Virgin Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

COMPLETIONmonitor is web-based pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the CML and professional indemnity insures. It is a unique risk management tool.

This system facilitates the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their requirements, with automatic updates on Virgin’s changes. Even though using the software is not a condition for being on the Virgin panel, demonstrating you can stay up to date with Virgin’s Handbook requirements is a helpful support to your panel application and, more importantly, safeguard your firm’s panel status.

The software generates real-time alerts, automatically produces regulatory and CQS reports, and will enhance your firm's efficiency. In addition it is user friendly, cost-effective and, for many firms, leads to reduced PII premiums.

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Banks and building societies frequently vary their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from Virgin 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, Virgin has made 1003 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 2.7 days. In total, 85% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Virgin have been changed since 15/12/2008.

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
16.3.7a 18/10/2019 CML
5.15.2a 18/10/2019 CML
5.16.2 18/10/2019 CML
6.4.5 18/10/2019 CML
1.11a 13/02/2019 CML
16.5.3d 13/02/2019 CML
3.2.3 13/02/2019 CML
5.14.15b 13/02/2019 CML Absentee Landlord Indemnity Insurance
5.17.5a 13/02/2019 CML
5.19.1 13/02/2019 CML

Last update 31/03/2020

FAQs for the Virgin Solicitor Panel from members of the public

My fiance and I are first time buyers. Within the 48 hours our lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to sign with a detailed report in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Virgin have this evening contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our solicitor is not on their conveyancing panel. What do we do from here?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.

In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme. Your solicitors should contact Virgin and see if they can apply for membership of the Virgin conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Virgin will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Virgin conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.

I do hope you can help me. My solicitor is informing me me that she is duty-bound to apply for a Local Authority search stemming from the fact that the firm are on the Virgin solicitor 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 Virgin 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 Virgin’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Virgin. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Do I need to visit the offices of the Virgin conveyancing panel solicitor to sign the mortgage deed? If so, I will choose one who does conveyancing in Leeds so that I can attend their offices if necessary.
Whereas this was necessary 12 years ago, most lenders no longer require their conveyancing panel solicitor to witness the borrowers signature. You will still be obliged to provide ID Documents and there are still distinct advantages to using a local solicitor, in your case a conveyancing solicitor in Leeds .
We're in Liverpool, First timers buying with a mortgage (lender is Virgin , but our solicitor is on the Virgin conveyancing panel). How long should the conveyancing process take?
The fact that your lawyer is on the Virgin 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
When it comes to lenders such as Virgin do lawyers have to be pay a fee to be on the conveyancing panel?
We are not aware of any lender fees to be on their panel although some do charge an administration charge to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
I previously instructed online conveyancers based in Cardiff who are on the Virgin solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate fee of £175 for the legal aspects of the Virgin mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee specified by Virgin?
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 Virgin but by your lawyers. Some firms on the Virgin will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
We are getting a further advance on our mortgage from Virgin as we wish to carry out alterations or improvements our home. Do we need to appoint a solicitor on the Virgin conveyancing panel to deal with the legals?
Virgin would not normally appoint firms on their conveyancing panel to deal with such a matter. If they did require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Virgin list