Council of Mortgage Lenders members are voting on a proposed trade body merger.
CML management visited lenders ahead of the start of the online voting period.
A CML spokesman confirmed that voting has started but would not confirm start or end dates.
He says: “We don’t want to get hung up on the timings or conduct – this is not a public exercise. Essentially this is an internal matter for our members to determine, and we have to respect the fact that there is an election and they need to get on with that process.”
The merger was first suggested in an independent review last summer after pressure from nine major UK retail banks and a building society: 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 because they wished to cut costs and avoid duplication of work.
The Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association have ruled themselves out of the merger.