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KPMG to weigh up ABI/BBA merger

The ABI and British Bankers Association have taken a step closer towards merging after employing consultancy KPMG to consider the pros and cons of such a move.

While both the ABI board and BBA council support a merger in principle, they have asked the consultancy to report back with its suggestions by the summer, at which point they will make a recommendation to their memberships and put the proposals to a vote.

KPMG will be considering whether, in light of increasing consolidation in the industry, as well as the creation of a single regulator, it makes sense for there to be a bigger trade body with a single voice.

It will also be looking at practical issues such as the timing of a merger and what would happen to existing property and staff.

The ABI claims a merger makes sense given the changes to distribution which will follow the scrapping of polarisation. They say it does not make sense to have two separate trade bodies if companies are selling each other&#39s products.

ABI head of media and political affairs Alan Leaman says: “A supporter would say it is important to have a large organisation with a powerful voice, while those against the merger would say you dilute it for exactly the same reason.

“It is the view of the ABI board in principle that it is important for financial services as a whole to have representation as an industry.”

Comment, p35

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