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Majority of CML members back trade body merger

Majority of CML members back trade body merger

Three quarters of the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ members have voted in favour of a proposed trade body merger.

The CML is the first of several similar trade associations, including the British Bankers’ Association, Payments UK, and the UK Cards Association, which are subject to votes on incorporating their current activities.

Any decision is still subject to a range of conditions being met in terms of the final form and operating plans of the body, noted the CML.

Once the members of all the trade bodies have completed their own decision-making processes, if all the trade bodies agree on the proposal to amalgamate, the Financial Services Trade Association Review team will in due course make further announcements on the operational aspects of the integration.

The merger was first suggested by an independent review last year, following pressure from 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 in order to cut costs and avoid duplication of work, with former Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards leading the investigation.

His final report identified a number of activities which do not align with the core purposes of an effective trade association and that are currently carried out by existing trade associations.

“Our recommendation is that the new trade association would continue to perform these in the short term to avoid loss of service, but should quickly decide what type of organisation is best placed to take these forward,” it noted.

Both the Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association have ruled themselves out of the amalgamation.

peter.walker@ft.com