About us

The London Foundation for Banking & Finance (LFBF) charitable purpose is the advancement of knowledge of and education in financial services as the Board of Governors may determine from time to time and to carry out research and publish the useful results of such research for the benefit of the public.

LFBF also recognises the highest level of professional competence by awarding chartered status to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to continued education and professional excellence.

The London Foundation for Banking & Finance is a registered charity incorporated by Royal Charter.

Our heritage

The London Foundation for Banking & Finance (LFBF) started life back in March 1879, when a group of bank workers came together to establish leadership and professional practice principles for the industry. They created the first Institute of Bankers in England and Wales to offer educational resources to anyone working in the sector.

Over the years, the organisation developed its own industry-leading qualifications to create a gold standard of banking and financial education. It also established itself as a leading voice in the banking world, providing invaluable insights into all areas of the industry and promoting the highest standards of professional competency.

140th anniversary

11 March 2019 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.


1879 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.
1987 We gained our Royal Charter and became the Chartered Institute of Bankers.
1993 We merged with the Chartered Building Societies’ Institute.
1996 We developed the first professional award linked to a university degree.
1997 Our name was changed to the Institute of Financial Services (ifs), reflecting a broadening of our services.
2006 Members agreed proposals for changes to the organisation’s corporate governance and structure. Changes to the Royal Charter were approved by the Privy Council and the organisation was renamed the ifs School of Finance.
2016 We changed our name to 'The London Institute of Banking & Finance' to reflect our broader scope across the banking and finance sector.
2019 Our 140th birthday! To celebrate we published a book, Banking on Change, launched two research centres and undertook special fundraising activities to provide more scholarships and boost our outreach work.
2023 We were renamed ‘The London Foundation for Banking & Finance (LFBF)’ to reflect our change of focus. The London Foundation for Banking & Finance is a registered charity, incorporated by Royal Charter. Shelley Doorey-Williams was appointed Chief Executive.