On 20 November 2015, the Financial Services Trade Associations Review (Review) published a document setting out its final recommendations on reforms to trade associations in the banking industry.
The Review recommends that a new trade association should be created by merging the British Bankers' Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the UK Cards Association and Payments UK into a new body, with the Asset Based Finance Association being integrated into the new body in a second phase. The Review also envisages that the new body will forge new relationships with two other “in scope” organisations involved in payments and financial fraud.
It is believed there are real benefits to having a unified body in the sector, as it is likely to represent the industry more effectively and have a voice which carries more weight. However, despite members being part of a wider organisation, the Review acknowledges that specialist knowledge must be preserved and a diverse membership be properly represented. In light of this, the proposals include specialist committees for: digital innovation, new technologies in finance, and a committee for the nations and regions to ensure that those based outside of London are strongly represented.
The aim is to launch the new body in May 2016 and complete the transition by November 2016.