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CML and BBA boards vote for trade body merger

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The boards of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, British Bankers’ Association and Payments UK have voted in favour of a mooted trade body merger.

The boards have urged their members to vote for a merger when they come to make their decision.

Payments UK is also the first trade body to fully approve the merger after its members voted in favour on 9 February.

The Asset Based Finance Association and UK Cards Association are also involved in the proposed merger but their boards have not reached a decision.

The merger was first suggested in an independent review in the summer after pressure from nine major UK retail banks and a building society: Barclays, Clydesdale Bank & Yorkshire, Bank, Co-operative Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, RBS, Santander, TSB and Virgin Money.

At the time the lenders said they wanted to review the current trade body setup because they wished to cut costs and avoid duplication of work.

A BBA spokesman says: “The BBA board has unanimously agreed, subject to further discussions and the approval of the wider membership, to integrate the BBA as part of a wholly new organisation as set out in the Financial Services Trade Associations Review.”

A Payments UK spokesman says: “Payments UK members have voted at a general meeting to support the Financial Services Trade Association Review recommendation to create a new single financial services trade association. Delivering effective representation for the industry is at the heart of our organisation so we welcome our members’ decision.”

A CML spokesman says its members will vote on the board’s recommendation in March.

He says: “If the recommendation is approved, the trade body landscape could look very different next year. But there will be no certainty about the future CML position until after both our members and the members of the other trade bodies have voted. At this stage, it is for individual members to decide what will happen.”

ABFA chief executive Jeff Longhurst says: “The ABFA is continuing to discuss the FSTAR proposals with its members. No formal decision has yet been taken.”

A spokesman for the UK Cards Association says the board has yet to make a decision.

He says: “Our board have been discussing whether in principle to support the proposed creation of a new trade association, but there are still issues to be resolved which they have delegated to the chair of the board.

“There is still some way to go and we would expect that once the in-scope trade associations have completed their governance processes that an announcement will be made.”

The Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association have ruled themselves out of the merger.

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