What Is the British Bankers Association?
The British Bankers Association (BBA) is a trade association that represents the views of those involved in the banking and financial services industry within the U.K. The BBA includes 200 member banks with headquarters in over 50 countries and operations in 180 jurisdictions throughout the world. Eighty percent of global systemically important banks are members of the BBA. As the representative of the world’s largest international banking cluster, the BBA considers itself the voice of U.K. banking.
Understanding the British Bankers Association (BBA)
On July 1, 2017, the British Bankers Association (BBA) merged with UK Finance, a trade association for the U.K. banking and financial services sector. It represents around 300 firms in the U.K. providing credit, banking, markets, and payment-related services. The association lobbies for its members and gives its view on the legislative and regulatory system for banking in the U.K. UK Finance was the result of a merger of most of the activities of the BBA, Payments UK, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the UK Cards Association, and the Asset Based Finance Association. UK Finance took on a broad range of important responsibilities, including supplying regular public data on consumer credit and the mortgage market, on top of its major lobbying activities.
Among other things, the BBA is responsible for continually improving the Banking Code, Small Business Code, accounting principles, and European regulations regarding banking practices. An additional responsibility of the BBA used to be to set benchmark rates such as the LIBOR, a benchmark rate that some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans and stands for Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate. The Intercontinental Exchange Benchmark Administration Limited took over the administration of the LIBOR in 2014, changing it to the ICE LIBOR.
Change of BBA LIBOR to ICE LIBOR
It became clear that banks were manipulating the LIBOR in 2012. Investigations over the alleged rigging of the LIBOR were initiated into more than a dozen banks and Barclays Bank was fined £59.5 million for failings related to the LIBOR and EURIBOR in accordance with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
In June 2012, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer commissioned Martin Wheatley to conduct an independent review of the various aspects of LIBOR. The most important recommendation made by the Wheatley Review of LIBOR was to hand over the LIBOR to a new administrator. On February 1, 2014, ICE Benchmark Association became the official administrator of the LIBOR, bringing more transparency as well as a robust oversight and governance framework.