UK Finance Designator: HSBC Bank plc
HSBC Conveyancing Panel Assistance:
I find myself asking whether it is worth all the hassle, and whether I should decline to be on the HSBC conveyancing panel or indeed other bank panels.
It is not apparent if there is a question here. We acknowledge that there are an increasing amount of lawyers in Scotland who point to the concerning development in 2013 where in a solicitor disciplinary case in Scotland where the Law Society of Scotland has prosecuted a conveyancing solicitor for repeated failure to comply with the CML lenders’ handbook. While the solicitor’s failures cannot and should not be forgiven, the clear message from the LSS is that its auditors will examine the minutiae of a solicitor’s purchase file for compliance with the CML lenders’ handbook. They will report and potentially act on any non-compliance they discover, insignificant or otherwise, irrespective of whether there has been any fraudulent or otherwise criminal activity on the part of the solicitor, and irrespective of the presence or absence of a complaint by the lender.
Is it true that disciplinary action can be taken if fail to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook Provisions? For example, if I am on the HSBC and make an error not only can I face a claim but I can also be hauled up before the SDDT?
Depending of the nature of the breach yes. Only last year the Tribunal, having considered the a complaint at the instance of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Peter MacIntosh Aikman, Solicitor, Messrs Aikman Bell Solicitors, 19 Cadzow Place, Edinburgh; The SDDT found the Respondent guilty of Professional Misconduct in respect of; his breach on two occasions of Rule 6 (1) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Accounts Etc Rules 2001, his breach of his client’s specific instructions, his breach on five occasions of paragraphs 5.1.1, 5.1.2 and 5.10.3 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook, his breach on one occasion of paragraph 5.9.1 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook, his breach on two occasions of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook paragraph 5.8, his breach on four occasions of the Birmingham Midshire’s specific stipulations that cases where the seller has owned the property for less than 6 months and back to back transactions were not acceptable. The Respondent was fined £1000 as well as being liable in the expenses of the LSS and of the Tribunal.
What sort of information do Lenders like HSBC ask for when someone applies to be on their approved solicitor list?
Although not necessarily published, lenders have varying criteria . We do not hold specific requirements relating to the questions raised as part of the application to be on the HSBC conveyancing panel. Typically lenders need to have full knowledge of a firm including (but not limited to)
- Firm name, address and contact details including all branches (including evidence of existence through risk-based physical visits and Google Streetview checks), Structure of firm and, where applicable, its group, Number of partners per branch of the firm
- PII Cover details, including, if relevant, whether the firm is or has been in the assigned risks pool and structure of cover – basic
- Whether any lender has ever made a claim against the firm’s PII cover
- Charge registration history
- House price discrepancies (declared to lender vs. registered at Land Registry)
- Conveyancer client account(s) details
- List of all those staff who work within the conveyancing team
- List of all those who can sign off the Certificate Of Title
- List of fee-earners who are foreign qualified
- List of all those who fund the firm, including non-lawyers if applicable
- Full career history for each solicitor including admission date to the Law Society of Scotland
- Full disciplinary history for each conveyancing solicitor
- Full complaints history for each conveyancing solicitor
- Areas of Law covered by the firm
- Purchase and remortgage)
- Number of lender conveyancing panels the firm is currently on
- Whether the firm has ever applied for accreditation and the outcome of the application
- Automated alerting to inform lenders when there is a fundamental change to the firm (e.g. change of management)
- Whether the firm is able to operate in other jurisdictions
- Whether the firm has ever accepted instructions in respect of property clubs and investment schemes
- Whether the firm has ever knowingly accepted instructions on transactions involving Sale and Rent Back, Back to Back, Exchange and Delayed Completion and Lease Option, Below Market Value.
- Law Society of Scotland or registration number where applicable
My firm is on the HSBC conveyancing panel. I am dealing with
HSBC mortgage on a purchase. My borrower client is asking not to
disclose an issue to HSBC. What do I do in this conflict situation?
When a solicitor is acting for both HSBC and the borrower, there is
potential for conflicts to arise. You owe duties to both clients. All
information you receive from your client is confidential and cannot be
disclosed without the client’s consent. In the situation you find
yourself in, if the purchaser will not consent to the information
being passed on to the lender, the solicitor must cease to act for the
HSBC. It may be prudent you to cease to act for the purchaser as
well. You can not tell HSBC 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 HSBC conveyancing panel status.