April 18, 2017 / 4:19 PM / 7 months ago

UK banking lobby chief to step down in the summer

LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - British Bankers’ Association (BBA) chief Anthony Browne will step down in the summer, the trade body said on Tuesday, as the industry emerges from one of its more turbulent periods and enters another.

Browne leaves ahead of the BBA’s merger with five other finance industry bodies to create a new UK Finance lobby group aiming to protect the British financial sector as the government negotiates terms for the country’s exit from the European Union.

Having joined the BBA from Morgan Stanley only two weeks before the Libor rate-rigging scandal broke in 2012, Browne said he leaves the association in “robust good health” with membership and income at record levels.

The Libor scandal resulted in fines for some BBA members for trying to rig the interest rate benchmark that the association itself compiled. The BBA was later stripped of that role.

The sector was also recovering from the financial crisis in the teeth of public anger over taxpayer bailouts of lenders and payments of big bonuses at a time of austerity for many.

Browne, who said when he took the reins in 2012 that he would stay for five years, now plans to pursue “a range of other opportunities”.

The BBA has been lobbying the UK government to maintain banking access to the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc in 2019.

Browne famously warned policymakers that bankers have their hands “hovering over the relocate button” to shift some operations to the continent if they don’t receive reassurances on EU market access.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by David Goodman

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