Scottish Widows Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

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

This system optimises the way you can demonstrate to lender panels that you are, and can stay fully compliant with their requirements, with alerts on Scottish Widows’s changes. Even though using COMPLETIONmonitor is not a condition for being on the Scottish Widows panel, demonstrating you can remain up to date with Scottish Widows’s Handbook requirements is a helpful support to your application to their lender panel and, just as importantly, safeguard your firm’s panel standing.

COMPLETIONmonitor creates real-time alerts, automatically produces compliance and CQS reports, and will improve your firm's efficiency. It is also simply to use, cost-effective and, for many firms, leads to reduced PII premiums.

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Banks and building societies frequently change their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from Scottish Widows 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, Scottish Widows has made 304 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 9.0 days. In total, 43% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Scottish Widows 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
1.11a 21/01/2019 CML
6.7.1 17/08/2018 CML
6.7.1 26/03/2018 CML
17.1.1 06/03/2018 CML
Lender Name 29/09/2017 CML
1.11a 29/09/2017 CML
17.2.1a 29/09/2017 CML
6.7.2 22/11/2016 CML
5.13.1 24/05/2016 CML Insolvency Act Indemnity Insurance Deed of Gift Indemnity Insurance
5.20.3 22/01/2015 CML

Last update 22/07/2019

Scottish Widows Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers from members of the public

My financial adviser has informed me that I have to pay Scottish Widows fees should I instruct my family lawyer. How efficient are the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel solicitors? I dont care which law firm I use provided that they are good and not exorbitantly priced. Are there any Scottish Widows conveyancers you'd recommend?
Scottish Widows’s conveyancing panel is pretty large so it would be advisable to check with the firms you are getting quotes from whether they are on it. You can search by postcode on the search tool on this site to find solicitors that Scottish Widows will allow to act for them.
can you help? My solicitor is assuring me that she is duty-bound to order a Local Authority search because the firm are on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. As you are taking a mortgage with Scottish Widows 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 Scottish Widows’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Scottish Widows. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
How up to date is your database of lawyers on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel? Do Scottish Widows send you an updated list?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Scottish Widows directly.
The lawyers that just started acting on my purchase in Hendon has suddenly closed. I only went with them because I needed a solicitor on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel and my previous lawyer was not. I gave my credit card details for them to take £175 for searches. What should be my next steps?
Assuming that you have an Estate Agent in the equation then let them know immediately so that they advise the vendors that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Most sellers would be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You will need to appoint new lawyers that are on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new lawyers may be able to help
Is it the case that all conveyancing lawyers on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
There is generally 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
Is it common for Scottish Widows to withdraw a mortgage offer and what would be the reasoning?
Banks and Building Societies such as Scottish Widows can revoke their mortgage offer although this is unusual. If Scottish Widows 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:
  • Many mortgage offers have an expiry date. Your lawyer should check this. Scottish Widows 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.
  • A cashback to the buyer, or | part of the price includes a non-cash incentive to the buyer (eg paid stamp duty land tax),or | any indirect incentive (cash or non cash) or rental guarantee, of which the lender was previously unaware
  • 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 believe that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is insolvent or is about to become insolvent or has or will have a petition presented or if any one or all enter into any arrangement with their creditors generally or if any one or all should suffer a material change in their financial circumstances
I can not work out if my mortgage offer requires a lease extension . I have telephoned Scottish Widows on various occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Scottish Widows 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?
Your lawyer has to follow the CML Handbook Part 2 requirements for Scottish Widows. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Scottish Widows 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 Scottish Widows to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.