We’ve registered with the Lending Standards Board

09 August 2022

Business Banking

Tom Renwick
Tom Renwick
A woman sitting at a table, pen in hand, looking at paperwork

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve become a Registered Firm with the Lending Standards Board, a body dedicated to upholding fair practices in the lending industry. Here, our Head of Business Lending, Tom Renwick, gives more details and explains what this means.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for over 99% of total businesses and three in five jobs in the UK (FSB). They are the backbone of the UK economy: driving competition and growth, acting as a hotbed for innovation and opening up new markets.

That’s why we are fiercely passionate about supporting small businesses here at Atom bank. We aim to do this by helping them achieve their potential through fair and responsible lending.

Previously, we made a commitment to become compliant with the Lending Standards Board (LSB) Standards of Lending Practice for business customers, and we are now delighted to announce that, having completed their assessment process, we have been admitted as a registered firm.

What is the Lending Standards Board?

The Lending Standards Board (LSB) drives fair customer outcomes within financial services through independent oversight. They do this by requiring registered banks and lenders to operate to the benchmarks set out in their voluntary Standards of Lending Practice.

The Standards of Lending Practice set the benchmark for good business lending, outlining the way lenders are expected to deal with customers through the entire development of a product. The Standards are designed to work alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), covering areas that statutory regulation does not. The LSB provides robust and independent oversight, monitoring adherence to their Standards.

What have we done to become a registered firm?

During the interim registration period, we worked with the LSB to complete an end-to-end analysis of our existing policies, processes and procedures to check we met their Standards. This allowed us to identify gaps and — more critically — opportunities to align ourselves to emerging best practice. On confirmation of this compliance, we have now been admitted as a fully registered firm.

Why did we register?

Customers are at the heart of everything we do here at Atom bank. And, we have always operated on the basis that lending to small business customers should be subject to the highest standards of rigour and control. Registration with the LSB further confirms this commitment — beyond our regulatory obligations — to treating customers fairly and providing responsible lending outcomes throughout the product life cycle.

It will also enable us to draw insights from consumer groups, debt advice bodies and other industry stakeholders who work with the LSB, to identify emerging areas of customer detriment and share best practice with other firms.

What does this mean for me?

The LSB’s independent and robust approach to oversight will provide further assurance that we are observing high lending standards and continue to put our small business customers at the heart of everything we do. In short, in adhering to the Standards, we are demonstrating a commitment to ensuring that our customers are treated fairly and can borrow from us in confidence.