Scottish Widows Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

Lexsure’s COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for residential conveyancing lawyers. Supported by the CML and PI insurers such as AmTrust. COMPLETIONmonitor is a unique risk mitigation tool.

This software is the only way you can demonstrate to lender panels that you are, and can stay fully compliant with their instructions, with alerts on Scottish Widows’s changes. While using COMPLETIONmonitor is not a condition for acceptance on the Scottish Widows panel, demonstrating you can stay up to date with Scottish Widows’s Handbook requirements is an excellent support to your application to their lender panel and, just as importantly, protect your firm’s panel status.

The software creates real-time alerts, automatically produces compliance and CQS reports, and will increase your firm's efficiency. In addition it is simply to use, cost-effective and, for many firms, results in reduced PII premiums.

Find a Law Firm approved by Scottish Widows

Lenders frequently vary 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, over time:

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
6.7.1 18/07/2019 CML
1.11a 21/01/2019 CML
Lender Name 29/09/2017 CML
10.7 29/09/2017 CML
1.11a 29/09/2017 CML
16.3.2 29/09/2017 CML
5.1.1 02/11/2016 CML
5.13.1 24/05/2016 CML Insolvency Act Indemnity Insurance Deed of Gift Indemnity Insurance
5.1.1 12/05/2016 CML
6.7.1 09/05/2016 CML

Last update 04/11/2019

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

I am progressing with the sale of my flat and the estate agent has just telephoned to warn that the buyers are changing their property lawyer. The excuse is that Scottish Widows will only engage with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a big named lender only engage with specific solicitors?
Mortgage companies have always had an approved set of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.

Banks point to the increase 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.

I am purchasing a brand new apartment and my solicitor is informing me that she has to disclose incentives from the seller as her practice is on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel. The Estate Agents are hassling me to exchange and I have no desire to prolong the conveyancing. Is my lawyer right?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Scottish Widows approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Scottish Widows). 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 need to find a Scottish Widows panel solicitor in Belfast. Could you help me?
It is not clear why you need a Scottish Widows panel solicitor but in any event, if you can not find one on our search tool you will need to speak directly to Scottish Widows to find out which solicitors in Scottish Widows are on their panel. If you do find such a firm not listed please direct them to our site to list. At a fee of one pound per month it is not expensive to register on the site
What happens if my lawyer’s firm is suspended from the Scottish Widows Conveyancing panel prior to the moving date as agreed at exchange of contracts?
First, this is very unlikely to happen. 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.
Is it the case that all solicitor firms on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel regulated by the SRA?
As solicitors, in order to be on the Scottish Widows conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Many lenders do allow licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such firms would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
The mortgage over my property is with Scottish Widows. Conveyancing has been completed 12 months ago. Should I wish to rent out my property and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform Scottish Widows?
You must advise Scottish Widows before renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of Scottish Widows’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies will permit you to let out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Scottish Widows directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a Scottish Widows conveyancing panel lawyer.
I have not been happy with the level or service received from my lawyer. Is there a Scottish Widows conveyancing panel complaints department or do I complain directly to the law firm?
Complaining to Scottish Widows about their conveyancing panel is unlikely to yield much of a response. Every solicitor firm and conveyancer must have a complaints procedure. Usually one can find this information from the solicitor’s or conveyancer’s website or ask at their office. They must tell you about it if you ask.

The Legal Ombudsman will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the solicitor. It can also advise you how to complain.

If a licensed conveyancer does not have a complaints procedure or will not tell you about it, contact the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), which will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the conveyancer. Please see below for more information.