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Data Protection Notice


The Institute of Bankers in Ireland (trading as IOB) takes privacy and the protection of our customer, affiliate, member, student and designate data very seriously. In this notice, we explain how we collect your personal information, how we use it and how you can interact with us about it.

Who are we?

When we talk about “IOB”, or “us” or “we” in this notice, we are talking about IOB.

Data Protection Officer

Our Data Protection Officer oversees how we collect, use, share and protect your information to ensure your rights are fulfilled. You may contact our Data Protection Officer at [email protected] or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, IOB, 1 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.

How we collect information about you

We collect personal information from you, for example when you become a member; or a customer in order to create an account on IOB Learn; register to an educational programme; apply for information on our products and services; apply for a designation/CPD scheme or express an interest in one of our programmes or a programme offered in association with one of our educational partners. We also collect information through our websites, web-conferencing, social media, the IOB Learn application, CCTV footage and through communication between you and IOB by telephone, email and chat (for example, when you call to make enquiries about a course or when you are raising concerns or queries). We will sometimes record phone conversations and we will always let you know when we do this.   We may also obtain your personal data from third parties, for example:  

  • Information provided by your employer or representative acting on your behalf 

  • Information from or required from a funding body (e.g. Springboard, IFS Skillnet) 

  • Information about you provided by referees you have nominated 

  • Issuing authorities of documents you have submitted as proof of qualifications (e.g. verification of your degree by your previous university)  Our websites use ‘cookie’ technology. A cookie is a little piece of text that our server places on your device when you visit any of our websites or applications. They help us make the sites work better for you. When you apply to us for products and services and during the time you avail of these, we may verify your identity. We may do this by sending and receiving information about you, to and from third parties including your employer.

Cookie technology is also used on the IOB Learn application by EdCast, which operates the IOB Learn application on our behalf. EdCast is responsible for cookies on IOB Learn and you may consult the cookies policy on for further details.

Cookie technology is also used on the Chat & Help Centre application by Intercom, which operates the Chat & Help Centre application on our behalf. Intercom is responsible for cookies on Chat & Help Centre and you may consult the cookies policy on for further details.

Information we collect about you 

IOB collects personal data relating to you in order to provide our services to you. 

The types of personal data processed by IOB may include (depending on the context of the service being provided to you) but are not limited to: 

  • Customer number – generated when an IOB account is created for you 

  • Unique personal identifiers and biographical Information, such as student number, name, title, date of birth, country of birth, nationality 

  • Your contact details includingresidential and employer addresses, mobile phone number, email address(es) 

  • PPS number 

  • Employer details 

  • Details of previous examination results and qualifications awarded 

  • Schools/colleges attendance records 

  • Bank details, including IBAN, BIC, Name of bank/building society 

  • Credit card details (processed by our payment provider) 

  • Information to provide student support services such as career guidance, where applicable 

  • Image in digital photograph for ID cards 

  • Image as part of online examination/assessment processes as part of online invigilation  

IOB may in some cases process “special category data”, for example, health data, where relevant to applications for support, extenuating circumstances relating to examinations or pro-rata adjustments relating to designations, disability information (for example, where needed for the provision of student support services). 

How we keep your information safe

We use technical and organisational measures to protect your personal information from unauthorised access, to maintain data accuracy and to help ensure the appropriate use of your personal information. These security measures include encryption of your personal information, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, 24/7 physical protection of facilities where your personal information is stored, background checks for personnel that access physical facilities, and strong security procedures across all service operations. We use strong encryption algorithms for the transmission and storage of your information. When you contact us to ask about your information, we may ask you to identify yourself. This is to help protect your information.

How long we keep your information for

How long we hold your information depends on the nature of the information and the purposes for which it is processed. We determine appropriate retention periods which meet our academic, legal and regulatory obligations. We hold your information while you are a member, affiliate member, customer, student or designate and for a period of time after that. We do not hold it for longer than necessary. If the purpose for which the information was obtained has ceased and the personal information is no longer required, the personal data will be deleted or anonymised (i.e. all identifying characteristics are removed).

Meeting our academic, legal and regulatory obligations

To meet our academic, regulatory and legal obligations, we collect some of your personal information, verify it, keep it up-to-date through regular checks, and delete it once we no longer have to keep it. We may also gather information about you from third parties to help us meet our obligations. If you do not provide the information we need, or help us keep it up-to-date, we may not be able to provide you with our products and services.

To use your information lawfully, we rely on one or more of the following legal bases:

  • your consent;

  • necessary for the performance of a contract with you;

  • necessary for compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. "Minimum Competency Code", "Fitness & Probity", Universities Act 1997);

  • necessary to protect the vital interests of you or others;

  • necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest; or

  • necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests, including to pursue our goals and promote our services, or the legitimate interests of a third party (e.g. your employer). We will not process your personal data for these purposes if to do so would constitute an unwarranted interference with your own interests, rights and freedoms.


Sometimes we need your explicit consent to use your personal information. When we use sensitive personal information about you, such as health data, for example when you request a maternity leave pro-rata adjustment, we may ask for your consent. Before you give your consent, we tell you what information we collect and what we use it for. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us.

Direct Marketing

We would like to make you aware of products and services which may be of interest to you. We may do this by phone, post, email, text or through other digital media. You can decide how much direct marketing you want to accept when you apply for new products and services. You can make changes to your marketing preferences at any time via "Member Resources > My Details" section on IOB Learn or by contacting us directly at: Phone: + 353 1 6116500, Email: [email protected]

How we use your information

We use information about you to:

  • process and administer your membership, programme registrations and designations/CPD;

  • create your account on IOB Learn, add you to channels we think will be of interest to you, send you notifications via IOB Learn (if notifications are enabled) and otherwise facilitate your use of IOB Learn in accordance with our Terms and Conditions (available here:;

  • organise events, conferences and webinars;

  • track your professional development in respect of your stated professional goals;

  • give you access to on-going learning and networking opportunities including career support;

  • ensure we provide you with the best service possible, including customer support for any technical issues you may experience accessing our websites or IOB Learn;

  • manage your fees;

  • administer the relationship with any of your funders or sponsors; 

  • administer assessment processes , specifically online processes;  

  • provide other operational supports;

  • provide and promote information on our membership, education, designation and continuing professional development services;

  • safeguard and promote the welfare of members;

  • carry out surveys and statistical analysis;

  • respond to your enquiries or complaints;

  • confirm details relating to you to your employer, where they have a legitimate interest in providing or receiving those details;

  • confirming details relating to you to other professional education partners or professional standards bodies (e.g. European Financial Planning Association (EFPA)), where there is a legitimate interest in sending those details;

  • provide reference requests subject to your consent;

  • tailor communications to make them relevant to any preferences that you have demonstrated;

  • prevent unauthorised access to your information;

  • meet our legal and regulatory obligations;

  • establishing, exercising or defending legal claims; and

  • identify ways we can improve our products and services to you.

To provide our products and services under the terms and conditions we agree between us, we need to collect and use personal information about you. If you do not provide this personal information, we may not be able to provide you with our products and services.

Your information and third parties

Sometimes we process and share your information with trusted third parties. For example, we share information with:

  • service providers (e.g. assessment facilitators, printers, auditors, legal advisors and other professional advisors);

  • educational and funding partners (e.g. UCD, Higher Education Authority (HEA), IFS Skillnet, The Central Bank of Ireland) or professional standards bodies (e.g. EFPA);

  • event organisation partners (e.g. IQEQ, Compliance Institute in relation to event registration and attendance);

  • employers (e.g. to confirm details regarding designations, CPD schemes or programme participation, or to inform your employer where a designation is removed including due to membership default or resignation);

  • other legal and regulatory bodies (e.g. The Central Bank of Ireland);

  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and information security providers.

Some of our educational partners are "joint" data controllers with IOB and jointly process your data in the delivery of specific educational and/or designation services which are provided to you.

These include:

University College Dublin (UCD) in the delivery of accredited programmes and qualifications (please refer to for more information on how UCD processes your data).

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) (please refer to for more information on how the HEA processes your data).

Springboard for programmes where external funding of your programme is relevant (please refer to for more information on how Springboard processes your data).

The European Financial Planning Association (EFPA) where EFPA certification is maintained for QFAs (Qualified Financial Adviser designates) (please refer to for more information on how EFPA processes your data).

The Compliance Institute in respect of the operation, administration, management and auditing of the Continued Professional Development (CPD) underpinning Compliance Institute designations (please refer to for more information on how the Compliance Institute processes your data ).

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) for specific CBI related programmes (please refer to for more information on how CBI processes your data).

The Chartered Banker Institute for maintaining the Chartered Banker designation (please refer to for more information on how the Chartered Banker Institute processes your data).

We may also share information with third parties to meet any applicable law, regulation or lawful request, including with law enforcement agencies, which may be either in or outside Ireland or to deal with any claim or dispute that may arise.

We expect these third parties to have the same levels of information protection that we have. In some cases we share information via systems that we control and where we do this, we require the third party recipients to comply with appropriate terms and conditions that govern access to those systems.

Your personal information rights

When your personal information is handled by IOB in relation to a product or service, you are entitled to rely on a number of rights. These rights allow you to exercise control over the way in which your personal information is processed, subject to applicable exemptions.

For example, we may help you in:

Accessing your personal information: You can ask us for a copy of the personal information we hold about you.

Correcting and Updating your personal information: If you believe that any personal information we hold about you is inaccurate or out of date, you can look for the information to be corrected at any time.

Withdrawing consent: You can change your mind wherever you give us your consent, such as for direct marketing, or using your sensitive information, such as medical or biometric data.

Restricting our use of your personal information: You have the right to restrict our use of your personal information in certain circumstances, such as where our use of it is not compliant with applicable law.

Objecting to our use of your personal information: You have the right to object to us using your personal information, where we are doing so based on this being necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or for the purposes of a legitimate interest. Where you exercise this right to object, we will be obliged to stop using your personal information in that way, unless there are compelling legitimate grounds for us to continue to do so, despite your objection.

Not to be subject to automated decision making: You have a right (subject to limited exceptions) not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing of information, including profiling, which produced significant legal effects concerning you or otherwise significantly affects you.

Deleting your information (your right to be forgotten): You may ask us to delete your personal information.

Moving your information in electronic form (your right to Portability): You may request (in certain cases) that your personal information is transferred to you or another organisation in digital form.

How to exercise your rights

You may execute any of these rights free of charge. You may do so by contacting us:

Phone: + 353 1 6116500 Email: [email protected]

When you contact us to ask about your information, we may ask you to identify yourself. This is to help protect your information. Once we are satisfied that we have effectively verified your identity, we will respond to the majority of requests without undue delay and within a one month period (i.e. 30 calendar days) of receipt of the request. IOB will action your request to have your personal information corrected within 10 calendar days. These periods may be extended in exceptional circumstances and we will inform you where the extended period applies to you along with an explanation of the reasons for the extension.

International transfers of data

We sometimes need to share your information with organisations which are located or who undertake processing outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to help us provide you with our products and services. Some educational programmes/partners, for example, are provided/located outside the EEA. This may mean that some personal information may be processed in countries such as India, Singapore or the United States. We expect the same standard of data protection is applied outside of the EEA to these transfers and the use of the information, to ensure your rights are protected and will only transfer personal information to a country or territory outside of the EEA: (a) if that country provides an adequate level of protection for personal information as set down by the European Commission or (b) where the transfer is made under a legally binding agreement which covers the EU requirements for the transfer of personal information to recipients outside of the EEA, such as the model contractual clauses approved for this purpose by the European Commission, or (c) where there is an alternative basis for engaging in the transfer that is compliant with applicable laws. For more information about the European Commission’s decisions on the adequacy of the protection of personal information in countries outside the EEA, please visit:

For more information about IOB’s arrangement regarding transfers of personal information outside EEA you can contact us by phone or email via the details set out below.  

Making a complaint

If you have a complaint about the use of your personal information, please let a member of staff know, giving them the opportunity to correct things as quickly as possible. If you wish to make a complaint you may do so in writing and by email [email protected]. Please be assured that all complaints received will be fully investigated. We ask that you supply as much information as possible to help our staff resolve your complaint quickly.

You may also contact the Data Protection Commission in Ireland to lodge a complaint (details below).

Data Protection Commission 21 Fitzwilliam South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28 Web:

Data Protection Policy

IOB, as a provider of Professional Education, CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and Membership Services to the financial services sector in Ireland and beyond, processes personal data for a variety of purposes relating to its members, employees, service providers and other third-parties involved with the organisation. IOB is therefore a data controller, and in some cases a data processor, and is subject to data protection legislation and regulation. IOB's Data Protection policy (available here) sets out data protection requirements which must be complied with by anyone who processes personal data for or on behalf of IOB.

Updates to this notice and policy

We keep this notice and policy under regular review and will make changes from time-to-time, particularly when we change how we use your information, and change our technology and products or services. We will inform you of material changes to the contents of this Data Protection Notice, through a notification posted on our website or through other communication channels.

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Bachelor of Financial Services (BFS)

Apply now to commence studies in June 2024
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Express an interest
  • Duration
  • 3 to 4 years
  • Programme
  • 10 modules
  • Study
  • Part-time, online
  • Fees
  • From €350 p/module
  • Level
  • NFQ 8, 180 ECTS
  • At a glance

    The Bachelor of Financial Services (BFS) Degree programme addresses the educational needs of those who wish to develop management and senior management careers in financial services. The BFS provides those who work in banking with an ideal opportunity to acquire a level 8 University degree, which is recognised and supported by the financial services industry.

    Awarding Body

    University College Dublin

    While providing a broad business foundation, this programme also examines contemporary issues of importance to the financial services industry. A key feature of this programme is that it merges academic knowledge with relevant professional skills and has been developed by both industry and academic subject leaders. Different modules involve various delivery approaches from a combination of eLearning and workshops to full days of lectures.

    Who is this programme for?

    The BFS is designed with those working full-time in mind, and is flexible so that candidates can continue to pursue their career goals while studying.

    How will you benefit

    Upon successful completion of the BFS degree graduates are expected to be able to;

    • Broaden and deepen their technical understanding of the main activities in banking and associated risks

    • Develop a highly marketable and transferable skill set, including decision-making, problem-solving, communication and analytic skills

    • Enhance their critical awareness and understanding of the contemporary issues in financial services

    • Apply concepts and techniques to evaluate complex business problems to aid decision-making

    • Develop and critically evaluate strategy and the sustainability of business models in banking and financial services

    • Integrate learning into professional practice to take responsibility for personal and professional development.

    Continuous Professional Development

    If you hold an IOB designation or a designation managed by IOB, CPD hours may be awarded on successful completion of this programme.




    Combination of continuous assessment and written exams.


    View the Programme Curruiculum


    When you successfully complete this programme, you will be awarded Bachelor of Financial Services from UCD.

    This is a level 8 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.


    Stage 1

    • From €350 per module

    Stage 2

    • From €520 per module

    Stage 3

    • From €625 per module

    *Core textbooks are not included in your registration fee and must be purchased separately. The Programme Manager will provide details of the required core textbooks before each module commences.

    Next intake

    Summer Trimester

    Closing date

    24 May 2024


    For more information please contact [email protected]

    Modules and learning outcomes

    Stage 1: Complete 6 core modules below, plus 5/6 of the optional modules below (ensuring you attain 30 ECTS credits).


    QFA Regulation

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Identify the different forms of Regulation relating to financial service providers.

    Identify the main regulatory bodies in Ireland and their functions.

    Discuss the range of regulatory rules that apply to intermediaries and/or product providers in their dealings with clients.

    Describe the impact of legislation relating to consumer protection, money laundering, distance marketing, data protection & privacy, Investor compensation, unfair terms in consumer contracts and tax evasion.

    Explain the functions and powers of the Financial Services Ombudsman and the Pension Ombudsman.

    Specific areas covered:

    Why financial service providers are regulated


    Minimum Competency Code

    Consumer Protection Code


    Data protection

    Anti-money laundering.

    QFA Loans

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Describe the personal financial need for a loan, and the different ways in which such a need can be met by different types of loans and consumer credit on offer.

    Explain the features, benefits, limitations, security requirements and taxation treatment of consumer loans and credit arrangements, and their associated insurances.

    Discuss and demonstrate the impact of regulation on the provision of housing loans and different forms of consumer credit.

    Detail the steps and documentation involved in obtaining a housing loan and evaluate and recommend an appropriate housing loan option from those on offer.

    Identify the issues and processes involved in debt restructuring and equity release and describe the process and protocols to be adopted for the recovery of loan arrears.

    Specific areas covered:

    Types of housing loans

    Central bank requirements


    Loan application

    Housing loan insurances


    Consumer credit.

    QFA Investment

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Discuss the operation of the financial services markets and the impact of government economic and monetary policy on Investments.

    Describe the features, benefits, limitations and risks associated with the different classes of investment assets available within the industry.

    Identify and discuss the basic investment principles.

    Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of investments required to effectively advise clients.

    Specific areas covered:


    Asset classes




    Collective investment schemes

    Unit-linked savings


    QFA Pensions

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Explain the need for retirement provision.

    Describe the taxation, legislation and regulatory framework for pensions.

    Identify the features, benefits and risks of pension product options available to clients.

    Display the skills and competencies required to effectively advise clients in all areas of Pensions.

    Specific areas covered:

    State pensions

    Personal pension plans

    Employer pension schemes




    Quantifying pension needs


    Regulatory bodies.

    QFA Life Assurance

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Describe the main life assurance needs of the consumer at all life stages.

    Explain the main features, benefits, limitations, and risks of different types of life protection policies.

    Detail the issues involved in starting a policy and in paying out benefits.

    Identify the constituents in a valid will and know the impact of the Succession Act.

    Discuss financial mathematics principles that underpin personal life assurance and pension products and perform related calculations.

    Specific areas covered:

    Why protection is needed

    Term assurances

    Income protection

    Serious illness

    Business insurances

    Estate planning

    Unit-linked savings and bonds

    Quantifying protection needs


    QFA Financial Planning

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Analyse and appraise a clients’ financial needs and attitude to risk.

    Critically evaluate different financial products offerings and assess their relevance in structuring a financial portfolio that fulfils your clients’ needs.

    Make an investment recommendation for a client on the basis of having assessed their needs, attitude to risk and match these against product offerings.

    Prepare a detailed client financial review with regard to their life stage, personal circumstances, needs and attitude to risk.

    Specific areas covered:

    Providing advice to consumers

    Consumer reviews

    Suitability statements

    Recap on retail financial products

    Taxation issues.

    Optional: (all 5 ECTS)

    Stock Exchange Regulatory Environment

    (NFQ level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Outline the rules of the Irish Stock Exchange.

    Describe the main pieces of legislation that constitute the regulatory environment in which a stock broking firm operates in, e.g. Insider Dealing, Prospectus Directive, MiFID etc. Explain the role and functions of statutory bodies and persons in the regulatory environment, e.g. Financial Regulator, ODCE etc. Describe in general terms the various instruments traded and settled on the Irish Stock Exchange.

    Stock Exchange Securities and Markets

    (NFQ level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Describe the features and characteristics of various instruments traded on exchanges, e.g. equities, bonds, money market and derivative instruments.

    Explain the issuance process, settlement process and trade reporting requirements employed for the main categories of instruments traded on an exchange.

    Outline the process to assess a client’s needs from both a private client and institutional client perspective.

    Describe the operation and compute simple calculations for the following taxation regimes in Ireland; Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Capital Acquisition Tax and Corporation Tax.

    Explain the general accounting principles and the purpose of the primary statements in Financial Reporting.

    Calculate the main accounting ratios and explain their significance.

    PDC 1 - Compliance and the Regulatory Structure

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Compliance is an established function in financial services organisations and is recognised by regulators as an essential part of the control infrastructure. This module looks at the role of the Compliance function in financial services. It presents the role of the Central Bank of Ireland and describes how financial services are regulated both in Ireland and internationally. It also focuses on ethics and fiduciary relationships and outlines the legal environment that applies to financial services.

    PDC 2 - Conduct of Business Rules

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    This module considers the significant increase in the complexity and volume of the regulation underpinning compliance procedures. It also explores consumer protection legislation such as the Consumer Credit Act, the Consumer Protection Code, along with the Markets in Financial Markets Directive (MiFID). The module considers Data Protection regulations and the impact of these on financial services organisations. It also considers Financial Crime including Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing and the Compliance professional’s role in these areas. The module aims to assist students in developing a best-practice approach to counteracting, hindering and ultimately safeguarding individuals and corporations from fraud in the financial system

    PDC 3 Legal & Regulatory Aspects of Compliance

    (NFQ level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Assess the authorisation, supervision and prudential requirements for various financial entities Describe the legal environment which applies to financial services and outline the key principles of Company, Contract, Competition and Securities Law. Explain the nature of fiduciary relationships, and evaluate their significance in a regulatory environment

    PDC 4 Compliance Management

    (NFQ level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Appraise the concepts behind compliance practice, planning and monitoring and evaluate the broadening role of compliance and the compliance officer.

    Analyse the importance of compliance reporting and devise a regulatory relations policy in relation to inspections, themed visits and routine relations.

    Critically evaluate the importance of Ethics and Reputation in the compliance function.

    Assess the system of controls, assurance and governance in an organisation and analyse the relationship between these and compliance.

    Optional: (all 5 ECTS except Responsible and Sustainable Finance)

    Digital Risk Management (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Over the course of the module you’ll learn how to identify risk, how to apply risk  frameworks and how to mitigate digital risk. This practical module will be immediately relevant to your role as you develop a deeper understanding of trends in RiskTech, RegTech and emerging threats through analysis of real-world case studies.  The topics include:

    • Introduction to Digital Risk Management and scope and types of digital risk

    • Cyber Risk

    • Risk FrameworksM

    • Managing Digital Risk

    • RegTech

    • The Regulatory Environment

    • Operational Resilience

    Consumer Protection Risk, Culture and Ethical Behaviours

    (NFQ level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Consumer Protection Risk Assessment and Conduct Risk

    Consumer Protection Risk Management Frameworks (CPRMF). Conduct risk and conduct risk standards. Selling financial products appropriately - including outcomes. Understanding of customer experience. Drivers and causes of conduct risk. Constituents of conduct risk including behavioural economics. Relationship with the overall banking risk framework. Conduct risk appetite statements. Conduct risk policies and common metrics. Conduct risk impacts on customers, on employees, the financial institution and on markets.

    Culture and Behaviour

    Understanding the importance of culture in ensuring good customer outcomes. Indicators of an effective risk culture. Regulator expectations and reports. Roadmap for achieving desired culture. Governance arrangements around the design, monitoring, and analysis of culture MI. How culture can be assessed in organisations/culture audits. Understanding the role of group dynamics. Diversity, inclusion and its impact on decision making. Understanding the impact of biases when making compliance decisions. Understanding and embedding ‘Consumer Focus’ behaviour. Understanding the role of mind-set and sense-making on behaviours and how this is being applied in supervision of culture and behaviours. CPRA and Behavioural Economics.


    Foundational concepts of ethics, values and integrity. What it means to be ethical in financial services and how the right ethical climate supports good decision-making. What obligations does the financial services industry have to customers? What is the right thing to do?. What happens when things go wrong. How to effectively challenge and escalate.

    Digital Financial Services

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Describe the information society and explain the impact of digital technologies for economies, business, management and financial services in the medium and long term

    Outline the Information Technology elements, human inputs and processes that go into creating digital services and products

    Describe online banking from both the bank and customer perspective

    Trace how the digitisation of payments has evolved from credit and debit cards to instant online payments, digital wallets and of the emerging business landscape within the digital financial services sector

    Assess technologies, products and services in early stage development that may impact on the digital financial sector

    Introduction to Data Analytics for Financial Services

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Explain how Data Analysis and Business Intelligence are being used to modernize and drive value in financial services

    Explain the conceptual foundations of Business Intelligence and describe the project frameworks for successful delivery

    Explain how data is managed, governed and controlled at enterprise scale and how a data analyst carries out data management Apply the fundamental techniques and tools for data analysis Apply the practical skills to develop Business Intelligence report and explain how BI solutions scale to enterprise level

    Applied Data Analytics

    (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)

    Outline how Advanced Analytics is being used to modernize and drive value in financial services. Explain how basic descriptive statistics bring extra rigour and depth to data analysis.

    Draw conclusions from data using the basic techniques of inferential statistics. Use the powerful business technique of A/B testing to determine best outcomes. Explain how predictive modelling techniques are applied to solving real world problems Outline the wider set of analytical tools and how to choose the appropriate tool to solve your business problem.

    Responsible and Sustainable Finance

    (NFQ level 7, 10 ECTS)

    • Introduction to sustainable finance

    • Response to planetary change

    • Catalyst for change and eu regulatory initiatives

    • Principles of responsible banking | IFS Stream – Principles of Responsible Investment

    • Sustainable banking | IFS Stream – Sustainable Funds

    • Non-financial disclosures, climate and sustainable reporting

    • Risk management

    • Green, social and sustainable bonds

    • Implementing a culture of sustainability

    • The future path

    Stage 2: Complete the 6 core modules outlined below.

    Principles and Practices of Credit Risk Management

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    Key categories of risks to which banks are exposed with focus on credit risk.

    Basel principles for the management of credit risk.

    Bank risk appetite frameworks.

    Components of the credit risk management framework.

    Credit portfolio management and credit concentration risk.

    Credit risk appetite statements.

    Credit culture.

    The end to end credit process.

    Overview of the canons of lending.

    Credit application process.

    Bank capital.

    Risk weighted assets.

    Basel II & Basel III, Basel IV.

    Minimum Regulatory Requirements.

    Introduction to credit models.

    Impairment provisioning.

    Stress testing.

    Impairments and capital.

    Pricing for risk.

    Key Lessons from Irish banking crises, Honohan Report, Regling & Watson, Nyberg.

    Customer Experience Management

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    On completion of this module, students will be expected to be able to: Explain what is meant by CEM. Explain the key stages in the CRM process. Demonstrate an understanding of the customer relationship cycle and the implications for financial institutions. Demonstrate an understanding of what customers value in their relationship with their financial institution. Discuss the ethical conduct underpinning interactions with customers. Assess the implications of regulation on CEM practices.

    Business Economics

    This module provides students with a framework that can be used to analyse contemporary business economic issues. As a standalone economics module, the focus is on developing awareness of economic issues and their linkages to financial markets. On completion of this module, students will have:

    • Analyse a country’s macroeconomic performance using a wide range of macroeconomic data and statistics

    • Evaluate current fiscal and monetary policies in Ireland and major international trading partners elsewhere

    • Demonstrate the application of key concepts in both microeconomics and macroeconomics

    • Analyse why different market structures create differing levels of competition and business performance

    • Evaluate how businesses can leverage profitable opportunities to gain greater control over its markets and strategic rivals

    Finance and Investment Decisions

    On successful completion of this module candidates should be able to:

    • Apply Financial statement analysis and financial ratios, and their use in analysing the performance and well being of a company.

    • Value a bond and other financial assets. 

    • Apply the use of investment appraisal methods in different business decisions, including expanding the business, and international investment. 

    • Understand how derivatives including forwards, futures, and options are used for investment purposes.

    • Critically understand how the risk and return of assets and how portfolios and asset pricing models such as the CAPM can aid investments.

    • Be knowledgeable on the details for difference sources of long term and short-term financing that a firm can use. 

    • Understand whether markets are efficient and implications for market users.

    Business Management

    This module aims are to provide you with insights on management theory, thinking and practice to support the application of the knowledge and tools to manage a business or function more effectively. On successful completion of this module candidates should be able to:

    • Apply tools for analysing the business environment and assess strategic alternatives

    • Assess and recommend management approaches for effective business management.

    Operational Risk Management Practices

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    Operational risk defined. The importance of operational risk and the Probability Risk and Impact SysteM (PRISM). The differences between operational risk and other types of risk. Recent failures in operational risk. Operational risk basics. Three lines of defence. Operational risk taxonomies. Operational risk management frameworks. Risk capacity. Risk appetite statements. Risk policies. Risk pricing and capital. Risk information, Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) reporting and KRI framework. Risk assessment. Risk management and action plans. Risk modelling. Insurance mitigation.

    The practical workshop areas will include inter alia: Financial crime prevention. Anti–Money Laundering/Countering of Financing of Terrorism. Know Your Customer, Irish and UK. Anti- Corruption laws. External and internal fraud. Information security, IT resilience, cybercrime. Outsourcing. Business continuity planning. Data quality and other practical areas.

    Stage 3: Complete the 6 core modules outlined below.

    Principles and Practice of Banking

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    On completion of this module, students will be expected to be able to: 

    • Apply their understanding of theories and core principles underpinning banking in a real-world context

    • Identify the range of risk banks are exposed to and be able to evaluate and implement risk-mitigation strategies

    • Critically evaluate the transmission of banking risks and the wider societal implications

    • Critically reflect upon their professional practice and their role and contribution within the banking profession.

    SME Credit Risk Assessment

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    On completion of this module, students will be expected to be able to: Describe and explain the main features, characteristics of SMEs and various legal trading entities available to SMEs in Ireland and the features of the main sectors in which SMEs operate. Describe and discuss the features and characteristics of the main types of security for SME lending. Use a framework for SME credit analysis (adhering to the canons of lending to undertake a complete credit assessment of an SME credit proposal, including detailed financial analysis of financial accounts including sensitivity analysis, repayment capacity, security analysis, and an analysis of the business’ competitive position, its management and its core competences to form a judgement of whether to approve, defer or decline the request. Prepare and interpret Cash Flow Statements. Explain working capital management and its importance to an enterprise’s profitability and liquidity. Communicate clearly to pertinent stakeholders (internal and external) the bank’s credit policy and requirements for SME’s.

    Digital Product Management in Financial Services (10 ECTS)

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

    Demonstrate an appreciation of the ways in which digital product management drives digital transformation in financial services

    Appreciate the roles and responsibilities of digital product managers and their teams

    Understand the importance of digital products and services in financial services competitiveness, strategy and risk

    Understand key trends associated with the ways that data and intelligence drive financial services Product and Service Development

    Critically reflect upon your own professional role and contribution to financial organisations in the context of the application of digital technologies and systems.

    SME Financing and Distressed Credit Analysis

    (NFQ Level 8, 10 ECTS)

    • Traditional banking facilities for SME borrowers

    • Alternative sources of finance for SMEs

    • Start-up business lending

    • Agricultural lending

    • Property lending

    • Conducting the borrower loan interview

    • Writing the credit application

    • Negotiating final terms and conditions

    • Legal documentation and drawdown

    • Procedures for deciding on impairment provisions

    • Monitoring and control framework

    • Identifying and reviewing a potentially distressed customer

    • Negotiating with customers in difficulty

    • Managing arrears and restructuring

    • Cancelling facilities, collections and recoveries

    • Loan restructuring options

    • Importance of the facility letter in impairment cases

    • Legal remedies for recovery.

    Compliance for sustainable finance: building the foundation (10 ECTS)

    At the end of this module, you will understand:

    • What is sustainability and what does it mean for the economy, business and the financial sector;

    • ESG origins and evolution - you will gain knowledge of macro level sustainability issues for the economy, business and the financial sector. Examine the relevance of corporate purpose and how compliance, culture and ethics can align to support the sustainability strategy within a financial services organisation;

    • Sustainable Finance - what and why? The evolution of sustainable finance and ESG. Review the key stakeholder groups driving the sustainable finance agenda globally, why they are doing so and what specifically they are doing;

    • Climate change and climate-related financial risk and opportunity;

    • Promoting a culture of compliance; are individual accountability regimes and controlled functions aligned with supporting the sustainability strategy in financial services?;

    • Ethics, compliance and corporate culture in financial services;

    • Corporate purpose (in the context of financial services firms) and corporate sustainability strategy;

    • Primer on financial services regulatory and supervisory landscape (Ireland, EU, UK & US also international influences e.g. IOSCO, FSB, NGFS);

    • Sustainable Finance in action across financial sectors (i.e. what does ESG mean at the level of a bank, an asset manager, insurance firm, an investment fund, pension etc).

    Professional designation

    Members who complete the relevant modules, and who commit to completing Continuing Professional Development hours, will be entitled to use the designation Professional Banker.

    Key Dates

    Level 7 and 8 Key Dates 2023/24

    Examination schedule 2023/2024

    Next intake

    Summer Trimester

    Closing date

    24 May 2024

    Entry Requirements

    The minimum entry requirements to Stage 1 are as follows:

    • Five passes in the Leaving Certificate, including English and Mathematics

    • Five O Level or GCSE passes, including English Language and Mathematics

    • IOB will also consider applications to Stage 1 on a mature candidate basis from applicants who are 23 years of age before the date of their application for admission to the programme.

    Progression to Stage 2 requires that students have:

    • Completed Stage 1


    • Completed the University Diploma in Financial Services


    • Completed the Joint Financial Services Diploma (subject to matriculation, which involves an NUI fee of €150)


    • Applicants with an ordinary degree in business (or equivalent) will be considered for direct entry to Stage 2.

    Professional Body Membership

    You must be a current member of IOB, or become a member, to undertake this programme.

    Please note, the Professional Banker designation is a fundamental acquirement for those seeking to develop and advance a career in banking, including management roles.

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