the workplace.

No. The UCAS tariff available is unaffected by the change. The Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) continues to carry equivalent UCAS points to an AS level up to A grade, with additional tariff points for an A*, while the Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) carries equivalent UCAS points to a full A level up to A* grade for students applying to higher education institutions.

Alumni FAQs

All awards previously made by ifs University College, Institute of Financial Services or under any other name remain valid and will continue to be recognised by employers and other educational institutions.

No. Only new students or those who complete their studies after 15 September 2016 will be awarded a qualification under the new name but the value and status of ifs University College awards is unchanged.

ifs University College qualifications have been taken by many thousands of students and as such will continue to be recognised and revered by employers and other education institutions the world over.

Members FAQs

Yes. One of the key criteria when considering our new title was to find a name that was appropriate for the entirety of our provision- including our Membership and professional services. Feedback from members during our strategy review was considered and we believe the new name is appropriate for a body with a remit to support professionalism and high standards in the sector. Offering membership and education under the same name will undoubtedly enhance the value, power and recognition of both.

Find out more about the impact of the name change for Members.

We hope you found the above useful. If you have any further questions please contact us and we will be delighted to help you. Alternatively you might wish to visit the student information pages.