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  • NewTA and asset finance Posted on 09 December 2015

    When the final recommendations of the UK Financial Services Trade Associations Review were published in November, those studying the details of the 62-page report might have cause to wonder what it all means for asset finance.

    The Review reported that what will clearly be the UK’s predominant financial services trade association (referred to as ‘NewTA’) would be formed to incorporate the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.

    The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the association for the UK’s factoring and invoice discounting providers, could join the NewTA in a second phase.

    The Review reported that the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), representing asset finance, had made clear it wished to stay independent, as had the Building Societies Association. With ‘close working relationships’ in the short term and ‘more extensive cooperation at a later date’ the Review sounds an optimistic note on how NewTA will work with the FLA.

    Surprisingly given that the FLA won’t be joining, the Review still recommends that NewTA will work on asset finance issues as well as factoring and discounting. NewTA will promote and represent the market, manage reputational risk, and oversee and ensure technical expertise and high-quality data.

    So if these recommendations are implemented we could be heading towards a situation where asset finance will be represented by both NewTA and the FLA. Presumably NewTA would represent the interests of banks providing asset finance, leaving the FLA to represent non-bank providers together with banks that decide to join both associations.

    Does it all matter? The BBA already takes positions on many issues, such as capital requirements, that work for asset finance as much as other lending products. Perhaps the reduced number of associations in the financial sector industry would actually leave the FLA with even more influence than today. It’s not clear and probably won’t be for several years.

    All we can say for sure is that these recommendations won’t lead to a single trade body for leasing. Instead NewTA will join the list of other bodies -  the FLA, BVRLA, NACFB, AFPA, Leasing Foundation, Captives Association and others (apologies to any missed) - all helping to ensure the future prosperity of the UK asset finance industry.

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