Cambridge Building Society Conveyancing Panel Information

The information on this page is designed to keep solicitors and licensed conveyancers abreast of latest requirements changes by Cambridge Building Society and to assist in remaining on the Cambridge Building Society Approved Conveyancing Solicitors.

Cambridge Building Society Conveyancing Panel Assistance:

What are the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel criteria?
Unlike the CML the Building Society Mortgage Instructions deal with this. Section A.12 states ‘In order to act on our behalf your firm or company must be a member of our conveyancing panel provided we are a society that operates one – see specific requirements for details of our arrangements. The Special Requirements state:

Our requirements for being added to our panel are:

  • Minimum of two partners in the practice
  • Minimum indemnity cover of two million
  • The practise must be listed in the Butterworths Law Directory, Waterlows Law Directory or be listed on the Law Society website
  • Secure premises to hold securities

You must also comply with the terms and conditions of your Cambridge Building Society solicitor panel appointment.

An established client of mine is buying a new build house for £607,500 in Sussex requiring a mortgage advance over GBP 440,000. I am on the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel but do Cambridge Building Society have a separate approved panel when the advance is above 300,000?
Lexsure only know of two or three lenders that operate a separate approved solicitors panel where the mortgage advance is over a certain level. You should nevertheless check directly with Cambridge Building Society. At one stage HSBC would only allow Sole practitioners to act for them where the mortgage was below £150,000. We are not sure if HSBC still operate such a condition. In your case it is best to check with Cambridge Building Society
Are there conditions, outside the BSA Mortgage Instructions, that a firm should be aware of when on the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel?
In order to be on the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel solicitors have to complete an application form and agree Terms and Conditions. A sample of 5 conditions that we see amongst many lenders Terms (but not necessarily Cambridge Building Society) are as follows:
  • To forward the title deeds and documents to another solicitor within 24 hours of an instruction from us requiring you to do so. On forwarding the deeds as instructed you will confirm to us that you have done so. Upon receipt of your confirmation, we will release you from all undertakings relating to your holding the title deeds.
  • That any deeds you borrow from us in connection with the personal mortgage of a partner or director at your firm must be requested by a partner or director other than the partner or director concerned and the transaction must be handled by that other partner or director. If you are a sole practitioner and require the loan of deeds in connection with your own mortgage, you must nominate a different firm on our panel to request the deeds and handle the transaction.
  • To quote on all communications with us relating to deeds issues, whether by telephone or in writing, the panel number that we provide for each practising address and the mortgage account or application number for the mortgage concerned.
  • You have the consent of all borrowers to apply for the deeds, before making any request for deeds. We will accept your request for deeds on the understanding that you have obtained such consent. If this is not the case then you should advise our Deeds Services Department in writing when you make your request
  • Without prejudice to your obligation to comply in full with the Safeguards provisions in the BSA Lenders’ Handbook, to report to us as soon as possible any suspicion that you have about the genuineness of any transaction in any respect.
As the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice what do I need to consider in terms of disclosures to the SRA if my firm is suspended off the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel?
The answer to this question really depends on the reason that your firm has been removed off the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing 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.
In these three circumstances it is unlikely that you would expected to take any action. Disclosure and other compliance considerations are more likely to be relevant if the reason for removal is due to breaches of lender requirements or allegations of fraud or negligence. Whether the reasoning should trigger a disclosable 'material' breach will depend on the firm and the circumstances around possible failures to comply with the SRA Authorisation Rules, and the SRA will judge each case on its own merits. Factors such as the detriment or risk of detriment to clients, the scale of the issue and overall impact on the firm will need to be considered in deciding whether a failure is 'material'. As the compliance officer you will need systems to identify patterns of breaches. Even if you don't consider there to be regulatory implications, the firms COFA needs to consider whether he or she needs to take any action as result of being removed from the conveyancing panel of Cambridge Building Society.
The firm that I work for is on the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel. I am dealing with Cambridge Building Society mortgage on a purchase. My borrower client is asking not to disclose an issue to Cambridge Building Society. What do I do in this conflict situation?
When a solicitor is acting for both Cambridge Building Society and borrower there is potential for conflicts to arise. You owe duties to both clients. All information received by you from your client is confidential and cannot be disclosed without the client’s consent.

In your situation, if the purchaser will not consent to the information being passed on to the lender, the solicitor must cease to act for Cambridge Building Society and it may well be prudent for you to cease to act for the purchaser as well. You must not inform Cambridge Building Society of the reason for termination of the retainer over and above the fact that a conflict has arisen. The fact that you can no longer act should alert even the most somnambulistic of lenders that something is wrong with the borrower and/or purchase. The fact that you have disinstructed yourself should not affect your Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel status.

Can the BSA assist me in an appeal having not been accepted onto the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel?
If you have not been accepted or indeed been removed from the Cambridge Building Society conveyancing panel then the BSA will not have any part to play in influencing Cambridge Building Society in changing their mind. Please contact us here at Lexsure so that we can put you in touch with a consultant who may be able to assist. At the very least it’s worth a call to us.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook contains conveyancing instructions for a roof with a solar panel. Cambridge Building Society do not set out obligations via the BSA Mortgage Instructions. Am I missing something?
The BSA Mortgage Instructions don't specifically deal with Solar Panels but it would be prudent as approved solicitors for Cambridge Building Society to raise the issue with them (as you would if the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook applied). In any event you need to raise the appropriate questions for your buyer client.
What lender panels do you receive the most questions about?
BSA lenders do not come within the top 20 lenders in terms of frequency of questions. The most popular lender panels in terms of questions are as follows:

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Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Cambridge Building Society
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
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* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor