HSBC quits CML ahead of trade body merger vote

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HSBC has announced it will leave the Council of Mortgage Lenders ahead of a vote on a mooted merger of lender trade bodies.

The proposed merger would consolidate the CML, the British Bankers’ Association, Payments UK, the UK Cards Association and the Asset Based Finance Association. CML members are due to vote on the merger at some point in the first quarter.

An HSBC spokesman says: “Given the anticipated creation of a new financial services trade association, we have given one year’s notice to the Council of Mortgage Lenders and our membership will end on 31 December 2016.

“HSBC supports the creation of a new trade association which will better serve all providers in the financial services sector and most importantly, our customers. We have and continue to value our work with the CML and believe a strong mortgage voice is critical within any new association.”

The HSBC decision could be a sign of how other lenders view the merger.

A CML spokesman says: “In terms of individual members’ future intentions regarding trade bodies, that would be a matter for individual firms to discuss, rather than us.”

The merger was first brought up in the Richards review last September. Since then the Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association have ruled themselves out of any merger.

The CML represents around 95 per cent of UK mortgage lenders.

HSBC is also debating whether or not to stay in the UK.