Astra Mortgages Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the CML and PI insurers. It is a unique risk mitigation tool.

This system optimises the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their instructions, with notifications given on Astra Mortgages’s changes. Even though using the tool is not a prerequisite for Astra Mortgages , demonstrating you can stay up to date with Astra Mortgages’s Handbook requirements is a helpful support to your panel application and, more importantly, protect your firm’s panel status.

The system generates real-time alerts, automatically produces COLP and CQS reports, and will increase your firm's efficiency. In addition it is user friendly, cost-effective and, for many firms, leads to a PII saving.

Find a Law Firm approved by Astra Mortgages

Lenders frequently vary their requirements. The BSA instructions from Astra Mortgages are not guidelines, they are instructions from a client. As with many clients, instructions can change - and they do change, frequently:

A Timeline of Policy Changes


Since 2010, Astra Mortgages has made 59 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the BSA Requirements.
That equates to a section change every 46.3 days. In total, 49% of the sections of the BSA Requirements for Astra Mortgages have been changed since 26/1/2010.

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ASTRA mortgages Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers from members of the public

I am in the process of selling my house and the estate agent has just e-mailed to advise that the buyers are switching solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that ASTRA mortgages will only deal with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a major mortgage company only deal with certain law firms?
Lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.

Lenders blame a rise in fraud by way of justification 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 being contacted daily by practices 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.

My solicitor has informed me that he requires identification documents stating that this is part of his legal duty as a solicitor on the ASTRA mortgages Solicitor panel. Am I being spun a yarn?
Due to Money Laundering Regulations your conveyancing lawyer is duty bound to confirm positively your identification when entering into a business relationship with you. It is a criminal offense if your lawyer not do this. If you do not provide ID early in the transaction the solicitor must refuse to act for you. It’s unlikely a lawyer will turn you away if you come to the first meeting without relevant ID but you will have to produce it at some point so you might as well bring it with you to the initial meeting so the lawyer can tick the ID verification box and start sorting out the conveyancing straight away. If you are getting a mortgage with ASTRA mortgages your lawyer also has to check ID documents to satisfy ASTRA mortgages
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the ASTRA mortgages 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 ASTRA mortgages 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 ASTRA mortgages solicitor panel.
I am considering applying for a ASTRA mortgages mortgage for purchase of a new build (under development) with 70% LTV. Is it compulsory to choose a solicitor on the conveyancing panel for ASTRA mortgages?
There is nothing to stop you using your solicitor but ASTRA mortgages will insist on their interests being represented by a firm on their conveyancing panel. There is greater potential for delays and confusion with an additional lawyer added to the mix, and it will undoubtedly be more expensive too.
The for formalities of my purchase has taken place with a loan from ASTRA mortgages. Conveyancing was a necessary evil but I would like to complain about ASTRA mortgages. How do I make a complaint?
Almost all lenders have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the ASTRA mortgages branches or the Customer Services Department at ASTRA mortgages head office. We understand that complaints to ASTRA mortgages are sorted out very quickly. However if you are not satisfied that the matter is resolved you can write to the Financial Ombudsman Service who will take matters further.
I am due to exchange contracts on my flat. I had a double glazing fitted in month 2010 but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My buyer's lender, ASTRA mortgages are being problematic. The solicitor who is on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel is recommending indemnity insurance as a solution but ASTRA mortgages are requiring a building regulation certificate. Why do ASTRA mortgages have a conveyancing panel of they don’t accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that ASTRA mortgages have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why ASTRA mortgages may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing correctly and safely installed. It merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.
I had an offer accepted on an apartment on the 5th March 2014, valuation was booked 2 days later, all came back fine. Solicitor appointed, so the only thing outstanding was my mortgage offer. Having made daily calls to ASTRA mortgages and chasing them on my offer I have now been told that my offer will not be issued unless the lawyer is on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel. Are ASTRA mortgages entitled to hold back the Mortgage pending the lawyer being on the approved list?
A lender would not issue a mortgage until they have details of a lawyer on their panel. It can take a few weeks for ASTRA mortgages to deal with your lawyers application to be on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel. There's no guarantee that your solicitors will be accepted.