UK Finance, a trade association formed through the merger of six finance and banking industry trade associations, has launched today.
The new organisation will take on most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and The UK Cards Association.
It will represent over 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. Its members offer a wide range of financial and advisory services across both mutual and corporates, representing regional, national, domestic and international businesses.
Its role will be to help its members build customer trust, facilitate industry-wide collaboration and innovation, and work with policy makers and regulators in the UK, EU and at a global level to ensure that the UK retains its position as a global leader in financial services.
UK Finance is led by chief executive Stephen Jones who brings broad experience having worked in a wide range of roles in finance for nearly thirty years, including for Santander, Barclays, Citigroup and Schroders. Bob Wigley, who has held a number of senior positions in financial services and brings with him many years of relevant experience as EMEA Chairman of Merrill Lynch and as a member of the Court of the Bank of England, is the organisation’s Chair.
Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The UK’s finance and banking sector is undergoing an exciting transformation with innovation and technology revolutionising customer services; from tapping a card or mobile phone to make payments, securing a mortgage via video chat or using Big Data to combat financial crime, the boundaries between banking services are blurring, enabling the industry to become more efficient and customer-focused.”
“For the UK’s finance and banking sector, these changes present new opportunities and fresh challenges which require a coordinated voice to support it going forward. UK Finance will be that fresh voice: representing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services across the UK best and bringing together the expertise and reach of the constituent organisations to achieve the best outcomes for our members and their customers.”
Bob Wigley will chair UK Finance’s Board which has been developed to ensure senior and fair representation across the industry, as well as reflecting the previous six associations’ views. It will focus on issues of importance to retail, SME and wholesale customers including ethics, financial inclusion, financial fraud, crime, access to markets and diversity.
UK Finance’s Board will also ensure the consumer voice is represented via the inclusion of a strong, independent consumer champion while significant overlap of board members with the Banking Standards Board will support a close cooperation with its work to promote high standards across the industry.
Bob Wigley, chair of UK Finance, said: “This high profile Board has been created to ensure that the interests of all our members are fairly represented and we really focus on the issues that not only our members but also their customers and broader society think are important. I look forward to working with the Board and Stephen Jones to enhance the development of a vibrant, diverse and competitive financial services sector in the UK which consumers value and trust.”
UK Finance will operate from Angel Court in the City of London, EC2.