Access to Banking Standard

Building on recommendations proposed by Professor Russel Griggs in his independent review of the Access to Banking protocol in 2016 and aimed at helping minimise the impact of bank branch closures on customers and local communities, we are now responsible for the oversight of this Standard. This means that we independently monitor and report on the application of the Standard by the following firms:

  • Barclays Bank
  • Bank of Ireland
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank
  • Danske Bank
  • First Trust Bank
  • HSBC UK
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander UK
  • TSB

This industry-wide agreement, which has the support of Government, the regulator and the main high street banks, aims to ensure customers affected receive improved notification of potential branch closures, greater clarity on the reasons for the closure and adequate help in accessing alternative banking services.

Access the Standard and the customer overview document.

Read more about the agreement UK Finance Press Release.

Credit Card Market Study (CCMS)

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has undertaken a market study looking at how consumers use their credit cards and whether this product is working as well as it could for all consumers. In July 2016, the FCA published its final report along with a package of remedies to address the issues it has identified. Responsibility for the oversight of four of these remedies was passed to the LSB:   

  • Expiry of a promotional rate
  • Prompting customers who are nearing their limit
  • Allowing customers to request a ‘later than’ payment date
  • Enabling customers to exercise greater control over unsolicited increases in their limit.

Firms are currently working to embed the required changes/updates within their processes. An overview of the expected customer outcome and the date that these will become effective are set out below:

  • Promotional rate expiry: credit card customers on a promotional rate are better prepared to make timely and informed decisions about the options open to them when this rate comes to an end. Implementation date: April 2018
  • Borrowing prompt: borrowing prompts help customers to take account of their spending, to make timely and informed decisions about how they use their credit card and avoid incurring an over limit charge. Implementation date: July 2018
  • Payment date changes: allowing customers to set a more convenient payment date for future statements enables them to exercise greater control over their credit card account. Implementation date: April 2018
  • Unsolicited credit limit increases: customers are able to exercise greater control over how their credit limit is managed through the provision of clear information and easier ways to express their preferences regarding unsolicited increases in their limit. Implementation date: September 2018

The LSB is engaging with firms and the FCA as the implementation timetable progresses.