In this series of blog posts, we are speaking to members of the Lending Standards Board (LSB) to understand more about what brought them to the organisation and the role they play within it. Previously we have spoken to Compliance Manager Mark Walker, Insight Manager Jess Roberts and Policy Manager Justin Protts.
Today, we are speaking to Olivia Bamber who is the Communications Manager within the LSB. Olivia is responsible for raising awareness of the LSB’s Standards and Codes through digital and print communications, including the LSB’s website and social media channels. She also works with the Press Office to liaise with external media platforms.
How long have you been at the LSB and what was your background before?
I have been at the LSB for two and a half years. Before this I worked in communications (comms) and project management for a charity for around seven years. This was my first time moving into financial services so there was a lot to learn. When I joined, the LSB was at a pivotal moment of expansion as we had just taken on the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code (the CRM Code). At the time, we didn’t have a dedicated comms function and so it was a period of change for both myself and the organisation.
What does your average day look like?
I can tell you what an average day would normally look like, but the nature of comms is that you often receive time sensitive enquiries which means we have to re-prioritise the day. This means you have to be flexible and adapt to external events. Most days start with me checking on anything in the media that relates to the LSB or the Standards and Codes we oversee. I work with our Press Office to respond to any press or media enquiries, whilst also looking at opportunities to promote our work. I may then work on preparing media or website updates on upcoming LSB events or publications. This can be across a range of channels from newsletters to articles, speeches to tweets.
I am also involved in developing the LSB’s core messages and brand. This is done by thinking about how we communicate, in what medium, and to whom.
How does your work benefit the LSB’s registered firms?
The Standards and Codes are designed to drive up industry standards and promote best practice. The more awareness there is about this, the more confidence customers of registered firms can have that they are interacting with firms committed to delivering better outcomes. We also want to raise awareness to those firms who aren’t registered with us, so they can learn about how to become registered and offer better protections to their customers. Some of our insight work is targeted at both registered and non-registered firms, so it is also important that firms know who we are and how to access this work.
There are multiple benefits to becoming a registered firm, and so part of my work is communicating this and making sure non-registered firms see the benefit of the LSB and what registration offers. Similarly, I work to make sure registered firms understand all the content and insight that we offer as part of registration, whether this be access to forums or roundtables, thought pieces or other insight articles, or consultations on the future direction of the Standards and Codes.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
One thing I really enjoy is that you have to constantly evolve how you deliver the LSB’s key messages. This is important to keep any content engaging and relevant to external events both within the industry and wider afield. As a team we are constantly challenging our messaging to make sure our writing and comms is as good as it can be. This means I am always learning and looking to develop both my own skills and how we deliver comms as an organisation. For example, the mediums we use to deliver content are always evolving, meaning I get to try my hand at different ways of communicating our key messages.
Do you have any tips for anyone reading from a registered firm?
We have a firm-only part of our website that provides access to exclusive insights and other work. This includes thought pieces and articles on emerging risks, best practice, and how to implement the Standards and Codes we oversee. To access this as a registered firm, speak to your LSCO or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a newsletter that gives a quarterly view of what the LSB is up to. If you’re interested in signing up to this, subscribe here.
Finally, I would tell registered firms to be vocal about what registration means and how the Standards and Codes are designed to lead to better outcomes. Customers should know they are dealing with a firm that has committed to registering with us and understand what this means for them.
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