Law Society responds to CML on 'sep rep' vote
Responding to this afternoon's statement by the Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) on separate representation, Law Society Vice President Bruce Beveridge said:
"It is simply untrue to say that no consultation was carried out on separate representation. We consulted widely on the issue with CML, banks, building societies as well as Consumer Focus, Which, the Office of Fair Trading and Registers of Scotland. Indeed, this has been a matter of wide discussion ever since the Director General of the CML first floated the idea of separate representation back in September 2010. It is therefore unfortunate that the CML has chosen to issue such a misinformed statement.
"The CML says this proposed change would increase consumer costs but these are the legal costs of mortgage lenders, which are mostly large banks. If consumers are impacted, it will only be because the lenders themselves have allowed it by placing additional costs on their own customers.
"We are still keen to engage with CML and others to ensure any effects of a rule change can be properly managed. Indeed, we see the opportunity for positive benefits for lenders in reducing their panel management costs."
Notes to editors
In a speech to the Law Society of England and Wales on 28 September 2010, the then Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Michael Coogan, said:
"Whilst not ideal, is now the time to give serious consideration to separate representation.
"We live in a changed world. Fewer lenders, fewer transactions, closer business relationships, limits to trust and confidence.
"Surely, in such a world, consumers would value the opportunity to instruct their own solicitor, even if the cost was higher? And in such cases, the lender would know its own interests are protected, directly and unequivocally, if instructed by its own conveyancer."
Further information about the AGM, including the working party report on separate representation, is available on the Law Society of Scotland website.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan on 07825 206468 or Olivia Bambridge on 0131 226 8884
22 March 2013