St James Place 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 professional indemnity insures. It is a unique risk mitigation tool.

This system optimises the way you can demonstrate to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their instructions, with automatic updates on St James Place’s changes. Notwithstanding that utilising COMPLETIONmonitor is not a prerequisite for St James Place , demonstrating you can stay up to date with St James Place’s Handbook requirements is an excellent support to your panel application and, more importantly, safeguard your firm’s panel status.

COMPLETIONmonitor creates real-time alerts, automatically produces compliance and CQS reports, and will improve your firm's efficiency. In addition it is user friendly, cost-effective and, for some firms, leads to a PII saving.

Find a Law Firm approved by St James Place

Banks and building societies often vary their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from St James Place 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, St James Place has made 29 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 94.1 days. In total, 12% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for St James Place have been changed since 15/12/2008.

To find out more about lender panel compliance,

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St James Place Conveyancing Panel Recently Asked Questions from members of the public

Is the fact that my solicitor is not isted on the St James Place Conveyancing panel that there is a problem with the quality of the firm’s conveyancing?
It would not be wise to jump to that conclusion. There are all sorts of perfectly reasonable explanations. A recent report by the solicitors regulator indicated 76% of law firms surveyed had been removed from at least one lender panel. The top 3 reasons are as follows: (1) lack of transactions (2) the lawyer is a sole practitioner (3) as part of the HSBC panel reduction (4) regulatory contact by SRA (5) accidental removal. If you are concerned you should simply call the firm and ask them why they are no longer on the approved list for St James Place.
My solicitor has uncovered a difference when comparing the assumptions in St James Place’s home valuation report and what is revealed within the legal papers for the property. My solicitor says that as he is on the St James Place conveyancing panel he must ensure that the lender is with this discrepancy and is content go ahead. Is my conveyancer’s stance correct?
A precondition to being on the St James Place approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on St James Place) 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 both parties.
Do all the licensed conveyancers and solicitor practices listed on your directory have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the St James Place solicitor panel?
No. There is no CML Part 2 or Building Society Association requirement relating to online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
The solicitors that I appointed last week on my house acquisition in Manchester has suddenly closed. I only went with them because I needed a lawyer on the St James Place conveyancing panel and my family lawyer was not. I gave my credit card details for them to take £175 for searches. What do I do now?
If you have an estate agent involved then inform them straight away so that they can let the sellers know that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Hopefully they will be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You should appoint new lawyers that are on the St James Place 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 solicitors should be in a position to assist
Is the case that all CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) solicitors on the St James Place conveyancing panel?
It is true that some banks and building societies now use CQS as the starting point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. CQS accreditation however is no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the Council of Mortgage Lenders have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their approved list of conveyancing solicitors.
I had instructed online conveyancers located in London who are on the St James Place solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate fee of £150 for dealing with the St James Place mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee set by St James Place?
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 St James Place but by your lawyers. Some firms on the St James Place will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
I am due to exchange contracts on my house. I had a double glazing fitted in month 6 but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My purchaser’s mortgage company, St James Place are being problematic. The solicitor who is on the St James Place conveyancing panel is happy to accept ‘lack of building regulation’ insurance but St James Place are insisting on a building regulation certificate. Why do St James Place have a conveyancing panel of they don’t accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that St James Place have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why St James Place may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing correctly and safely installed. It merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.