HSBC impose solicitors on vendors
Up until recently it was a homebuyer’s prerogative to choose which firm of solicitors should represent them in completing the legal formalities relating to their new purchase. However, following warnings over mortgage fraud by the National Fraud Authority, and direction from the Financial Services Authority that lenders need to be more familiar with the firms they work with, lenders have begun to limit the panel of solicitors firms with whom they are prepared to work.
HSBC is the latest lender to tighten its rules and has gone further than most. Buyers who take out and HSBC mortgage will now be required to use one of a panel of just 43 legal firms chosen by the bank to do their conveyancing, or face paying substantially more to go elsewhere.
Despite the bank insisting that the move will benefit its customers, the Law Society has already questioned whether HSBC has enough firms on its panel to service all of its customers, particularly those with access issues such as the disabled and people living in rural areas.