Banks are pressing the BBA to consider a trade group merger

 
Tim Wallace
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SEVERAL UK banks want their trade association to consider merging with other industry groups as part of a radical re-think of the British Bankers’ Association’s (BBA) structure and finances.

The BBA used to be able to charge for the use of Libor data, but the association has lost that multi-million pound revenue stream since the interest rate fixing scandal broke over the summer.

Now members are urging it to consider “every avenue” in cutting costs and boosting revenues.

“We expect the BBA to think about all sensible options to manage the budget – for example, considering a merger with one of the host of trade bodies out there,” said a banking source.

“A few of us have suggested this, but it is down to the BBA to pull together the options and assess them, then put it to the members.”

The BBA is understood to be considering a range of options which could be put to its board in the near future.

But rival industry bodies have already poured cold water on the idea.

“We are not in discussion with the BBA,” said a spokeswoman from the Council of Mortgage Lenders yesterday, arguing the pair would likely make a poor match.

“We are mortgage market specific, covering a wide range of lenders in the market. The BBA is sector specific, covering organisations of a particular type,” she added.