New lender launches first panel limited to Conveyancing Association firms

Print This Post

23 February 2015


Eddie Goldsmith

Goldsmith: “Distinct possibility” that other lenders might follow

A new buy-to-let lender, Fleet Mortgages, has created the first law firm panel made up only of members of the Conveyancing Association (CA).

Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the CA, told Legal Futures it was a “distinct possibility” that other lenders might follow suit and he had held “preparatory talks” with a number of them.

“Limiting the number of law firms in this way means that lenders know who they are,” Mr Goldsmith said.

“It may well be that Fleet decides to extend its panel as and when it is appropriate to do so.”

Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 14)

Mr Goldsmith said that over 30 of the CA’s 53 member firms were on the panel of the new lender, based in Fleet, Hampshire.

He said “no lenders” were interested in setting up open panels any more, and the two options were setting up a very restricted panel of a handful of firms, or a larger “controlled” panel.

Bob Young, managing director of Fleet Mortgages, said: “We have taken the view that a small controlled legal panel is the best option for us, taking into account our appetite for risk management and customer choice.

“I would not be surprised at all if other emerging lenders did not take the same or similar view.”

Mr Goldsmith added that Fleet Mortgages had used Lender Exchange to help set up and operate its panel. Lender Exchange was launched last summer with the backing of Santander and the Lloyds Banking Group. By October, 2,700 law firms had signed up.

The Law Society and Decision First, which operates Lender Exchange, have so far failed to reach agreement on the relationship between the Exchange and the society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), despite lengthy negotiations.

Meanwhile, Nationwide said last week that from this summer all conveyancing firms on its panel must have CQS.

Jonathan Smithers, vice-president of the Law Society, said CQS provided a “recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practice and has created a trusted community”, helping to deter fraud and drive up standards.

Tags: , , , ,



One Response to “New lender launches first panel limited to Conveyancing Association firms”

  1. Just to clarify on the Nationwide point, the CQS membership requirement applies only to SRA-regulated firms. Nationwide have confirmed there is no change for CLC-regulated firms.

  2. Stephen Ward on February 24th, 2015 at 10:29 am

Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Do not fear robot lawyers – fear robot clients

Pulat Yunusov

Tech is famous for its shorter and shorter hype cycles. Robot lawyers were all over the twitters only a few months ago and now people actually yell at you for even mentioning the thing. Of course, robot lawyers should not even have surfaced in the first place because no one is remotely close to building them. Lawyers should not fear for their livelihoods. But there is something that is much more important than robot lawyers. It’s robot clients. Or at least the proliferation of machines, automated transactions, and standardized processes where lawyers once controlled the terrain.

September 20th, 2016