Following a robust campaign by the Law Society and its members HSBC has agreed to allow all solicitors accredited with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) home-buying quality mark to act for HSBC as well as its mortgage customers.
Previously only firms on HSBC’s managed panel of conveyancers were able to act for both the borrower and the lender, with all other firms able to act for the borrower only. The new arrangement will be introduced in August 2012.
All CQS firms, of which there are currently more than 1400 in England & Wales, will be able to act for HSBC and for the borrower. From the outset, CQS-accredited sole practitioners will be able to handle all cases with mortgage values up to £150,000. The Law Society and HSBC will continue to work together to raise this value for CQS sole practitioners.
Under the new system, HSBC mortgage customers will have three options when appointing a solicitor or conveyancer.
Option 1 (“the managed panel”) will be using one of the current managed panel firms: conveyancers who can act for the bank and the borrower and who have signed up to offering fixed fees and other guarantees including no sale, no fee.
Option 2 will be to use CQS members who are not on the managed panel. CQS members will not be obliged to commit to the fees set by the bank, or purchase a technology link to the Bank’s panel manager.
The third option remains available for borrowers who wish to choose another firm of solicitors or conveyancers not in the two options above. In this instance, as was previously the case, the borrower will pay £160+VAT for a panel firm to complete the legal work required by HSBC.