London, 16 January 2024: Cambridge & Counties Bank has become the latest financial services firm to sign up for interim registration to the Lending Standards Board’s (LSB) Standards of Lending Practice for business customers (business Standards) and the Standards for business customers – asset finance.
The registration marks the first time a financial institution has signed up to both the business Standards and Standards for asset finance at the same time, and signals Cambridge & Counties Bank’s long-term commitment to delivering fair customer outcomes, industry best practice and transparency.
The LSB’s outcomes-focused Standards set the benchmark for good lending practice in the UK, providing protections for SMEs across the entire customer journey. They are the only protections of their kind and are formally recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority. The interim registration process will assess Cambridge & Counties Bank’s approach to customer protection, and whether it can meet the requirements of the Standards and is designed to support the bank achieve full registration status within 12 months.
Cambridge & Counties Bank is a dedicated specialist lender and a leading provider of real estate finance and asset finance for SMEs. The bank believes that external pressures, including increases in the Bank of England’s Base Rate and elevated levels of inflation, have put pressure on SMEs and that independent assurance such as the LSB standards are an important part of ensuring SME customers are supported effectively.
Sarah Barker, Chief Commercial Officer at Cambridge & Counties Bank, says: “We have always promoted good lending practices, and we are proud to be the first firm to register to both the business and asset finance Standards at the same time. Working towards full registration will assure our customers that they are dealing with a bank that prioritises the highest level of conduct across its operations – not just in line with industry best practices but leading at the forefront. Signing up signals our intention to ensure all our customers experience the same high standards of service.”
“Strong relationships and good service, we believe, underpin the strength of our business and future success. The more we can showcase our expertise through independent verification, the better for us and our customers.”
Emma Lovell, Chief Executive of the LSB, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Cambridge & Counties Bank into our interim registration process. Signing up to both the business Standards and Standards for asset finance at the same time is a landmark moment and testament to the bank’s commitment to best practice Interim registration sends a clear message to Cambridge & Counties Bank’s SME and commercial finance customers about its intention to deliver fair outcomes.”
Any financial services firm interested in signing up to the LSB’s Standards for Lending Practice for business customers – or any of the LSB’s other Standards or Codes – can read more here.