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Santander UK cancels Lending Standards Board membership

  • 08/04/2024
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Santander UK cancels Lending Standards Board membership
Santander UK is no longer a member of the Lending Standards Board (LSB), a non-profit self-regulatory organisation for the banking and lending sectors.

The organisation aims to set out standards and deliver good practice for consumers regarding overdrafts, credit card, charge cards, unsecured loans and services. 

Halifax, Barclays, HSBC UK and Lloyds Banking Group are among the lenders registered with the LSB. 

Santander UK said it was cancelling its membership to avoid duplicating regulation following the introduction of Consumer Duty. 

A Santander UK spokesperson said: “Santander UK is committed to upholding high standards and delivering fair outcomes for our customers. Our announcement will not undermine the standards of consumer protection we provide. 

“We have welcomed the role of the LSB in driving improvements in standards across the sector. However, we believe the standards set by the Consumer Duty supersede the LSB codes. Our decision was driven by the need to avoid duplication of regulation and to enable us to use our resources effectively and ensure good customer outcomes.” 

The LSB was established in 2002 and collaborates with other bodies including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), HM Treasury and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Anna Roughley, head of insight at the LSB, said: “Customers should always check for LSB registration to make sure they have access to the highest levels of protection.

“The Business Standards are truly unique in the UK, provide the only protections of their kind to UK SMEs, and are recognised by the FCA. Firms not signed up to the Business Standards cannot offer SMEs the same protections as registered firms because they are not held independently accountable in their treatment of customers. Meanwhile, the Personal Standards have pioneered lending protections for consumers, and we have already announced a consultation to assess the future of these Standards in a careful manner, with a priority placed on protecting consumers.

“Registration with the Lending Standards Board enables financial services firms to send a clear signal that they are committed to achieving the right customer outcomes where there is heightened risk to customers or an absence of statutory regulation.”

Earlier this year, the LSB released guidance for mortgage lenders that work with business customers. Recommendations included more guidance on applying LSB standards across digital channels, guidance to support firms with offering sustainable products and services, and guidance to promote an inclusive approach to consider the range of SME circumstances and needs in product design.

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