The LSB published its Access to Banking Standard Summary Report on 24 February 2020.
The report sets out the LSB’s findings following its latest review of relevant firms’ compliance with the Access To Banking Standard (“ABS“). The review checks whether firms have adequate policies, processes, controls and governance arrangements in place to ensure operational compliance with the ABS.
The reports highlights areas where they have witnessed improvement since the last report in September 2018:
- the way firms have supported customers and engaged with the wider community has been improved;
- the new definition of “impacted customer” (any customer who undertakes 3 monetary transactions within the branch on 3 separate occasions in the previous 6 months) means those customers received notice if a decision is made to close or reduce hours at a branch;
- by spring 2020, the LSB will create and publish a defined set out key metrics (together with guidance) which will help customers understand firms impact assessments;
- an agreement has been reached with LINK so that firms will also keep LINK updated (at the same time as customers are informed) where a decision has been made to close a branch that has an ATM attached to it; and
- closure notice communications are more reflective of information pertaining to the branch that is being closed.
Areas where firms should focus their attentions on was summarised as:
- an improvement in internal oversight processes and controls to ensure the ABS is being met;
- pro-activity needs to be encouraged to identify and deal with vulnerable customers more effectively;
- continuing to engage with customers following a branch closure to ensure relevant support is offered.