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Top 11 Banking Consultant Certifications

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 19 min read

Certifications for a banking consultant are important in the job market because they demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively provide consulting services to clients. Certifications can also give a consultant credibility, as they demonstrate that the consultant is well-versed in relevant banking topics such as risk management, compliance, financial regulations, and more. Finally, certifications can help consultants stand out from other applicants and make them more attractive to potential employers.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Banking Consultants, providing an overview of how these certifications can help to further a banking consultant's career.

What are Banking Consultant Certifications?

Banking consultant certification is a professional designation that demonstrates an individual's expertise in the banking industry. It is typically awarded by a recognized organization after a person has passed an examination and met certain educational requirements. This certification can help individuals gain credibility and recognition within the banking industry, allowing them to work as consultants or advisors on various banking-related matters. It also serves as proof of knowledge and skills needed to provide valuable advice to financial institutions and their customers. Certification can also open up new career opportunities, such as higher-level positions in banks or insurance companies, or roles as independent financial consultants. In addition, it can provide a competitive edge when seeking employment or promotion within banking organizations. Finally, certification can be beneficial for professionals who want to stay abreast of changes in banking regulations and practices.

Pro Tip: It is important to research the banking consultant certification program you are considering before enrolling. Ensure that the program has been accredited by a reputable organization and that it meets all of your professional goals and objectives. Additionally, make sure to review the course materials and requirements in detail so that you can be confident that you will receive the best education possible.

Related: What does a Banking Consultant do?

Top 11 Banking Consultant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Banking Consultants today.

1. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional designation given to individuals who have completed a rigorous education and training program in the field of financial planning. The CFP designation is recognized worldwide as the standard for professional excellence in financial planning.

To become a CFP, an individual must complete the following steps:

1. Education – Complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with courses in finance, accounting, economics, insurance, taxation, estate planning, and investment management.

2. Examination – Pass the CFP Certification Examination administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board). This exam covers topics such as financial planning process, risk management and insurance planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, investment planning, tax planning, estate planning, and professional conduct and regulation.

3. Experience – Obtain at least three years of full-time experience in personal financial planning related activities prior to applying for certification.

4. Ethics – Agree to abide by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility which includes adhering to high standards of ethical behavior when providing services to clients.

5. Background Check – Undergo a background check conducted by the CFP Board that includes verification of education credentials and criminal history review.

The entire process typically takes between two to four years depending on an individual’s educational background and work experience prior to beginning the certification process. Once all requirements are met, individuals can apply for certification through the CFP Board website for a fee of $695 USD plus applicable taxes or local fees ($795 USD total).

2. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious and sought-after qualifications in the finance industry. The CFA credential demonstrates a mastery of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills that are essential for investment professionals.

The CFA program consists of three levels, each requiring approximately 300 hours of study. The curriculum covers topics such as ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, fixed income investments, derivatives, alternative investments and portfolio management. To earn the CFA charter, candidates must pass all three levels of exams within four years and have at least four years of qualified work experience in the investment decision-making process.

In order to become a CFA charterholder you must:

  • Pass all three levels of exams
  • Have at least four years of qualified work experience
  • Agree to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
  • Pay an application fee and annual membership dues

The cost for taking all three levels of exams is approximately $3,000 USD. In addition to this cost there are also annual membership dues which range from $100 - $300 USD depending on your location.

3. Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)

Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) is a professional certification for financial advisors and other professionals who specialize in investments, retirement planning, estate planning, and portfolio management. The CIMA designation is offered by the Investments & Wealth Institute (formerly the Investment Management Consultants Association).

The CIMA certification requires completion of a three-part program that includes an online course, a two-day exam preparation workshop, and a proctored final exam. The program covers topics such as asset allocation, portfolio construction, investment analysis, risk management, and financial planning.

To become certified as a CIMA professional, you must first meet certain prerequisites:

  • Have at least three years of full-time experience in the investment management field; or
  • Have completed an approved educational program in investment management; or
  • Have passed the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam.

You must also be sponsored by an employer or firm that has been approved by the Investments & Wealth Institute.

The cost of obtaining your CIMA certification varies depending on your chosen study materials and whether you take advantage of any discounts offered by the Institute. Generally speaking, it costs around $2,500 to obtain the CIMA designation. This includes registration fees for both parts of the program as well as study materials and practice exams. Additionally, you may need to pay for travel expenses if you attend an in-person workshop or exam preparation session.

In total, it takes approximately six months to complete all requirements for your CIMA certification. This includes studying for and passing both parts of the exam as well as completing any additional requirements set forth by your sponsoring employer or firm.

4. Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)

Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of corporate treasury management. The CTP credential is awarded by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a global organization that provides education, training, and resources for financial professionals.

The CTP designation is an internationally recognized certification that demonstrates mastery of key treasury competencies and helps employers identify qualified candidates for positions in treasury management. To earn the CTP credential, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as cash management, risk management, investments, foreign exchange, derivatives, debt issuance, and financial analysis.

It typically takes about six months to prepare for the exam and complete all of the requirements necessary to become certified. In order to qualify for the exam, applicants must have three years of full-time professional experience in a treasury-related role or five years of part-time experience in a treasury-related role.

In order to take the exam, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their professional experience and pay a fee. The fee varies depending on whether you are an AFP member or non-member; members pay $450 while non-members pay $650. Additionally, there is an annual renewal fee of $50 per year to maintain your certification status.

5. Certified Bank Auditor (CBA)

Certified Bank Auditor (CBA) is a professional certification program designed to help bank auditors demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the banking industry. The CBA program is administered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

The CBA program consists of two parts: a written exam and an experience requirement. To become certified, candidates must pass the written exam with a score of 75 or higher, as well as fulfill the experience requirement. The experience requirement includes at least three years of internal audit-related work in a banking environment.

To take the CBA exam, you must first register with IIA and pay the registration fee. The fee varies depending on your country of residence and whether you are an IIA member or not. Once you have registered, you can access study materials online and schedule your exam at an approved testing center. The exam lasts four hours and covers topics such as risk management, internal control systems, financial reporting, compliance regulations, and more.

The cost of obtaining the CBA certification depends on several factors such as whether you are an IIA member or not, your country of residence, etc., but typically ranges from $500 to $1,000 USD for both registration fees and study materials.

6. Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM)

Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in the area of financial services regulatory compliance. It is offered by the American Bankers Association (ABA) and is recognized as a mark of excellence in the banking industry.

To become certified, individuals must pass an exam administered by the ABA. The exam tests knowledge of consumer protection laws and regulations, bank operations, risk management, and other topics related to regulatory compliance. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions.

The cost for taking the CRCM exam varies depending on whether you are an ABA member or non-member. For ABA members, the cost is $395; for non-members it is $495.

In addition to passing the exam, individuals must also have at least two years of experience in financial services regulatory compliance in order to be eligible for certification. Once certified, individuals must maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every two years.

7. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) is a professional designation offered by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIAA). It is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in alternative investments. The CAIA program is considered one of the most comprehensive and rigorous educational programs for alternative investments.

The CAIA program consists of two levels: Level I and Level II. To become a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, you must successfully complete both levels of the program. Level I covers topics such as private equity, hedge funds, real estate, commodities, structured products, and risk management. Level II focuses on portfolio construction and advanced topics related to alternative investments.

The CAIA program takes approximately 18 months to complete if you are studying full-time or 24 months if you are studying part-time. You can also choose to take an accelerated course which takes 12 months to complete.

To get started with the CAIA program, you will need to register for the exam through their website. You will then be required to purchase study materials from their online store or from third-party providers. Once you have purchased your materials, it is recommended that you begin studying immediately in order to prepare for the exam.

The cost of the CAIA program varies depending on where you purchase your materials from but typically ranges between $2,500-$3,500 USD for both levels combined.

8. Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIBS)

The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIBS) is a professional body for bankers and financial services professionals in Scotland. It was founded in 1875 and is the oldest banking institute in the world. CIBS provides qualifications, training and support to its members and works with employers to ensure that their staff are properly trained and qualified.

It takes around two years to complete the qualification process for CIBS membership. This includes completing an approved course of study, passing examinations, gaining relevant experience, and meeting other requirements set by the institute. The cost of membership depends on the type of qualification chosen, but typically ranges from £500 - £1000 per year.

To become a member of CIBS you must first meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having at least three years’ relevant experience or having completed an approved course of study. You will also need to pass several exams which cover topics such as banking law, banking practice, financial services regulation, investment management and more. Once you have passed all the required exams you can then apply for full membership with CIBS.

Once you become a member of CIBS you will receive access to exclusive events and networking opportunities as well as discounts on products and services related to banking and finance. You will also be able to use the letters ‘MInstF’ after your name which stands for Member of the Institute of Financial Services.

9. Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). The AFC designation is designed to recognize those who have achieved a high level of knowledge and proficiency in the field of financial counseling. It provides individuals with the skills and credentials to help people make sound financial decisions.

The AFC program consists of three levels: Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP), and Certified Housing Counselor (CHC). To become an AFC, applicants must complete a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, including seven core courses, plus pass an exam. The core courses cover topics such as financial planning, debt management, consumer protection laws, credit counseling, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, money management strategies, and retirement planning.

The cost for the AFC program varies depending on whether you are taking the online or classroom-based course. The online course costs $1,100 while the classroom-based course costs $2,000. Additionally, there is an exam fee of $150 that must be paid at the time of registration.

The process typically takes between six months to one year to complete all requirements for certification. After completing all required coursework and passing the exam with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will receive their accreditation from the AFCPE.

10. Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE)

Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) is a professional designation program offered by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). It is designed to recognize credit union executives who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in the field. The program consists of three courses, each of which must be completed within two years: Principles and Practices of Credit Unions, Leadership and Management, and Financial Management.

The program takes approximately 18 months to complete if all three courses are taken consecutively. However, individuals may take up to two years to complete the program if they choose to spread out their coursework over multiple semesters.

To get the CCUE designation, individuals must first complete all three courses with a passing grade. They must also pass an open-book exam that covers material from all three courses. After passing the exam, individuals will receive their CCUE certificate from CUNA.

The cost for the CCUE program varies depending on whether or not you are a CUNA member. For non-members, the cost is $1,495 for each course plus $150 for the exam fee. For members, the cost is $995 per course plus $150 for the exam fee.

11. Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) is an internationally recognized certification that provides financial professionals with the knowledge and skills to detect, deter, and prevent money laundering activities. The CAMS certification is administered by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). It is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of anti-money laundering laws, regulations, and compliance procedures.

The CAMS certification process involves passing an online exam that covers topics such as risk assessment, customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, suspicious activity reporting, and more. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. To become certified, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the anti-money laundering field or related areas.

The cost for the CAMS certification varies depending on your country of residence. In the United States, it costs $795 for ACAMS members and $995 for non-members. Additional fees may apply if you need to retake the exam or if you want to receive a hard copy of your certificate.

Overall, obtaining a CAMS certification can take anywhere from one month to several months depending on when you register for the exam and how quickly you are able to study for it.

Do You Really Need a Banking Consultant Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation and goals. If you are seeking a career in the banking industry, then it is likely that having a banking consultant certificate would be beneficial. A certificate can provide you with additional knowledge and skills that could help you stand out from other applicants when applying for positions within the banking sector.

Having a certificate can also demonstrate your commitment to the profession, as well as show potential employers that you have invested in your own professional development. A certificate may also give you an advantage in terms of career advancement opportunities or salary negotiations.

On the other hand, if you already have experience in the banking industry or are just looking for a job in a related field, then it may not be necessary for you to obtain a certificate. In this case, focusing on gaining experience and developing your skillset is likely to be more beneficial than obtaining a certification.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a banking consultant certificate depends on your individual goals and objectives. Consider what kind of position or career path you are aiming for before making any decisions regarding certifications or qualifications.

Related: Banking Consultant Resume Examples

FAQs About Banking Consultant Certifications

Q1. What is a banking consultant certification?

A1. A banking consultant certification is a professional credential that demonstrates expertise in the areas of banking, finance, economics, and risk management. The certification is offered by the American Bankers Association (ABA) and provides an opportunity for banking and finance professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in order to advance their career.

Q2. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a banking consultant?

A2. Becoming certified as a banking consultant offers many benefits including increased job opportunities, higher salaries, access to specialized training programs, and more prestigious positions within the industry. Additionally, having a certification can provide credibility to potential employers and be seen as evidence of your expertise in the field.

Q3. What types of courses are included in the Banking Consultant Certification program?

A3. The Banking Consultant Certification program includes courses on topics such as financial analysis, risk management, capital markets, credit analysis, lending practices, compliance regulations and more.

Q4. How long does it take to become certified as a banking consultant?

A4. The length of time required to become certified varies depending on individual experience level and course availability; however most candidates can complete the program within 6-12 months if studying full-time or 12-18 months if studying part-time.

Q5. Is there an exam required to become certified as a banking consultant?

A5. Yes, candidates must pass an exam administered by ABA after completing all required courses in order to become certified as a banking consultant.

Editorial staff

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Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

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