About the CBA Advanced Education Experience

CBA Brings Innovative Education Program to Banks


Retail banking today provides consumers with more options and the experience of those on the inside has increasingly become more focused. As bankers become experts in one particular area, they also run the risk of developing a narrow view of how their institution – and the industry – operates. 


CBA recognizes this view can be limiting for banking professionals and the consumers they serve. CBA Advanced Education develops better retail bankers, who help strengthen financial institutions and their relationships with the customers they serve. The various programs offered equips bankers with the skills to think strategically and solve problems in a manner that considers multiple business lines and support functions that could be impacted.


“Most bank employees today are highly skilled in serving their customers. However, they often don't fully appreciate what goes on in other parts of the bank and how all of those activities come together to form the big picture," says Tom Dent, VP of CBA OnSite Education.


“We give them the opportunity to make both strategic and tactical decisions in a risk-free environment. As they face the various tradeoffs that arise, they come away with a better understanding of how all the individual pieces affect overall performance. They are then able to return to their institutions and lead their teams with greater confidence.”


CBA Advanced Education develops better retail bankers, who help strengthen financial institutions and their relationships with the customers they serve.



The curriculum is available to banks in a spirited, interactive fashion. For example, MarketSim’s state-of-the-art simulation allows participants to work in a small team environment to see how customers respond to participant decisions around marketing strategy, product segmentation, delivery optimization. This session also provides an overview of the industry from the consumer’s perspective and challenges each team to identify measures of success that reflect their strategy. The curriculum is delivered in either a virtual format or in-person at the bank’s training site.


U.S. Bank utilizes CBA programs and Todd Olson, U.S. Bank’s, SVP of Consumer and Business Banking tells us why. “What better way for our leaders to understand the strategy behind Retail Banking than through the in-house MarketSim program! This highly interactive program has offered our leaders a way to understand why decisions are made in the areas of Marketing, Product, and Distribution. Many of our leaders have commented afterwards on the tremendous value they have found and they have a newfound appreciation for what happens behind the scenes with decisions. U.S. Bank has offered the program traditionally only in-person, which is very well received. This year, we also offered the virtual experience. This is a great way to offer the course to a variety of markets to leaders who might not be able to attend otherwise. We definitely will be offering a blend of in-person and virtual in the future.”


Another CBA member offers their perspective as well. PNC Bank has offered MarketSim training annually to selected frontline and support functions among bank locations nationwide. “Leaders are considered for participation in the program based on their development plan,” for their career path, says Dee Dee Perkins, Learning and Development Manager for PNC University.


“We want leaders to think broadly about the impact of their decisions and a post assignment helps leaders put the new skills into practice,” she says of CBA OnSite participants. “It’s an opportunity for participants to have a voice in the direction of PNC.”



Those who have engaged in the training have called it the best they’ve had and one that is immediately applicable to their jobs. Meanwhile, supervisors have reported observing CBA OnSite Education students think more strategically in their jobs. They’re also better able to explain to colleagues the “why” behind a decision or a new idea, which creates greater understanding and acceptance by employees.


Through CBA Advanced Education, leaders get in giving the context around a decision. Participants from various business lines can not only gain an education in the basics of retail banking but acquire a better sense of the potential gravity of an unintended consequence due to the lack of critical and strategic thinking in the decision process. It is the kind of knowledge and skills that, taken together, help build better retail bankers, stronger institutions, and more memorable customer experiences.