UK Finance, the new trade body formed following the merger of various domestic associations in the banking and payments arena, has opened for business.

The new entity will carry on roles that were previously delivered by six separate bodies namely the Asset Based Finance Association, British Bankers’ Association, Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.

The body will represent over 300 British firms offering credit, banking, markets as well as payments services.

UK Finance will be headed by Stephen Jones as CEO. He has an experience of about three decades in the financial services industry, which includes stints at Santander, Barclays, Citigroup and Schroders.

Jones said that “boundaries between banking services are blurring, enabling the industry to become more efficient and customer-focused”.

“For the UK’s finance and banking sector, these changes present new opportunities and fresh challenges which require a coordinated voice to best support it going forward. UK Finance will be that fresh voice: representing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services across the UK and bringing together the expertise and reach of the constituent organisations to achieve the best outcomes for our members and their customers,” Jones stated.

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UK Finance will be chaired by Bob Wigley, who previously served as the EMEA chairman at Merrill Lynch and was a member of the court of the Bank of England.