The Lending Standards Board (LSB) is a UK-based organization that monitors and enforces a code of good practices and integrity in lending companies. Their annual report takes a look at best practices and which companies are excelling in providing safe, effective transactions. This past year, leading companies on the report included newcomers Cabot Credit Management (whose board includes John Oros of J.C. Flowers & Co.), Experto Credite (whose board includes Jon Ketil Gjrtz), and Robinson Way (whose board includes Najib Nathoo).

According to its website, the LSB supports the Lending Code, “a voluntary code of practice which sets standards for financial institutions including debt collection and debt purchase firms to follow when they are dealing with their personal and small business customers in the United Kingdom.” By having and supporting these guidelines, the LSB helps protect both customers and consumer credit firms looking to provide the best possible service.

The latest report of the LSB showed several improvements with regard to debt collection in the last year. New to the report this year is the “associate subscriber” category, to which includes Cabot Credit Management and the other recent additions. These associated subscribers are debt collection and debt purchase firms whose work is covered by section 9 of the Code (Financial Difficulties).

The LSB performed 6 assessments of associate subscribers within the last year, and five of the firms passed. Though the one firm that failed was not named, the report noted that this firm was graded “red” in terms of compliance monitoring. Its next step will be to make improvements and undergo another assessment at a later date.

In addition to these assessments, the LSB did a series of separate reviews of the Code with an eye toward improving it in the areas of pre-arrears, the availability of freephone numbers, and dealing with consumer vulnerability. They gathered this information by observing agents, governance, and oversight of third party collection agencies.