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HSBC in lawyer panel U-turn

Last week saw a major change of heart from one of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders. Several months ago HSBC cut the number of law firms who could represent their legal interests when lending mortgages, from several thousand to just 42. This has caused significant issues across the UK, with many home buyers feeling as though their freedom of choice of lawyer had been severely restricted (they could instruct their own representative but this would mean double fees).

After much lobbying from the industry HSBC have realised the error of their ways and have been big enough to re-open the panel. They will now allow any solicitors who have been accredited to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) to represent themselves and their borrowers and this is seen as a vote for common sense. HSBC’s principal concerns related to property fraud, a serious issue in the UK, but they have now accepted that the rigorous criteria laid out by the CQS is sufficient to allay any fears that they may have had and provide them with the confidence they need in their legal advisors.

Napthens attained CQS accreditation earlier this year and the residential conveyancing teams are looking forward to working closely with HSBC and their borrowers again.