My Home Move: All lenders should offer a free legals alternative

Ryan Bembridge

August 8, 2017

All mortgage lenders should offer an alternative to free legals, according to My Home Move group distribution director Dev Malle.

Malle (pictured) backed Nationwide’s move to replace free legals with higher cashback last month, adding that free legals reduces costs at the expense of the consumer experience.

He said: “We are calling for all lenders to provide consumers with more choice when remortgaging, whether that is by offering a cashback option or an alternative.

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“That is not to say free legal products are necessarily bad but they have been over commoditised and there is a lack of capacity and under investment in the customer journey.

“Many may challenge this but the focus has been on cost reduction at the cost of customer experience, especially when that includes a lack of investment as consumer behaviours continue to change.”

He moved to defend law firms who operate in that area however, saying they cannot afford to deliver a good service for the fees they are paid.

Malle also warned brokers to make sure clients don’t end up with a solicitor that isn’t experienced in conveyancing.

He added: “I would urge brokers to ensure their customers don’t jump out of the pan into the fire.

“Taking cashback and allowing their client to select a solicitor who is not well versed in conveyancing could prove costly, as well as painful and that is why the role that the broker plays is so critical.

“It is also why it’s absolutely right that brokers are remunerated appropriately for the part they play.”

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