Test – Online application for providers of business products

Become a registered firm. Tell us if you are meeting the Standards by answering the following questions

Online application | Business customers product provider

Please answer all questions as accurately as possible.

To save and return to your application at a later time, ensure you add the correct email address as this will used to provide you with a link to retrieve your application.

Following the submission of your online form, we will get in touch to discuss next steps. Should you have any questions regarding the application, please contact your compliance manager or our office us on info@lstdb.org.uk or 020 7012 0085.

 

Not quite there yet on adhering to all of the Standards?

Don’t worry, we will work with you and your teams throughout the application process and post-registration to help get you there, providing you with the right level of support along the way to ensure adherence to the Standards.

Tell us about your products (please complete this section fully and accurately, rounding the numbers up to the nearest thousand)

Product information

Customer outcome: all product information presented to business customers will be clear, fair and not misleading and enable the customer to understand the key features of the product, such as the interest rates, fees and charges that apply.

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls at product design, financial promotion and product review stages that assess product performance and ensure product information is clear, fair and not misleading.

Product sale

Customer outcome: business customers will only be provided with a product that is deemed affordable and which meets the requirements of the business.

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls that ensure the sales process, training and incentives promote the right behaviours and direct their employees, or their agents, to deliver the right customer outcome.

Product sale

Declined applications

Customer outcome: business customers whose applications are declined are provided with the right of appeal and are aware of the alternative sources of finance available.

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls that promote the right behaviours to ensure that their employees, or their agents, are able to treat declined business customers fairly and appropriately.

Product execution

Customer outcome: information provided to business customers will be clear in terms of presentation and in clarifying any action that the customer needs to take. Business customer requests will be dealt with in a timely, secure and accurate manner.

Firms will achieve this: with systems, processes and controls that aim to provide an accurate view of the customer’s relationship with the Firm and the relevant lending products they hold. This should be underpinned by appropriately skilled and knowledgeable staff.

Credit monitoring

Customer outcome: business customers will be supported by pro-active and reactive measures designed to identify signs of financial stress. [1]

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls that are capable of identifying, across the relevant products held, where customers may be showing signs of financial stress at any point in the customer life-cycle, and pro-actively engaging with the customer to agree an appropriate solution.

[1] The customer has not yet defaulted but information available to the Firm suggests that the business may be showing signs of being in financial difficulty.

Financial difficulty 

Customer outcome: business customers in financial difficulty, or in the early stages of the collections process, will receive appropriate support and fair treatment, in order to help them deal with their debt(s) in the most suitable way.

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls that are capable of identifying and, subsequently, supporting business customers in financial difficulty. Firms should be able to demonstrate that a sympathetic and positive approach has been applied when considering a customer’s financial situation.

Portfolio management

Customer outcome: when debts are sold, impacted business customers will be treated fairly and all communications regarding the sale, and what this means for the customer, will be transparent and provided in good time. Where business customers are suffering from mental health or critical illness, the customer’s debt will not be sold.

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls to ensure that only eligible business customers are transferred to a third party and appropriate due diligence is undertaken on the Firm before a sale, which demonstrates that the customer will be treated fairly.

Unless otherwise stated, the following Standards apply to the sale of performing and non-performing debt.

Vulnerability

Customer outcome: inclusive products and services take into account the broad range of business customers to which they may apply and contain appropriate flexibility to meet the needs of customers who may be, or are in, a vulnerable situation. Where customers are identified as, or the Firm has reason to believe that they may be, vulnerable, appropriate adjustments are made to ensure that their individual circumstances are accommodated to enable the customer, or their authorised third party, to manage their account(s).

Firms will achieve this: with systems and controls that are capable of assisting in the identification of customers who are, or may be, in a vulnerable situation, and having appropriate measures, training, referral points and skilled staff to deal appropriately with the customer once identified

The following Standards have been drafted to support Firms in identifying and addressing situations where an individual within a business either is, or the Firm has reason to suspect that they may be, vulnerable. These Standards can be applied to a sole trader, partnership or to an individual within a limited company. The impact of the individual’s vulnerability on the business customer’s relationship with their Registered Firm will depend on a number of non-exhaustive factors such as: the legal structure of the business, its sophistication, the role and level of responsibility of the individual within it and the extent of the individual’s vulnerability. Firms will be at different stages of developing an approach to business customers and vulnerability and the applicability of the following standards will depend on the individual circumstances of the person.

  • Reference to an individual means a person who, when taking into account information available to the Firm about the how the business is structured and operates, is able to exert significant control over the way in which it is run.
  • Reference to vulnerability is in relation to the individual rather than the business itself, for example, a business in financial difficulty would not necessarily be considered to be vulnerable for the purposes of these Standards.

Governance and oversight

Customer outcome: business customers will receive a fair outcome when taking out a credit product and throughout the whole customer lifecycle, wherever the interaction with the customer takes place.

Firms will achieve this: with processes, controls and governance arrangements that ensure that there is effective senior management oversight of the Firm’s achievement of the customer outcomes contained in the Standards of Lending Practice for business customers

This completes your online application process. If you would like to keep a copy of your completed application, please ensure you click on ‘download and print’ before submitting your application.

Once you have submitted your application on the next screen, this will no longer be available to you online.