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Ryan Bembridge

January 26, 2016

Barclays could be next in line to join HSBC in ending its membership with the Council of Mortgage Lenders by the end of 2016.

A source said the bank has given its one year notice alongside HSBC due to uncertainty over whether the CML will continue in its current form or merge with other trade bodies.

When asked to confirm the story a Barclays spokeswoman said: “We can confirm Barclays will remain a member of the CML during 2016 and will participate fully.

“We support the creation of a new trade association which will better serve all providers in the financial services sector and most importantly, our customers. A strong mortgage voice is critical within any new association.”

In March the CML will vote on merging with other trade bodies the British Bankers Association, the Asset Based Finance Association, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.

This morning a HSBC spokesman announced that it has given its one year notice to the CML that its membership will end on 31 December.

The HSBC spokesman said: “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.”

HSBC’s decision and the prospect of other banks following has drawn a mixed response from other CML members.

Charles Haresnape, Aldermore’s group managing director, mortgages, said: “In the main the banks are supportive of the new proposed restructure of trade bodies so I can’t see why HSBC made the move.

“I can only assume it’s an individual HSBC decision and I don’t necessarily see it as the start of a trend.”

However Andy Knee, managing director of Legal Marketing Services, disagreed. He said: “I do expect others to follow with the same contractual terms as HSBC. It wouldn’t surprise me if Barclays has followed.

“I don’t see this as HSBC ending its relationship with the CML; it’s saying there’s going to be a change so it’s good contractual housekeeping and it’s keeping its options open.

“If it hadn’t given notice at the end of 2016 and it wanted to join another trade body it could end up a member of two trade bodies.

“With the status of the CML being so uncertain what’s the worst that can happen?”

Bob Young, chief executive of buy-to-let lender Fleet Mortgages, admitted he is worried about the loss of the CML in its current form.

He said: “Perhaps the HSBC move is a coincidence, perhaps it will herald other lenders following suit I don’t know but all of us in the mortgage sector will be poorer if the proposed trade body merger goes ahead – very few organisations have ever improved by making them bigger and more bureaucratic.

“Regardless of whatever spin is subsequently put out, and given the deep pockets involved there will be a flood of positive PR  around, this will not be good news for the mortgage industry.

“I don’t believe smaller lenders will be sufficiently represented in the new world despite the assurances we would no doubt be given. The CML is relevant, does a splendid job and has a superb director-general in the shape of Paul Smee.”


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