Platform Conveyancing Panel Information

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

Platform Solicitor Panel: Recently Asked Questions

I am on the Platform conveyancing panel. Can I get an archived copy of a Platform Part 2 from the CML?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders do not hold data sets of the Part 2's Pre January 2011. The CML advise that you contact Platform directly.

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Can a firm submit a complaint to the CML about being suspended from the Platform conveyancing panel?
The CML is not a regulator and therefore do not investigate complaints against lenders. You can of course contact Lexsure to see if we can help.
Given my firm’s membership on the Platform conveyancing panel how long am I expected to retain the original conveyancing file?
The Council of Mortgage Lender requirements of Platform are silent on this. Most lenders deal with the question of file retention via their Terms and Conditions where they generally provide that for evidential purposes, the firm must keep the file for at least of 6 years from the date of the mortgage. Data imagining is normally suitable compliance with this requirement. Many lenders point out in that it is the practice of some fraudsters to demand the conveyancing file on completion in order to destroy evidence that may later be used against them. It is therefore important to retain these documents to protect Platform’s interest. To be absolutely sure of Platform requirements in this regard please check the Terms and Conditions of Platform’s conveyancing panel appointment.
A recent SRA survey reveals that 76% of solicitors have been removed from a lender conveyancing panel. Platform and other lenders have restricted their panel over the years. Why?
In operating open conveyancing panels, lenders such as Platform 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.

Platform 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.

It is possible that Platform could request or audit my files as I am on the Platform conveyancing panel. Are there any confidentiality issues that I need to consider first?
We can't comment specifically on Platform. Many major lenders are now introducing ‘file auditing’ as standard practice in relation to completed matters. This raises questions of confidentiality in relation to the borrower and the purpose to which the results of such audits will be put. The starting point is to remember that the file does not belong to your firm, it belongs to the ‘client’. But, of course, we will normally have two clients – the buyer and the lender - and you will owe a duty of confidentiality to each. So basically, you have to separate the file and just send the lender the parts solely relating to themselves. But, of course, as this will basically be correspondence with the lender, mortgage instructions etc.

Check with your COLP but a firm should not send the complete conveyancing file without the buyer client’s express consent – and if he is in dispute with the lender she is hardly likely to agree. However, if the lender can establish a prima facie case of fraud, then you may be under an obligation to disclose the whole file.

The emerging convention is that lenders are including an authority to disclose in loan application forms to counter this problem. Mortgage Express v Sawali, [2010] EWHC 3054 (Ch) indicates that such provisions are valid. Please click here for more information about that case.

my firm’s membership of the Platform conveyancing panel was suspended but was reinstated on appeal, do I need to include this information on my application for CQS accreditation?
You should supply 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 viability as to what has occured.
Our practice is on the Platform conveyancing panel and due to complete a remortgage shortly. I dont have a Legal Charge for the client to execute. Who do I contact at Platform to get a duplicate Deed?
You need to get in touch with Platform to obtain standard documents. The The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook has a specific section for lenders to enumerate who to contact to obtain standard documents. Platform in their Part 2’s state:
Please remember to disclose your Platform conveyancing panel number.

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Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Platform
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
2023 27.1
2022 [no data]
2021 [no data]
2020 [no data]
2019 39.4
2018 32.8
* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor