Coutts Finance Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and professional indemnity insures. It is a unique risk mitigation tool.

This software optimises the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can stay fully compliant with their instructions, with notifications given on Coutts Finance’s changes. While using COMPLETIONmonitor is not a prerequisite for Coutts Finance , demonstrating you can remain up to date with Coutts Finance’s Handbook requirements is a helpful support to your application to their lender panel and, just as importantly, safeguard your firm’s panel status.

The software creates real-time alerts, automatically produces regulatory and CQS reports, and will increase your firm's efficiency. It is also simply to use, cost-effective and, for many firms, results in a PII saving.

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Lenders frequently change their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from Coutts Finance are not guidelines, they are instructions from a client. As with many clients, instructions can change - and they do change, over time:

A Timeline of Policy Changes


Since 2008, Coutts Finance has made 94 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 29.0 days. In total, 41% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Coutts Finance have been changed since 15/12/2008.

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
5.5.1a 01/12/2014 CML
16.3.2 14/01/2011 CML
16.5.3d 14/01/2011 CML
17.1.1 14/01/2011 CML
4.5b 14/01/2011 CML
5.14.11 14/01/2011 CML Defective Lease Indemnity Insurance
5.14.9 14/01/2011 CML
5.1.1 14/01/2011 CML
5.7.1a 14/01/2011 CML Flying Freehold Indemnity Insurance
6.7.4 14/01/2011 CML

Last update 14/07/2019

Coutts & Co Conveyancing Panel Recently Asked Questions from members of the public

My wife and I are first time buyers. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Coutts & Co have this evening contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our lawyer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.

In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Your solicitors should contact Coutts & Co and see if they can apply for membership of the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Coutts & Co will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.

can you help? My conveyancer is assuring me that she is duty-bound to apply for a Local Authority search because the firm are on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel. Is this really necessary?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. Given that you are taking out a loan with Coutts & Co 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 Coutts & Co’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Coutts & Co. 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 Coutts & Co conveyancing panel? I have a car and am prepared to travel up to 20 miles to meet the conveyancer.
You can use the find a conveyancing panel tool 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 Coutts & Co solicitor panel.
I am thinking of remortgaging my property does my lawyer need to be on the Coutts & Co Solicitor panel?
In theory, you could use a solicitor that is not on Coutts & Co conveyancing panel, but Coutts & Co would require one of their panel solicitors to be instructed to act in their interests, and you'd have to pay for this - so most people instruct a panel solicitor. It's also easier, as otherwise you'd have to deal with two solicitors for the same conveyancing matter.
I previously instructed online solicitors located in Cardiff who are on the Coutts & Co solicitor panel. They have just invoiced me a separate fee of £175 for dealing with the Coutts & Co mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee specified by Coutts & Co?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your solicitors can charge a fee for this. This fee is not set by Coutts & Co but by your lawyers. Some firms on the Coutts & Co will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
What are the common reasons for a lender such as Coutts & Co to withdraw a mortgage offer?
Lenders such as Coutts & Co can revoke their mortgage offer although this is unusual. In the unlikely event that Coutts & Co withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to the reasons why. There are various possible reasons but here are 5 examples:
  • Where information comes to Coutts & Co ‘s attention regarding the customers or the security that they were not aware of prior to offer that affects their original decision to lend
  • Many mortgage offers have an expiry date. Your lawyer should check this. Coutts & Co may amend or withdraw an offer before the end of its validation period if an offer extension is requested and following a re-evaluation of the property the value of the security is below a level which is acceptable to them.
  • If the borrower informs Coutts & Co of a change in security address
  • Situations where information provided by the borrower that enabled the lender to make a lending decision is fraudulent, incorrect or misleading.
  • Where to proceed with the Mortgage offer would be unlawful
For 5 years I had a mortgage with Coutts & Co. My father has just retired and wants to pay off my mortgage. After Coutts & Co is paid, I want to transfer the property to my mother's name; How long will it roughly take? Do we need two separate solicitors on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel? I do not intend to live at the property once the Coutts & Co mortgage is discharged.
Although you do need to retain the services of a lawyer they dont need to be on the Coutts & Co panel. You will need a solicitor to draw up the transfer and to deal with the Land Registry formalities. The only thing you need to consider is that by selling at an undervalue so ask your lawyer about the implications. There could be an inheritance tax issue if you die within 7 years of this. There's no capital gains tax for you as it is your main residence.