British Bankers' Association

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The British Bankers' Association is the UK banking and financial services trade association.

British Bankers' Association, Pinners Hall, 105-108 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1EX (opposite Tower 42)

Conflicts and criticisms

Libor-fixing scandal

The London InterBank Offered Rate, Libor, was created in 1986 by BBA, and has been administered by BBA ever since. In July 2012, it was proven that the Libor has systematically been manipulated by Barclays since at least 2005, leading to the Libor-fixing scandal, and the decision in September that BBA will not oversee the setting of Libor. "In place of the BBA, there will be a data provider (an organisation such as Bloomberg or Reuters) or a regulated exchange."[1]

The Libor market has been criticised by Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, for being "a cesspit of dishonesty".[2] Martin Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority, writer of a report into the Libor rate-rigging scandal, stated that BBA was "careless" in its approach to policing Libor and put too much trust in a system that "did not have the right level of checks and balances in place",[3] and that the new manager of the Libor rate should be “an “organization that won’t be conflicted, like a trade association would be".[4] "[T]he BBA acts as the lobby organisation for the same submitting banks that they nominally oversee, creating a conflict of interest that precludes strong and credible governance".[1]

The Financial Services Authority and the Bank of England is blamed by some for not having taken "evasive action to grip the Libor-setting process back in 2008, when problems in the market first became conspicuous. [...] The BBA asked them for help at the time but was rebuffed."[1]

Transparency issues

According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the BBA's member-only publication briefly published by mistake on the internet revealed that "the BBA met a host of officials acting for government ministers, including Rohan Silva, special adviser to the prime minister; Giles Wilkes, Vince Cable’s special adviser; Steve Hilton, the recently departed Conservative director of strategy; and Norman Lamb, Nick Clegg’s then chief political adviser." None of these meetings has to be recorded on official public registers, meaning that "despite the government’s attempts to ‘shine a light of transparency’ on the lobbying industry, many meetings where the BBA could exert influence over policy are happening under the radar and the public is unlikely ever to know what was discussed". [5]

Political ties

The BBA has close ties with the Conservatives. "The current trade minister Lord Green was the BBA’s chairman until September 2010, while outgoing BBA chief executive Angela Knight was previously economic secretary to the Treasury under John Major. [...] Lady Noakes, a Conservative peer, hosted the 2011 reception."[5]

The Bureau also highlighted how in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 the BBA persuaded former Treasury select committee chairman and Labour MP John McFall (now Lord McFall), to host its annual parliamentary reception on the House of Lords terrace.[5]

Representation in the European Commission

John Everett (head of operational tax compliance at HSBC Holdings Plc) and Mark Gilmartin (director of Barclays Capital) represent the British Bankers Association on the European Commission's Expert Group on automatic exchange of financial account information. The aim of the group is to assist the EU member states on tax laws and collecting the full amount of tax owed to them.[6]

PR and Lobbying

External lobbyists



  • Anthony Browne, Chief Executive: He was previously responsible for Morgan Stanley’s external engagement on political and regulatory issues with government bodies for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Formerly, he had had responsibility for economic and business policy in the capital as mayoral policy director for economic development for Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. He oversaw the London Development Agency, the London Skills and Employment Board, and London’s international promotional agencies. He helped set up theCityUK, the international promotional body for UK financial services, on whose main board he sat. He set up the London apprenticeships programme. He ran the neoconservative orientated think-tank Policy Exchange. He was economics correspondent and deputy business editor of the Observer, Brussels correspondent and chief political correspondent of the Times and economics correspondent at the BBC.
  • Simon Hills, Executive Director, Prudential Capital, Risk and Regulatory Relationships: He is responsible for interfacing with the Financial Services Authority on "issues relating to prudential regulation but is also interested in liquidity and instruments used in the issuance of bank capital. He leads the BBA team working on the Basel 2 and its implementation in Europe via the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) and the FSA's prudential sourcebook."[12]
  • Ben Andersen-Tuffnell, Director of Government Affairs: Joined the BBA in November 2009. Prior to joining the BBA Ben worked for Intellect - the trade association for technology companies. Previously, he had spent three years as Fiscal and Regulatory Policy Officer at the The Sport and Recreation Alliance, representing the views of sporting governing bodies to Westminster and Whitehall.
  • Lesley McLeod, Executive Director, Communications: Previously worked in "frontline Whitehall departments where she has dealt with everything from dangerous dogs to mainland terrorism, from congestion charging to tourism." She heads a team at the BBA which covers media, parliamentary affairs and online communication.[13][14]

Former personnel

  • Marcus Agius, Chairman (2010-2012): After Barclay's conviction on Libor scandal, Agius stepped down as a chairman of Barclays, also resigning his post at BBA in July 2012.[15]
  • Stephen Green, Honorary Chairman (2006-2010): Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, (and Chair of HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA). He is a director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, of HSBC North America Holdings Inc, and of HSBC France. He became Chairman of the British Bankers Association in November 2006.[16] He was replaced by Marcus Agius in September 2010.
  • Angela Knight, Chief Executive (04.2007-06.2012): Former Councillor and Chief Whip on Sheffield City Council (1987-92). She entered Parliament in 1992 as conservative MP for Erewash and was Economic Secretary to the Treasury between 1995 and 1997, when she lost her seat at the General Election. She was the Chief Executive of the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers (1997-06). Non-executive director on the boards of Lloyds TSB (2003-2006), LogicaCMG, and IFSL (2003-2010), and a trust member of the Port of London Authority.[17]
  • John Letizia, Director of Government Affairs and Special Assistant to the Chief Executive. Former political and Regional Affairs Adviser at a leading manufacturing employers' organisation. John has also worked for a number of consultancies and has been an Adviser to a Government Minister.

EU lobbying

BBA have 15 lobbyists working on EU issues with 2 of these holding European Parliament passes, allowing the bearer virtually unlimited access to the Parliament's buildings.[18]



Pinners Hall
105-108 Old Broad Street
London EC2N 1EX
This article is part of the Finance Lobbying project of Spinwatch

External resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Peston, Robert, "Libor: The final humiliation for banks," BBC News Business 28 September 2012, accessed 14 October 2012.
  2. Pratley, Nils, "Paul Tucker is innocent – all too innocent," Guardian 09 July 2012, accessed 14 October 2012.
  3. BBC, "Libor interest rate riggers 'should face prosecution'," BBC News Business 28 September 2012, accessed 14 October 2012.
  4. Moshinsky, Ben and Lindsay Fortado, "FSA to Oversee Libor in Streamlining of Tarnished Rates," Bloomberg Businessweek 28 September 2012, accessed 14 October 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Newman, Melanie, "BBA’s ‘secret’ meetings with ministers, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism 09 July 2012, accessed 14 October 2012.
  6. European Commission Commission Expert Group on automatic exchange of financial account information, accessed 4 May 2015.
  7. Law Careers, Law Careers, March 2007.
  8. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
  9. APPC, APPC Register Entry for 01 September 2010 to 31 November 2010, accessed 10 October 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 APPC, APPC Register Entry for 30 November 2010 to 28 February 2011, accessed 13 October 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 APPC, APPC Register Entry for 01 September 2011 to 30 November 2011, accessed 10 October 2012.
  12. BBA, Executive Director, Prudential Capital, Risk and Regulatory Relationships - Simon Hills, Wayback Machine 22 June 2009, accessed 13 October 2012.
  13. BBA, Communications Director - Lesley McLeod, accessed February 2009.
  14. BBA, Contacts, accessed 14 October 2012.
  15. Masters, Brooke, "Agius steps down as BBA chairman," Financial Times 02 July 2012, accessed 13 October 2012.
  16. BBA, Honorary Chairman - Stephen Green, Wayback Machine 11 October 2007, accessed 13 October 2012.
  17. Debrett's, Ms Angela Knight, CBE, accessed 14 October 2012.
  18. Companies declaring the most lobbyists Lobby Facts, 26 January 2015, accessed 3 February 2015
  19. House of Commons, REGISTER OF ALL-PARTY GROUPS, as at 30 September 2010.