Trade Bodies  

Goodbye CML, hello UK Finance trade body

Goodbye CML, hello UK Finance trade body

A new financial services trade association incorporating the Council of Mortgage Lenders and five other organisations will be called UK Finance - Representing UK Finance & Banking.

The new trade body will also include the Asset Based Finance Association, British Bankers’ Association (BBA), Financial Fraud Action UK and Payments UK plus the UK Cards Association.

But while the new name received unanimous backing after a meeting of the interim main board, decisions have yet to be reached on new premises for the combined "super" trade body and restructuring.

Stephen Pegge, chairman of the small firms advisory panel at the BBA, said: “New premises are currently being identified in London. Final decisions have not been made but are quite imminent.

“I think the expectation is people in the existing trade associations will be keen to join the new association and will be ‘TUPEd in’ in due course. 

“The chief executive, when he or she is in place, will look at structures - but that is not an upfront thing, and no definitive decisions have been made on structures.”

The aim of the new trade association is to create a more coordinated and powerful voice for the financial services sector while maintaining the specialist focus of the existing organisations.

Investor and entrepreneur Bob Wigley became chairman of UK Finance on 1 March, and will oversee the appointment of the chief executive of the new body and the integration of the existing trade associations.

“An enormous amount has still to be done, but we are on course for a summer launch,” Mr Pegge added.

The merger of the trade bodies was first suggested by an independent review in 2015, 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 were 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,” the report noted.

Both the Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association ruled themselves out of the trade body amalgamation last year.

simon.allin@ft.com