Due to recent changes brought about by the banks to exclude small law
firms from their conveyancing panels, many small law firms now face
closure. This may not mean a lot to you personally…until you need access
to local and affordable legal services yourself, or you want to buy a
property with a mortgage and then you find the bank will dictate which
conveyancer you can use to represent you. Although that won't be
immediately obvious because the bank's panel conveyancers pay the estate
agents a referral fee to recommend them to you. HSBC for example use
Countrywide Conveyancers as anyone selling or buying a property through
multi-national estate agents will know.
Only when you suggest using your own solicitor will you be told one of three things, depending on who the lender is:
1) The mortgage offer will be withdrawn
2) You can use your own solicitor, but it will cost extra because you
the borrower will be expected to pay for the lender's legal costs
3) You can only use a conveyancer from the lender's panel, usually an
online conveyancer because it is unlikely that they will be local to
where you live.
We feel very strongly that this latest move by the banks is not in
the best interest of you the consumer, the High Street or rural
It takes all sorts of small businesses to
make a successful High Street. Law Firms are just one of them.
Independent businesses are the backbone of a community and are vital in
the growth of our economy.
We would really appreciate it if you could share the letter with your friends and family and let us know your thoughts.