FAQs : The Clydesdale Bank Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
I am in the process of selling my house and the EA has just telephoned to advise that the buyers are appointing a new solicitor. The excuse is that Clydesdale Bank will only work with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a major mortgage company only engage with specific 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.
can you help? My conveyancer is informing me me that he has to conduct a Local Authority search as the firm are on the Clydesdale Bank conveyancing panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
You have limited options available to you. Given that you are taking out a loan with Clydesdale Bank your lawyer has to comply with their conditions as set out in their version of the CML Conveyancing Handbook. Your lawyer would have previously signed the Terms and Conditions of Clydesdale Bank’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Clydesdale Bank. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Are there any apps to help find a local solicitor on the Clydesdale Bank conveyancing panel? I have a car and am prepared to travel up to 10 miles to meet the lawyer.
You can use the find a conveyancing panel search on this page. Please choose the lender and your location and you will see a number of lawyer located nearest you. Alternatively you can type in the name of your proposed law firm and see if they are listed as being on the Clydesdale Bank solicitor panel.
Can you clarify what the consequences are if my lawyer’s firm is removed from the Clydesdale Bank Solicitor panel prior to completion?
First, this is a very rare occurrence. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have ti instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by the regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.
When it comes to lenders such as Clydesdale Bank do solicitors have to be pay a fee to be on the conveyancing panel?
We are not aware of any lender fees to be on their panel although some do charge an administration charge to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
The for formalities of my purchase has taken place with a loan from Clydesdale Bank. Conveyancing was a necessary evil but I feel I should register my dissatisfaction about Clydesdale Bank. How do I make a complaint?
Almost all banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the Clydesdale Bank branches or the Customer Care Department at Clydesdale Bank head office. Ordinarily complaints to Clydesdale Bank are resolved effectively and efficiently. If you feel that the matter is not resolved you can write to the
Financial Ombudsman Service at South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR who will take matters further.
I can not work out if my mortgage offer obliges me to make sure the lease term for the flat is extended prior to the completion date . I have telephoned Clydesdale Bank on numerous occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Clydesdale Bank conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told not they would not lend in accordance with their CML Handbook minimum lease term requirements. Who do I believe?
As long as the conveyancer is on the Clydesdale Bank panel she or he must comply with the CML Handbook requirements for Clydesdale Bank. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Clydesdale Bank will go ahead your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask Clydesdale Bank to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.