The Lending Standards Board (LSB) is supportive of the banks proposals to offer access to alternative dispute resolution to more SMEs and to review cases outside the historic remit of the FOS. We also welcome the independent steering group, with input to the design and implementation of the scheme by a wider group of stakeholders, and the establishment of an Independent SME Advisory Council. Support for UK SMEs is rightly moving high up the conduct agenda and we feel that these positive moves by the industry complement the LSB’s Standards of Lending Practice for business customers, which set high standards of behaviour for lenders in the treatment of SMEs. They represent industry good practice and the FOS, with its proposed increased remit, will be able to use the Standards as industry best practice in its adjudications. We would hope that this will encourage more firms to commit to the Standards thereby increasing the proportion of the SME market covered by them and sending out a message that the industry is able to self-regulate effectively.
Find the UK Finance release regarding the industry agreement on a series of voluntary proposals here.