Focused on our customers.
Building on the OSB Group long tradition of putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.
OSB Group encourages a culture that aims to:
- communicate and work with each customer on an individual basis
- act with consistency across all channels
- promote a confident, open and trustworthy workforce
- offer simplicity and ease of business
- offer long-term value for money, and
- offer transparent products without the use of short-term bonus rates, and to offer existing customers the benefit of loyalty rates.
Our customers are part of our success and we aim to become a financial services provider of choice. To support this, we use the OSB and CCFS established governance frameworks for consistent best practice across the business and ensure we have combined robust policies and procedures to minimise the risk of failure to deliver the service both our savers and our borrowers have come to expect.
The main policies which govern how we transact with customers are discussed below and apply at a OSB Group level. As the integration with CCFS progresses, duplicate policies will be replaced by a combined Group-wide policy.
- Lending policy – ensures that the Group lends money responsibly and within the Bank’s lending criteria and risk appetite. The Lending policy is approved annually and rolled out to all relevant operational employees to use within their day-to- day roles. The Lending policy goes through two quality assurance processes with both the Operations and the Credit team, with results presented to the Group Risk Committee each year. The performance of our lending and potential risks and changes are discussed, challenged and approved at Group Credit Committee and Group Risk Committee.
- Vulnerable Customer and Suicide Awareness policy – sets out the standards and approach for the identification and treatment of vulnerable customers and provides guidance to all parts of the Group to ensure vulnerable customers consistently receive fair outcomes. It ensures that employees are appropriately trained to identify vulnerability and potential suicide risks in our customers and put in place appropriate actions to deal with such issues as effectively as possible. The Vulnerable Customer Review Committee continually improves standards and ensures that policy and outcomes are reported to the Group Risk Committee and ultimately the Board. The Group is committed to delivering fair and suitable outcomes to all customers based on their individual circumstances.
- Arrears, Repossessions and Forbearance policy – ensures that handling of arrears and repossessions delivers fair and suitable outcomes tailored to the circumstances of the individual customer. The policy is focused on seeking to work proactively with customers to prevent them falling into arrears, or to cure the arrears position to deliver an appropriate outcome. The Group Risk Committee, a Committee of the Board, is responsible for reviewing risk issues and reporting regularly to the Board, which retains responsibility for understanding and controlling the degree of risk undertaken.
Employees have mandatory annual training on all key policies, with a completion rate of 99% in 2019.
There are also policies that apply to the business as a whole and govern our operations, including:
- Data Protection and Retention policies to ensure the Group protects its customer data and manages and retains it fairly and appropriately.
- Conduct Risk framework, including treating customers fairly to ensure the Group conducts its business fairly and without causing customer detriment.
- Conflicts of Interest policy to ensure the Group can identify and, if possible, avoid conflicts, and where this is not possible, to manage conflicts fairly.
We take a personal approach to our customers, treating each customer as an individual and listening to their needs. Many of our customers are also members of the Kent Reliance Provident Society (‘KRPS’), the Society that took over the management of the membership of the former Kent Reliance Building Society. The Bank and the Society have benefited from member engagement through the online ‘portal’ launched late in 2015, enabling input from a geographically broader range of members. During 2019, six major studies were undertaken, with the 514 members on our KRPS panel helping the OSB Group to identify the areas of our propositions most valuable to members.
Whilst we concentrate on providing an excellent service, when things go wrong, we aim to put them right and learn from any mistakes made.
- Complaints Handling policy – ensures that the Group responds to complaints swiftly, fairly and consistently and that customers’ concerns are taken seriously. We investigate complaints competently, diligently and impartially, supported by appropriately trained employees. Through the Operations Committee, management information on complaints is collected and reported on a regular basis to the Board and other relevant Committees as appropriate for them to consider if additional actions are required. Root cause analysis is used to identify and solve underlying issues rather than apply quick fixes.