Conveyancing panel portal to launch
“Lender Exchange” is in the final stages of development, and is set to launch in the first quarter of 2014.
Lender Exchange has been developed by Decision First, in collaboration with a working group of lenders.
The scheme will cover Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland Group and expressions of interest have also been made by Coventry Building Society, Bank of Ireland, and Paragon Group. The system is open to all lenders who wish to participate.
The initiative has two main objectives – to minimise the costs and administrative burden on conveyancing firms responding to regular duplicate information requests from multiple lenders and to help lenders minimise fraud and negligence through robust due diligence.
It will give conveyancing firms throughout the UK an easy way to submit and update information to lenders about their conveyancing practice through a single, secure interface, saving them time and duplication of effort in meeting the terms of their panel membership.
Lenders, in turn, can access information provided to enable them to assess the continued suitability of a firm to be on their panel, depending on their own individual criteria.
Each participating lender will continue to have complete discretion over appointments and ongoing membership of its own conveyancing panel.
The system will not allow lenders to know the composition of other lenders’ panels.
Conveyancing firms will pay a single annual fee, based on the size of the firm. This will simplify the current various fees and processes that firms currently face from multiple lenders.
For both lenders and conveyancers, the administration involved in diligence processes for lender panels can be onerous. The new centralised system devised under Lender Exchange will help to reduce duplication, streamline costs, and improve efficiency.
Talks are underway with the Law Society of England and Wales to make it easier for those firms applying for accreditation through the Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, and further collaboration with key stakeholders in the legal sector to further reduce administrative burdens is planned.
The CML has facilitated discussions with lenders; however, the lender working group has driven the development of the project.