Cloch Housing Association completes separation process

Cloch Housing Association has received confirmation that its new rules were registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on April 1 to officially conclude the separation process from Oak Tree Housing Association.

Since the SGM in December 2020, which followed a 95.5% favourable ballot to separate from the parent Association, Cloch and Oak Tree have worked together in shaping their shared service agreements for Finance and IT, and securing lenders consent. With the rules now registered by the FCA, the only steps remaining are notifications to OSCR and the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Paul McVey, director of Cloch, added: “It is quite unique to be separating from a group structure instead of joining one, and that steer has been supported by the 95% who voted in favour of the separation, and the drive of the Cloch Board and staff team to deliver on that mandate.

“None of that would have been possible either, without the goodwill from Oak Tree HA, the former parent, who supported the Cloch vision for separation and to restore our independent status. For many Associations, joining with another makes perfect sense and it certainly did for Cloch in 2012 when the financial and governance support from Oak Tree was crucial for Cloch’s stability.

“I would like to thank Oak Tree Housing Association for giving Cloch the space to flourish over the years and for our voice to be heard fully in the Options Appraisal and discussions which took place to kick start the separation process. Our future is a result of Oak Tree stepping in and providing security at a time when it was needed, and then stepping back out when the time is right.

“Returning independence to Cloch provides the Association with full control over future strategic direction, investment and service delivery. With a new vision, set of values and strategic plan, we will continue to work closely with Oak Tree using a Shared Services Agreement for Finance and IT which has worked really well in recent years.”

The Regulator has been engaging with Cloch about its move to become an independent organisation. In an updated engagement plan for the landlord, the Regulator noted the organisational change and said it will continue to engage with Cloch as it implements the planned changes.

In an updated engagement plan for Oak Tree Housing Association, the Regulator said it no longer requires any further assurance from the landlord at this point in time other than the annual regulatory returns required from all RSLs.

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