Nationwide Building Society Conveyancing Panel Information

UK Finance Designator: Nationwide Building Society
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

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

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Nationwide Building Society Solicitor Panel: Recently Asked Questions

Is it the case that the Law Society has recommended that firms check their status on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel?
The Scottish Law Society has suggested that solicitors should check their panel status with lenders before accepting client instructions to act. The advice is lender-agnostic as it does not relate specifically to solicitors on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel. The suggestion arises from the practice of a number of mortgage lenders who remove solicitors from their panels without prior notice as part of their panel management system, which can lead to some solicitors discovering this only once instructed. This is sensible advice as a client finding out midway through a transaction that their lawyer is not on the approved lender panel is very frustrating and can lead to complaints. Many online consumer forums contain posts where someone is complaining about finding that their lawyer is not on a lender conveyancing panel. Such forums include

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What obligations do I have, being on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel, to carry out a Cancel Search?
Nationwide Building Society make no specific obligation to carry out any of the searches listed. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook simply states that ‘you must ensure that any other searches which may be appropriate to the particular property, taking into account its locality and other features are carried out’.

Remember that most ‘less usual searches’ (as described in the Law Society’s Conveyancing Handbook) are not optional as far as Nationwide Building Society are concerned if they are ‘appropriate’. Most lenders will not require environmental searches (you should Check Part 2 of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook to be sure), but you are obliged to explain risks and availability to the client.

Ground stability, Plansearch,flood searches as well as the searches listed in the question are optional – but only to the extent that you have allowed the borrower client to make an informed choice. Regardless of whether there is a mortgage, If you have not advised the client that these (and other) searches are available and what risks they cover, then you will be liable if the client suffers loss through not conducting one. Does your ROT and Ts and Cs cover this?

A leading search provider lists over 72 property searches – do you know what all of them are and when they may be relevant? If you are unsure as to which searches are appropriate based on location contact your search provider or call one of the leading search companies such as STL.

A recent SRA survey reveals that 76% of solicitors have been removed from a lender conveyancing panel. Nationwide Building Society and other lenders have restricted their panel over the years. Why?
In operating open conveyancing panels, lenders such as Nationwide Building Society 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.

Nationwide Building Society 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.

I have read a number of legal articles recently about firms being sued for non-compliance with CML PII obligations . I am on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel can you tell me how Part 2 changes took place by Nationwide Building Society during 2013?
During 2013, 68 sections of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook P2 were changed by Nationwide Building Society. Some changes are more important than others but as a firm on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel you are of course obliged to comply with individual lender requirements, as set out in Part II of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook. Locktons have recently pointed out in an article that non-compliance with Part 2 requirements account for a number of high value claims, and it is therefore important to be aware of any particularly onerous terms that an individual lender may impose.

Remember: CML requirements are not guidelines; they are the lender client’s instructions.

One of our conveyancers is acting for a seller of a property and we have just received an email from the buyers solicitors who are not on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel requesting that we undertake to send certain post-completion documents to a law firm on the approved solicitor list for Nationwide Building Society. How has this come about?
You will be aware of the trend in recent years for lenders such as Nationwide Building Society to take a much more pro-active approach in relation to the management and make up of their conveyancer panels. The knock on effect of this is that it is more likely that there will be a higher number of cases where a conveyancer is not on the Nationwide Building Society panel. The situation that you find yourself in is where your client’s purchaser has his/her own lawyer and Nationwide Building Society have appointed a separate lawyer to act on their behalf where the new CML Part 3 requirements apply. Section 11.1 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook Part 3 requires Nationwide Building Society’s panel solicitor to ‘ ...transfer the mortgage advance directly to the Seller’s conveyancer. The Seller’s conveyancer must be required to hold the mortgage advance on the terms of the required undertaking. The example borrower’s conveyancer’s undertaking letter includes a specific example of the seller’s undertaking’. You should expect to be advised to received the mortgage advance directly from the conveyancing solicitors for Nationwide Building Society. You will no doubt be required to undertake directly to Nationwide Building Society’s solicitors to discharge any charges secured on the property and to send directly to them the executed transfer and any other documents required to enable us to effect registration. Please remember to carefully consider undertakings in accordance with your firm’s protocol and record them in your undertakings logg. Please remember that as well as this breach of this undertaking having regulatory and compliance implications it’s breach could also result in your firm being removed off the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel.
Our membership of the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel was suspended but was reinstated on appeal, do I need to disclose these details on my application for CQS accreditation?
You should provide details of the date of removal, information on the reason for removal, date of appeal and any reason given for reinstatement. This should not negatively affect your firm’s application but gives the Law Society a complete picture of what has happened.
I am on the Nationwide Building Society conveyancing panel and all set to complete a remortgage shortly. I can not locate a Legal Charge for the client to execute. Who do I contact at Nationwide Building Society to request substitute deeds?
You would be advised to communicate with Nationwide Building Society to obtain standard documents. The CML Handbook incorporates an individual section for banks to set out who to contact to obtain standard documents. It is likely that you will need to disclose the firm’s Nationwide Building Society solicitors panel reference.
Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Nationwide Building Society
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
2013 27.9
2012 23.0
2011 20.9
* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor

Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
5.13.1 20/07/2018 CML Insolvency Act Indemnity Insurance Deed of Gift Indemnity Insurance
5.14.1 17/07/2018 CML
5.19.1 18/06/2018 CML
5.5.4 18/06/2018 CML Restrictive Covenant Indemnity Insurance
6.7.1 14/06/2018 CML
5.4.5 05/03/2018 CML Local Search Indemnity Insurance
5.20.3 11/07/2017 CML
5.14.1 10/05/2017 CML
5.4.4 06/10/2016 CML
5.7.1a 08/07/2016 CML Flying Freehold Indemnity Insurance

Last update 12/11/2018

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