Last reviewed 03/01/2020

IMLA past and present

IMLA was founded in 1988 as The Association of Mortgage Lenders and has therefore represented the voice of intermediary mortgage lenders for over 30 years.

1988 — The Association of Mortgage Lenders

IMLA began life as the Association of Mortgage Lenders (AML). The AML was incorporated in June 1988 as a trade body to represent the views of the newly emerged ‘centralised’ lenders in a rapidly changing and expanding mortgage market. These lenders had no branches and used a wholesale funding model and intermediary-based mortgage sales channel.

1989 — The Council of Mortgage Lenders

In 1989 Abbey National Building Society became a bank and this prompted the Building Societies Association (BSA), of which Abbey National had been a member, to consider creating a new trade body that could include both a mortgage bank such as the Abbey, the new centralised lenders plus the banks and insurance companies who had become active in the mortgage market. The AML, together with the BSA, the British Bankers Association, the Association of British Insurers and the Finance and Leasing Association came together to form the industry-wide Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). From the outset, CML’s members included AML members as well as high street banks, building societies, insurance companies and finance houses. In 2017 the CML joined with the BBA and four other trade associations to form UK Finance. IMLA remains independent, but continues to work closely with UKF, with which it shares many members.

1995 — The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association

In September 1995 the AML changed its name to The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), to reflect members’ specific expertise in and focus on all issues relating to the generation of mortgage business via professional financial intermediaries.

What has IMLA achieved?

IMLA members were responsible for introducing the concept of ‘centralised mortgage processing’ which enables mortgage applications to be generated via intermediaries and this has now been embraced by a number of lenders.

IMLA members were active in developing innovative funding techniques through the wholesale money market products which allowed capped, short and long term fixed rates and stabiliser facilities to be created and which are now widely available for borrowers. IMLA members also pioneered the process of securitising mortgage assets.

IMLA members continue to lead the development of electronic tracking and information services for intermediaries and borrowers and to look at new products and services with the aim of offering borrowers greater choice and flexibility.

IMLA today

IMLA Membership now includes UK banks, building societies, subsidiaries of overseas banks and mortgage lender subsidiaries of UK companies set up to carry out specific UK mortgage lending operations.

IMLA is run on a day-to-day basis by its Executive Director, Kate Davies. She reports to the elected Chair, Deputy Chair and 3 other directors of IMLA on a regular basis and through periodic Management Committee meetings (ManCo). All members are able to attend the regular Executive Committee (ExCo) meetings where IMLA policy is discussed and agreed. Elections are held in November for the Directors: the Chair is elected for a two-year term. Members thus exercise considerable control over the direction and running of the trade body.

See past Chairs of IMLA »