The Consumer Finance Association (CFA) and the BCCA, which represent alternative lenders and high-cost short-term credit providers, have completed their merger.
Jason Wassell, formerly chief executive of the BCCA, has been appointed to run the new association – a body that brings together lenders, brokers and service suppliers. It will be the principal trade association representing the short-term lending sector in the UK.
The two organisations total over 60 members, ranging from new start-ups to market leaders such as Dollar Financial and Enova.
The legal agreement has seen the CFA purchase the assets of the BCCA. Both sets of directors have agreed that they will operate under the CFA brand.
He said: “Through this merger, we believe that we can better represent the entire sector, from new start-ups to the market leaders. Our members provide lending online and on the high street. We will continue to develop our growing representation of credit brokers.
“Any independent observer of high-cost short-term lending would agree that we have seen radical changes over recent years. Companies have entered and exited the market. The sector leaders are different. Products have changed, as has the customer base.”
Wassell added: “More importantly – we have seen real culture change. Go to any lender, talk to their staff, and you will hear them focus on treating customers fairly. It is time for us to also change our association to deal with the next set of challenges.”
“I am delighted to have been asked to be the chief executive of the new association. It is no secret that I have been keen to see the changes required to improve representation. It has required a formal process, but through great co-operation we have got this done very quickly.
“We have got off to a great start. Over the last few months we have engaged with the Financial Conduct Authority, with the Financial Ombudsman Service and other regulators as a single team.”
The first meeting of the new board will be held in late October, bringing together a mix of CFA and BCCA directors.
The joint team will work remotely across the UK, and plans are in place to close the offices in London and Warrington.