Common questions asked concerning the Bank of Scotland Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
I am progressing with the sale of my apartment and the estate agent has just e-mailed to warn that the buyers are appointing a new property lawyer. The excuse is that Bank of Scotland will only work with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a leading lender only deal with specific lawyers?
UK lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 15 years.
Lenders blame a rise in fraud as the reason for the cull – criteria have been tightened and a smaller panel should be easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels, or have other concerns about them. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyer’s case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.
I am purchasing a brand new flat and my solicitor is telling me that she has to disclose incentives from the developer as her firm is on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel. I am under pressure to sign contracts and I have no desire to delay matters. is my lawyer taking the correct approach?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Bank of Scotland approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Bank of Scotland). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the Bank of Scotland approved panel. How can I be sure given that they are not listed on your directory?
Not all firms are yet listed on our lender panel search tool which is still relatively new. Law firms are listing on a daily basis and it is probably the case that your lawyer is on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing lawyer and you should probably take them at their word. Please do feel free to suggest that they completing their listing on our site as it would only cost them £1 a month to list themselves as being on the Bank of Scotland solicitor panel.
I am selling my house. Does my solicitor have to be on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel in order to deal with paying off my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel they can still act for you on your sale. it might be that the lender will not release the original deeds (if applicable and increasingly irrelevant) until after the mortgage is paid off. You should speak to your lawyer directly before you start the process though to ensure that there is no problem as lenders are changing their requirements fairly frequently at the moment.
is it true that all conveyancing solicitors on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel overseen by the SRA?
As solicitors, in order to be on the Bank of Scotland conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the SRA. Many lenders do allow licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such firms would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
Can I be sure that the solicitor on the Bank of Scotland panel is any good?
seeking recommendations is a sensible starting point. Before you go ahead check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always suggest that you speak with the lawyer handling your transaction
We have agreed to purchase a house.One unusual aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender Bank of Scotland be concerned
As your lender is Bank of Scotland your lawyer must to check the Bank of Scotland conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Bank of Scotland . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Bank of Scotland where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. The CML are developing guidance for Northern Ireland and Scotland.