Council members told Accountancy Age that – unlike the ICAEW and CIPFA – they had thrown out merger proposals in July. Consent was finally given at a special meeting held just four days before the merger announcement last week, but only to a watered-down resolution on ‘consultation’.
Some furious council members ignored a gagging order to condemn the recent high-profile announcement on a proposed merger.
Last Monday, the presidents and chief executives of the CIMA, CIPFA and the ICAEW gathered in London to announce their councils had agreed ‘in principle’ to the move. A nationwide campaign to ‘present the benefits’ of a merger was also revealed.
One CIMA member said that ‘spin’ had got out of hand. ‘What we actually voted for was consultation and further negotiations which is a long way short of saying we approve of this.’
He added that it was uncertain whether CIMA’s December council meeting would vote for a membership ballot, the next stage of any merger.
A CIMA spokeswoman admitted the merger had been discussed in July and at an ‘extra’ meeting this month, but declined to comment on the voting, citing confidentiality.
But she insisted: ‘The press release that was issued and the comments that were made by both the president and chief executive at the press conference are fully in accordance with the CIMA council mandate.’ For more on the debate, see pages 12 and 13.
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