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International Councils

Lafferty Group has championed the importance and potential of retail banking since the company was launched back in 1981. Back then most bankers thought that corporate banking was all that really mattered.

Then came the fascination with universal banking in the 1990s that saw investment bankers take over the leadership of most major banks from corporate bankers — in the process promoting a sales culture that did enormous damage to retail banking. It all came to a head in the global financial crisis that caused so many bank failures, particularly in Europe and North America.

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Today retail banking is the core of virtually every bank and is generally the main source of its profits. Bankers and regulators alike are agreed that the retail-centric business model delivers the best quality banks.

Lafferty Councils date from 1995 when speakers at Lafferty conferences who participated in the "speakers' dinners" began to request confidential meetings with their peers from around the world.

The first meetings of the International Retail Banking Council (IRBC) and International Cards and Payments Council (ICPC) took place in Berlin 1995. The Global Merchant Services Council (GMSC) took on its own separate identity several years later in response to a dramatic upsurge in activity in the payments area. We also went regional with Retail Banking Councils for Africa (RBCA) in 2015.

The Councils allow members across the world to share best practices and experiences with each other and debate future directions for retail banking, cards and payments -- and the financial industry as a whole.

These early council meetings established a number of membership rules that have remained unchanged for more than 20 years, including:

  • The confidentiality of all meeting discussions and materials
  • Everyone must participate in the discussions
  • "No selling" during meetings — though we can say that many important deals have been negotiated privately during Council meetings

Over the past 20 years meetings have been held all over the world -- from London to Kuala Lumpur, from New York to Cape Town.

Councils have two aspects for our members:
1. The council meetings that take place twice a year
2. The tailored products and services provided to each member

The Councils director is Caroline Hastings, who was formerly a senior relationship manager with Rabobank in New York. Contact Caroline: email caroline.hastings@lafferty.com or phone: 353(0) 87 173 6297 or 353(0) 98 39107.

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