Four Become One: New UK Banking Group Forms in Massive Merger

The British Bankers' Association will merge with three other financial services groups to consolidate industry representation and rebuild trust after its reputation was tarnished by its connection to an interest-rate scandal.

The British Bankers’ Association has voted to go ahead with a pivotal merger that will consolidate power and resources within the U.K. financial services industry.

BBA will dissolve and merge with the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), Payments UK, and the UK Cards Association, and each group will bring its members to the still-to-be-titled organization. A chief executive has yet to be chosen.

“We look forward to working with the other trade associations and to providing a world-class service for our members across the banking sector,” BBA CEO Anthony Browne said in a news release last week.

The merger helps BBA move past a long-running scandal involving the global Libor interest-rate benchmark, which tracks what banks charge one another on loans. Allegations that Libor was manipulated by traders have tainted BBA, which administered the program in the past.

The decision to merge was made by the members of the various groups. According to Sky News, the move required approval of three-quarters of BBA member banks—a proportion that BBA substantially surpassed.

“It is right that our members get effective representation and value for money from their trade associations,” Browne said. “The BBA membership has voted 94 percent in favor of consolidating the BBA as part of a new financial services trade association.”

Meanwhile, three-quarters of CML members approved of the merger in April. CML Chairman Peter Hill said the new organization must have “sufficient powers and headroom to represent the mortgage lending community as effectively as the CML does,” FT Adviser reported.

To start the new trade group off, a loan will be needed to fund organizational restructuring; the amount is expected to be repaid within three and a half years, according to The Telegraph. After the loan is repaid, member dues are projected to shrink by about 30 percent.

As with any consolidation, staff and real estate will likely be reduced. Banking fees are also projected to decrease.

The plan was recommended by the Financial Services Trade Association Review, FStech reported, with the goal  of consolidating industry representation and increasing customers’ trust.


Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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