Monday, 3 March 2014

The Latest Battle That Seems Awfully Familiar

A battle is brewing as three lenders -- Lloyds, RBS and Santander -- are telling their conveyancing panel solicitors that they are required to register with the the respective bank’s panel management service via the Lender Exchange platform run by Decision First, the CML's chosen supplier.

It seems like deja’ vu of HSBC’s conveyancing panel cull in 2012, which ended with the lender backtracking. Now, the Law Society is challenging the CML and the Decision First process in the strongest terms. With battle lines being drawn, the Law Society is building what is shaping up to be a powerful campaign. In a recent communication to members, the Law Society has advised that it’s planning to raise its concerns about the Lender Exchange with the Government and mortgage companies. A briefing document has been prepared which states: "We are engaging with the CML and lenders to express our concerns about the lack of transparency, of published objective criteria, and of an appeals process, and to seek a sensible and practical solution, as we did with HSBC in 2012." As part of this dialogue, we are also engaging with the Government to secure the support of Ministers and civil servants to work with us and the mortgage industry to broker a long term solution that is in the interests of consumers, lenders and the profession’.

I would encourage readers to weigh in on this matter. A copy of a sample letter to be sent to MPs can be found here. For a copy of the briefing package contact your local Law Society or contact the Law Society’s Government and Parliamentary Affairs Unit on 020 7320 5858 or

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