Our history

In March 1879, a small group of bank workers came together, united by a commitment to provide leadership on banking practice that would be available to everyone working in the sector. They set up the first Institute of Bankers in England and Wales.

They organised networking meetings, lectures and other educational resources to help bank workers develop their knowledge. They established formal qualifications – recognised by the industry – and helped workers develop their careers. The Institute quickly became central to the banking community in England and Wales, and its influence spread around the world.



The Institute of Bankers was established with 1,000 members from all over the country, as well as members in foreign and other overseas banks. By the end of the year we had 2,000 members.


We gained our Royal Charter and became the Chartered Institute of Bankers.


We merged with the Chartered Building Societies’ Institute.


We developed the first professional award linked to a university degree.


Our name was changed to the Institute of Financial Services (IFS), reflecting a broadening of our services. The Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) was introduced – the first qualification for UK mortgage professionals.


The Institute of Financial Services became the first educational body in the sector to provide electronic assessment for its regulatory qualifications.


We gained Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) and established full-time degree programmes at our City of London campus. We also enhanced our professional qualifications and financial capability awards.


We were granted University College title and became ifs University College. Our university campus was opened at Lovat Lane in London for full-time students.


We changed our name to 'The London Institute of Banking & Finance' and opened the Henry Grunfeld Library at our campus in Lovat Lane.


We became an approved apprenticeship training provider and launched our first degree-level apprenticeship programme for the banking industry.


On 11 March 2019, we marked our 140th anniversary and kicked off a year of celebrations – with activities including a gala event, the publication of our third book, Banking on Change, and fundraising.

To celebrate WE published a book, Banking on Change and, launched two research centres.


The Covid-19 pandemic affected everyone around the globe in different ways. For LIBF it prompted a more rapid shift to providing more digital services, including remote invigilation for exams, and providing more digital content including webinars, podcasts and videos.


We launched our new Centre for Governance, Risk and Regulation with an international network of experts and practitioners to offer training and thought leadership.


In 2023, the educational activities of The London Institute of Banking & Finance were acquired by the IU Group. LIBF’s education and training activities now continue under a new wholly owned UK subsidiary of IU Group – LIBF Limited – trading as 'The London Institute of Banking & Finance' and 'LIBF'. LIBF Limited is an accredited and awarding body, providing professional qualifications, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and qualifications at Levels 1, 2 and 3. LIBF’s charitable object, and the awarding of chartered status, continued independently as a renamed charity – The London Foundation for Banking & Finance (LFBF).

Contact us about our online degrees

If you have any queries about how to apply for our online degrees, or anything else, please contact our Study Advisors.

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 8.00pm GMT.