Family Building Society Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

Lexsure’s COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and PI insurers such as AmTrust. COMPLETIONmonitor is a unique risk management tool.

This system assists the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can stay fully compliant with their instructions, with notifications given on Family Building Society’s changes. While using the tool is not a condition for being on the Family Building Society panel, demonstrating you can stay up to date with Family Building Society’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 enhance your firm's efficiency. In addition it is 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 Family Building Society 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 2008, Family Building Society has made 34 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 80.3 days. In total, 15% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Family Building Society have been changed since 15/12/2008.

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
6.7.1 20/09/2019 CML
6.7.4 01/08/2017 CML
5.20.3 01/08/2017 CML
16.5.2 21/03/2016 CML
3.1.6 01/12/2014 CML
6.14.1a 01/12/2014 CML
6.14.2 01/12/2014 CML
6.14.4 01/12/2014 CML
6.14.1 01/12/2014 CML
3.1.5 01/12/2014 CML

Last update 01/04/2020

Family Building Society Solicitor Panel Recently Asked Questions from members of the public

I am progressing with the sale of my apartment and the estate agent has just called to warn that the buyers are switching conveyancer. I am told that this is due to the fact that Family Building Society will only engage with solicitors on their approved list. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only work with certain 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 Nationwide , 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 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 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 lawyer has uncovered an inconsistency between the surveyor’s assumptions in Family Building Society’s home valuation survey and what is in the conveyancing documents. My lawyer has advised that as he is on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel he is duty bound to ensure that the lender is OK with this discrepancy and is still content to lend. Is my solicitor’s course or action legitimate?
A precondition to being on the Family Building Society approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Family Building Society) which do require that your lawyer disclose any incorrect assumptions in the lender’s valuation report and the legal papers. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
Are the lawyers identified as being on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel, together with their details provided by Family Building Society?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Family Building Society directly.
I am attempting to get my ex-wife taken off the mortgage deeds. Can Family Building Society really insist on which solicitor I can or can not instruct?
You can use any solicitor you like but Family Building Society then has the right to appoint a different solicitor to act for them at your expense. It might be more cost effective and quicker to instruct a lawyer who is on the Family Building Society solicitors panel
Can I be sure that the solicitor on the Family Building Society panel is any good?
Getting recommendations is a good start. 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 recommend that you speak with the solicitor handling your transaction
In what circumstances might Family Building Society amend or withdraw their mortgage offer?
Banks and Building Societies such as Family Building Society can revoke their mortgage offer although this is unusual. In the unlikely event that Family Building Society withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to the reasons why. There are many potential reasons but here are 5 examples:
  • Family Building Society may amend or withdraw an offer if the Family Building Society conveyancing panel solicitor is unable to confirm compliance with any of the conditions of the mortgage offer or if any of the terms of the mortgage offer cannot be satisfied
  • Amendments if purchase price adjusted and the loan to value limits exceeded by this. Please note that Family Building Society conveyancing panel solicitors would be obliged to notify Family Building Society of a change in the price of the property.
  • Where the lender is on notice of a restriction or a right of pre-emption which is not at market value
  • Where the Lender’s right to possession is fettered in some way
  • If the lender reasonably suspects that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is involved in any criminal or fraudulent activity, including trading in illegal drugs or other substances, theft, robbery, deception or other serious offences, or if the applicant borrower, mortgagor or guarantor has a conviction for any serious criminal offence, including theft, deception, fraud, robbery or trade in illegal drugs or other substances;
Planning on purchasing a flat with a mortgage with Family Building Society. I have received an online quote from a licensed conveyancer, which states: "There will be no charge for dealing with the Building Society if you are obtaining a mortgage". I take this to mean that there will be no additional fee if the solicitor is on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel. I wanted to make sure it means there will be no additional fees for dealing with the mortgage.
They are simply saying that the cost for acting for the lender is included in the fee being quoted. It is worth you checking that they are on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel