HSBC is to extend membership of its conveyancing panel to allow firms regulated by the Society to apply for panel membership for purchase transactions in Scotland.

The Society’s Property Law Committee has been in discussion with HSBC regarding their current panel membership arrangements. HSBC has recognised that customers prefer where possible to use a conveyancer of their own choice and we are pleased to inform our members that the bank is extending its panel membership for purchase transactions in Scotland.

HSBC will work collaboratively with Legal Marketing Services Ltd (LMS) to manage their wider transactional conveyancing panel. The bank has used LMS as their re-mortgage panel manager for nearly ten years and this further alliance will consolidate LMS as HSBC’s sole panel manager going forward.

The implementation will be in two phases. Phase one will be in early October 2017 for intermediary business, and phase two will see the transition of all other purchase cases in November 2017. As the implementation is in two phases, HSBC will continue to work closely with its existing providers, one of which is Decision First, until phase two is implemented. HSBC would like to thank them for their service and professionalism over the last five years.

We are encouraged that HSBC has listened to feedback from customers and our member law firms and has decided to move to an open panel approach for purchase cases across all jurisdictions, whilst ensuring that it is in line with FCA guidance.

The basic requirement for a law firm in Scotland to become or remain a member of the panel is that the firm is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. Firms will be asked to provide additional information in order to be confirmed as panel members. LMS will provide further detail of the on-boarding process over the next few weeks.

HSBC will implement the criteria below for firms to be able to act for them.

Loan Value Number of partners in firm (or equivalent) Conditions in addition to the “Number of Partners” rule
£1 < £350k One or more All Scottish regulated firms can act for HSBC
£350k < £2m Two or more All Scottish regulated firms can act for HSBC
£2m+ Four or more with £5m+ PII All Scottish regulated firms can act for HSBC

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