The Law Society has reached an agreement with HSBC regarding its Residential Conveyancing panel, meaning all firms with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), such as Jackson Barrett & Gass, will again be able to act for both lender and customer on a joint representation basis.
Since January, HSBC had created a panel of only 43 firms that could act on a dual representation basis, meaning that there were much higher incidents of separate representation. Following HSBC’s agreement with the Law Society, customers can now choose a CQS firm safe in the knowledge that HSBC will also be able to instruct that firm reducing delay and additional work.
HSBC said the original panel had been introduced “to provide additional protection for both our customers and the bank”.
However, the introduction of the panel and related separate representation led to reported widespread delays to the home buying process, as well as complaints to the Office of Fair Trading, an e-petition that had collected more than 2,000 signatures, and plans to protest at the bank’s AGM on 25 May.
Sean Barrow, a local solicitor for 33 years says “Common sense has now prevailed. HSBC’s decision to initially reduce the Conveyancing panel served no purpose other than to reduce consumer choice.
We have already witnessed severe delays due to HSBC’s panel. This is an important step to speeding up Conveyancing transactions for everyone involved.”