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140 years of changing lives

23 May, 2019Alex Fraser
Since we were established in 1879 well over 1.5 million people have studied with us and gone on to have successful careers in the sector.

People like Jane Hardy and Cory Knight, who both say that being involved with the Institute changed their lives.

You may know that the work of the Institute now also extends into education in schools – through our financial capability qualifications which reach around 50,000 secondary school children each year; and into higher education through our degree programmes in banking and investment.

So, for over 140 years we’ve been helping people working in the sector to advance their careers, developing the next generation of finance professionals and improving financial capability across the generations.

That’s quite an achievement for a professional institute and charity that was originally set up by just a small handful of bank workers.

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We couldn’t do it without you

Without our network of active members, students, and corporate supporters, we couldn’t have such positive impacts on so many people’s lives.

Last week we held a small celebration event to say thank you to long-standing members, supporters and staff. The event was a chance to look back on the last 140 years but also to look forward to the future challenges and opportunities we all face in the finance sector.

For the event we were fortunate to be able to gather an extremely interesting collection of artefacts from banks including HSBC, Lloyds, Hoare & Co, and The Bank of England. You’ll be able to go on a virtual tour of the exhibition in a few weeks, so watch this space!

Of course, things have changed – almost continuously – over the last 140 years. Bank workers no longer spend their time behind a counter in a bank, counting out cash. They are more likely to help customers via webchat and Skype than face-to-face, and cash is now a small element in a fast-changing payments landscape.  So, people working in banking now have to be digitally literate and customer-focused. They must be able to provide expert, professional help across any of the numerous channels their customers might choose to use.

Our qualifications and courses have evolved to reflect that – supporting people who not only work in the changing world of banking, but also in regulated advice, investment, trade finance, and payments, both in the UK and abroad.

We strive to ensure our qualifications are accessible to all and we proactively reach out to people from all backgrounds to encourage them to consider a career in finance, to improve diversity in the sector and life chances. And we continue to extend our financial capability work into vulnerable communities.

Can you help us with the next 140?

As part of our 140th anniversary activities, we’re trying to raise £140,000 to help us to continue changing lives by funding more scholarships for potential university students and expanding our community outreach work on financial capability. Any support you can give, however small, can make a big difference.

Thank you once again for your support, as it can really help to change lives.

Find out how to donate to our 140th anniversary appeal

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