Coutts & Co Conveyancing Panel Information

The information on this page is designed to keep solicitors and licensed conveyancers abreast of latest requirements changes by Coutts & Co and to assist in remaining on the Coutts & Co Conveyancing Panel.

Coutts & Co Solicitor Panel: Recently Asked Questions

Do Coutts & Co or the CML run training seminars for the Coutts & Co approved solicitor panel in the same way that CQS run CPD Courses for accredited firms?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (or the BSA) do not involve themselves in training but they do arrange a number of useful conveyancing related conferences which are attended by firms on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel. It is our intention to run specific lender focused seminars in the near future including a webinar on Coutts & Co’s Part 2 obligations. Practitioners on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel are welcome. Further details will be communicated as part of the LENDERmonitor Alerts.

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A recent SRA survey reveals that 76% of solicitors have been removed from a lender conveyancing panel. Coutts & Co and other lenders have restricted their panel over the years. Why?
In operating open conveyancing panels, lenders such as Coutts & Co face a number of fraud and negligence risks. While there is no authoritative source of data on lender exposure to solicitor–led mortgage fraud, anecdotal evidence from lenders indicates exposure on individual cases are often in the millions of pounds. The National Fraud Authority estimates that £1bn per year is lost in mortgage -related frauds in total, which is seen as a conservative estimate.

These risks are exacerbated by the lack of a comprehensive set of data on all conveyancing firms (which, for the avoidance of doubt, would include solicitors and conveyancers across the UK) which is in a readily accessible format. Currently, lenders vet the suitability of their panel firms against a variety of disparate, incomplete and potentially inaccurate sets of information. One top 5 lender pointed out to us that it is almost impossible to track individual fraudsters who move from firm to firm, especially where they are no longer registered or no longer hold a valid practicing certificate.

Coutts & Co and other lenders are in varying stages of reviewing their approach to vetting firms on their conveyancing panels, to ensure their ongoing exposure to unsuitable firms is reduced. There is also regulatory impetus on lenders to ensure that they have satisfactory oversight of their third party panels, including a due-diligence process.

Are there conditions,outside the CML Part 2 requirements, that a firm should be aware of when on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel?
In order to be on the Coutts & Co 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 Coutts & Co) are as follows:
  • To notify us in writing of any change in your details as held on our records for example, change of address, telephone number, document exchange number email address. Notification must be given to us at least 10 days before the change will be effective.
  • If you are a sole practitioner, to arrange for appropriate locum cover from our panel where necessary. Your locum must be a member of the Conveyancing panel.
  • To keep us informed of the reasons for any delay in your being able to send the title deeds and documents we require to us within 3 months of completion or evidence of proof of registration within that period. (We will send reminders if the deeds have not been received but will not acknowledge receipt of deeds.)
  • To be responsible for the reconstitution of the title deeds (whether the title is registered or unregistered, at your own cost), where any deeds in your possession, or were last known to be in your possession, go missing.
  • 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
My PI renewal application this year contained the following question: ‘Has your Firm been asked by a lender to agree to more onerous terms and conditions than provided for in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook?’ My firm is on numerous bank panels including the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel. We have Terms and Conditions of appointment which we have to follow. Do I disclose these these Conditions ?
The concern here is if you are expect to enter into ‘more onerous’ conditions that than the Handbook obligations. You have to try and take an objective view as to whether the Terms relating to the Coutts & Co conveyancing appointment (or other terms for other lenders) are ‘more onerous’ than the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook Conditions. Depending on the Terms you may need to provide details on your renewal form. If you are in any doubt please call your broker to discuss before completing the answer.
In carrying out leasehold conveyancing do Coutts & Co conveyancing panel lawyers have to consider if there is an absentee landlord?
Given that your firm in is on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel and you are representing them in relation to a leasehold property, you must report to them if it becomes apparent that the landlord is either absent or insolvent. If Coutts & Co are to lend, they may require indemnity insurance. In any event,you will need to check Coutts & Co’s specific requirements. Notwithstanding whether Coutts & Co will lend in such circumstances you still need to advise the borrower (unless you are acting for Coutts & Co alone) as to the risks of buying a property with an insolvent or absentee landlord.
My firm has just been advised that it’s Coutts & Co panel membership terminated but we have not yet been given an explanation yet. I am completing a CQS renewal questionnaire what details should I put forward?
In the circumstances please explain on the application what action you have taken to discover the reasons behind cancellation of your Coutts & Co panel membership. In particular please provide details if you have received communications from the lender. E.G. before revocation of your panel membership did you receive any letters or calls from the lender advising you as to their reasons?
My firm is listed on the Coutts & Co conveyancing panel and scheduled to complete a purchase shortly. My file does not contain a Mortgage Deed for the client to execute. Who do I contact at Coutts & Co to get a duplicate Deed?
You need to communicate with Coutts & Co to obtain standard documents. The CML Handbook includes an individual inquiry for banks to enumerate who to contact to obtain standard documents. Coutts & Co in their Part 2’s state:
You will need to quote your Coutts & Co solicitors panel reference.

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Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Coutts & Co
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
YearDays*
2022 [no data]
2021 [no data]
2020 [no data]
2019 [no data]
2018 44.8
2017 [no data]
* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor