British Bankers' Association set to merge with rival trade associations

Josh Martin
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BBA members are reportedly set to vote in favour of plans (Source: Getty)

British Bankers' Association (BBA), the trade body that was heavily criticised for its role as the administrator of the Libor interest rate benchmark, is expected to be merged with its rival associations.

According to Sky News, BBA members are reportedly set to vote in favour of plans to merge the banking trade bodies to form a bigger organisation supervising financial services firms.

Financial bodies which will be part of the umbrella body include the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Asset Based Finance Association and the Building Societies Association.

Ed Richards, the former chief executive of media regulator Ofcom, drafted a blueprint for the new body after chairs of some of Britain's biggest banks commissioned him to review all bodies as it was considered that they often duplicated lobbying effort.

Reducing the number of trade bodies would help banks save money in membership fees and discuss key issues, the banks collectively said.

Last year, Richard claimed that implementing his plan would cost £15.5m.

"Once the loan has been repaid members can expect reductions in current fee levels in the order of 30 per cent," he said.

Richards' plan was rejected by the Building Societies Association whose members felt his ideas did not cater to the building society sector.

The BSA said: "The building society sector is truly distinct from the banking sector, this includes corporate structure, legislative status and in some areas it is subject to additional layers of regulatory guidance."

Three-quarters of voting members will need to support BBA's merger with other financial bodies for it to be approved.