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Another step taken on way to ABI-BBA merger

The merger between the ABI and the British Bankers&#39 Association has taken one step nearer to completion as consultancy KPMG has told the two that it sees no problems with the merger, Money Marketing understands.

Its report is not yet officially finalised but KPMG is understood to have said that there are no insurmountable hurdles to the two trade bodies becoming one.

The consultancy was asked in March to look at whether it made sense for there to be a single trade body, given the accelerated pace of consolidation in the industry.

Those in favour say a large body will be able to take on the FSA and Treasury more effectively while those in opposition are concerned that a single body would be muted because of differing interests.

One industry insider says: “If this merger is to work well, the organisations will have to review their ways so they do not merge two bureaucracies and simply end up with one large bureaucracy.”

Aegon head of industry development Peter Williams says: “I think it is inevitable. If you look at what the two organisations represent, there is definitely a move towards banks and life offices working together.”

BBA head of media relations Brian Capon says: “I believe the report is still in its final stages. It will have to go to the BBA council before we comment publicly on it.”

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