RBS- First Active Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

Lexsure’s COMPLETIONmonitor is web-based 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 mitigation tool.

This system assists the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their instructions, with notifications given on RBS- First Active’s changes. Notwithstanding that utilising this technology is not a condition for being on the RBS- First Active panel, demonstrating you can remain up to date with RBS- First Active’s Handbook requirements is an excellent support to your panel application and, more importantly, safeguard your firm’s panel status.

COMPLETIONmonitor generates real-time alerts, automatically produces COLP and CQS reports, and will enhance your firm's efficiency. In addition it is user friendly, cost-effective and, for some firms, results in reduced PII premiums.

Find a Law Firm approved by RBS- First Active

Mortgage companies frequently vary their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from RBS- First Active 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, RBS- First Active has made 175 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 15.6 days. In total, 49% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for RBS- First Active have been changed since 15/12/2008.

To find out more about lender panel compliance,

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
14.2.1 28/12/2017 CML
5.19.1 19/07/2016 CML
16.3.1 31/05/2016 CML
6.7.1 12/02/2016 CML
6.14.1 30/11/2015 CML
6.7.1 25/08/2015 CML
3.1.6 01/12/2014 CML
5.5.1a 01/12/2014 CML
6.14.2 01/12/2014 CML
6.14.3 01/12/2014 CML

Last update 25/03/2019

Common questions asked concerning the RBS- First Active Solicitor Panel from members of the public

What is the rationale as to why all property lawyers aren't included on the RBS- First Active Solicitor panel?
Before the recession most lenders had an appetite for risk which was higher than today. The Financial Services Authority in 2010 conducted a thematic review into mortgage fraud which concluded: know the conveyancing solicitors that you are dealing with. Consequently, lenders have regularly sought more information from law firms about their operations and the individuals who work for them and set certain criteria such a completing on a minimum number of transactions. Many firms that have been excluded from lender panels have 100% healthy track record, no complaints and no claims and didn't just 'dabble' in conveyancing. Such firms were never going to meet the criteria of volume of transactions the lenders required.
I am buying a new build duplex and my conveyancer is advising me that she is duty bound to disclose incentives from the seller as her firm is on the RBS- First Active conveyancing panel. I am on a tight deadline to exchange contracts and my preference is not to delay the conveyancing. Can I insist on an exchange regardless of what my lawyer says about being on the RBS- First Active panel?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the RBS- First Active approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on RBS- First Active). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
I have checked your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the RBS- First Active conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the RBS- First Active 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 RBS- First Active 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 RBS- First Active solicitor panel.
We're in Liverpool, FTBs purchasing with a mortgage (lender is RBS- First Active , but our solicitor is on the RBS- First Active conveyancing panel). How long should the conveyancing process take?
The fact that your lawyer is on the RBS- First Active conveyancing panel is a help. It would almost certainly delay matters if they were not. However, no conveyancer should guarantee a time-frame for your conveyancing due to third parties outside of our control such as delays caused by lenders,conveyancing search providers or by the other side’s solicitors. The time taken is often determined by the number of parties in a chain
Do conveyancing solicitors on the RBS- First Active conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
In the main there are no requirements by lenders for their firms to operate on a no-sale-no-fee basis. There a small number of lenders who operate a very restricted conveyancing panel managed by a third party company (often termed in the industry as a ‘gatekeeper’). That third party may impose certain conditions such as non-sale-no fee on the panel firms. If you require this as a condition of your conveyancing then you should check with the conveyancing firm that this is part of their package
Do most banks operate their own panel of solicitors?
Many lenders do operate a restricted conveyancing panel but a lot of lenders allow any solicitors to join their panel so long as they meet their criteria. Each lender sets their own criteria. For example the RBS- First Active conveyancing panel requirements are different to RBS- First Active’s conveyancing panel requirements.
For 5 years I had a mortgage with RBS- First Active. My uncle retired last week and wants to pay off my mortgage. After RBS- First Active 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 RBS- First Active conveyancing panel? I do not intend to live at the property once the RBS- First Active mortgage is discharged.
You will need a solicitor but they need not be on the RBS- First Active conveyancing 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. As the property is your main residence you need not pay CGT but you should speak with your accountants in any event.