We caught up with François Gilles from Société Générale about his journey to gaining Certification.

Prestigious French Bank, Société Générale, has been around since the 19th Century. As one of the oldest and more trusted banks in Europe it is no doubt there is a buzz around gaining certification within their branches. Société Générale employee and RBA candidate François tells us about his CRB journey…

How did you start with the RBA?

Back in 2014, my bank had a test programme with RBA and selected ten managers in its subsidiaries, its HR department but also in its French retail bank. As I volunteered to work in a foreign country, I was asked if I would like to start my journey to becoming a Certified Retail Banker. I was really proud that the curriculum is interesting and I was able to get through it at a good speed.

Do you feel ready for RB III?

I started RB III in September this year, I work each day from about 8 in the morning until 8pm, and when I come back home, I don’t get the chance to do too much study, but when I do I really focus. At the moment, I am almost finished with the third module. I’m not ready yet, but I’m sure I will be soon!

Are there any tips you could give to those taking RB I & RB II at the moment?

Start as early as possible! Do not start too late; if possible, create a team with other members and candidates in order to keep a steady pace and to also share your experience throughout the course.

Banks are changing rapidly with technology, do you feel the CRB course helps you to understand these developments?

Yes, of course, the CRB course is perfect to help me to maintain a 360° view of what’s happening within the future of Retail Banking. Technology is a must, but now more than ever, conduct and behaviour are just as important. To be honest, not everyone is convinced, but I’m sure that will change soon enough.

What excites you most about RBA?

A. The most exciting thing about RBA and the CRB certification is that I understand the constraints bank are facing in more detail: regulatory rules, technology disruption and leadership for the younger generations.

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